Despite how grown our students think they are, they’re never too old to celebrate Earth Day! Our students are the future caregivers of planet Earth, so why not celebrate the beautiful blue planet while also strengthening students’ math, science, reading, and writing skills. Learning about and celebrating Earth Day will keep students actively participating in their learning and can even spark conversations (and action) outside of the classroom.
Let’s dive into some fun and engaging Earth Day activities for elementary students.
#1 Earth Day Informational Text
There’s a good chance your students haven’t learned about the actual history of Earth Day. Most Earth Day activities for elementary students focus on ways to help our planet (which definitely isn’t a bad thing!), but they don’t touch on how Earth Day came to be.
In this Earth Day Close Reading activity, students will read an informational text about the history of Earth Day and how it is celebrated around the world. You can combine both social studies and ELA skills here by reviewing the past while also assessing students’ comprehension and critical thinking skills.
Included in the resource are a text, comprehension questions, teacher tips, and questions you can use to guide discussion with students. This close reading activity is a great addition to your Earth Day activities for elementary students and can be used during whole group instruction, stations or centers, partner practice, or even sub plans.
If you are in the midst of preparing for the state exams, you can also use this passage as a practice test. We can never have too many opportunities to practice annotating and comprehending informational texts.
#2 Earth Day Solve the Room
Solve the Room activities are some of my absolute favorite ways to get kids up and moving in the classroom! In fact, I wrote a whole blog post about how I use Solve the Room activities.
These hands-on activities are great because they keep students engaged and actively working while still challenging their skills. Solve the Room activities also put the responsibility in students’ hands as they independently move about the room to work on various equations.
Personally, my favorite way to use Solve the Room activities is by having students work with a partner so they have someone to help them if needed. I often pull out this activity before an exam or after a challenging unit to give students extra practice and review.
The Earth Day Rolve the Room Activity is a fun way to review skills towards the end of the year while also incorporating that Earth Day theme. With this activity, students will practice…
#3 Informational Writing Prompt
Informational writing prompts are the perfect Earth Day activities for elementary students to practice for a state writing exam or simply engage students in real-world writing practice.
In this Earth Day Informational Writing Paired Passage resource, students will read and annotate two informational texts about renewable energy. Then, they’ll be prompted to write about what renewable energy is and why it is useful. While writing, they’ll have access to the paired passages for support. I created the prompt to closely model how students will typically be asked to write on any upcoming tests.
This resource comes with informational texts, a prompt, planning sheets, and a writing paper, which makes this super low-prep for you and easy to add to your Earth Day activities!
#4 Opinion Writing Prompt
We know our students love to give their opinion on things! So why not tap into this with Earth Day activities for elementary students?
With the Electric Cars Opinion Writing Resource, students will think critically about their opinion and find evidence to support their position. During this activity, students will read two articles: one giving the cons to electric cars and the other saying that electric vehicles are the future.
After reading and determining their own viewpoint, students will write their own opinion pieces about whether or not electric cars should be required. This resource includes informational texts, a writing prompt, planning pages, and writing paper.
This Earth Day activity is a great option for test prep or even just end-of-the-year opinion writing practice. Plus, it’s a great way to discuss modern issues that affect our big blue planet.
All four of these Earth Day activities for elementary students will encourage your kiddos to think critically, develop their own thoughts and opinions, and decide what their role is in taking care of our planet. Getting students to think about real-world topics like the environment is one of the best parts of teaching – we can help impact the future through our students.
If you are looking for more end-of-the-year activities, check out the 5 Simple and Cost-Effective Science Experiments.