What in the world should we do to celebrate Earth Day?!
Earth Day is a time to make our children aware of the environmental crisis we face and challenge them to consider their own green footprint. It’s also a day to practice responsibility and celebrate our world.
Check out more Earth Day STEM ideas here.
While it can be challenging to get young students aware of their global contributions, it can be done!
I created an engaging STEM resource to help students understand why we celebrate Earth Day. Here’s how it works:
- I start by giving each student a waterfront property and unlimited amount of money to build their dream home.
For younger students I recommend having them think-pair-share to really get their creative juices flowing. Otherwise, you may end up with a class full of pentagon shaped homes. Encourage them to think outside the box with pools, bike trails, tennis courts, coffee shops, etc.
2. After we brainstorm ideas, I give them about 20 minutes to work on their plot of land. Next, we tape the plots together to form the community of home along the river. This is really neat when students get to “meet” their neighbors.
I let each student talk about their plot of land and what they did with it. Sometimes they’ll have something like a waterpark in their home, or they’ll have lots of expensive cars. They just need to be able to explain what it is.
3.. It all sounds incredible and out of this world… That is until I pull out the pollution markers and mark the pollution each plot contributes to the community. When I explain that water moves things around, I begin to shift the pollutants down the river.
“Hey, that’s not fair!” Is a common statement I hear. Especially if I move the pollutants down towards a property with water activities. I also ask the kids, “Wow! Would you want to be swimming in that?”
This is such a great way to conceptualize pollution especially for younger kids because they see how their choices affect their neighbor. It also gets them thinking about how they can eliminate pollution so they can be a better neighbor.
This activity is excellent for sorting and graphing. Students sort and count each type of pollution. Then, if applicable, they can graph the data by creating a line plot or bar graph. You could even have them create their own picture graph to see which type of pollution is most common.
4. After we explore solutions on how to minimize pollution I let my students recreate their land so they can cut down on pollution. Then they recreate their numbers and graphs. We compare the first build with the second build and see how they improved or what changes occurred.
This is a really fun activity that will get your students excited about Earth Day. It includes math, science, social studies, art, and writing! Check it out at my store here!
For more Earth Day resources, check out my FREE Earth Day Writing paper here!