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National Earth Day

National Earth Day

On April 22nd millions come together to acknowledge National Earth Day. Earth day started  in 1970, when students from over ten thousand schools went out into the sunshine and demonstrated their love of their environment, and 20 million people gathered in the streets of America to protest the industrial revolution. With 14 billion pounds (6 billion kilograms) of garbage being dumped into the ocean every year, it is becoming more and more essential that we teach young ones to respect and nurture the Earth. They are the new generation that will be taking care of the ecological success of the world.  There are many meaningful activities, big and small, for students to take part in especially during this time of year. Promote environmental awareness with these fun student Earth Day activities. Here is a sample of four Earth Day activities. For the full post visit our blog.

"I Promise" Earth Day Posters


  • Construction Paper
  • Crayons
  • Glue
  • Scissors

Have each student trace their hand on construction paper and help them cut them out. Have them paste their traced hand onto a piece of different colored paper. Have each student write on the bottom “I promise to take care of the earth by” and have them think of ways they can help the environment. Some examples include: planting trees, not littering, sharing their toys and clothes, riding their bikes, and picking up garbage. This is a fun activity that will get your young students thinking about Earth Day. You can also hang these posters up in the hall so that parents and teachers can enjoy them.

Can You Undo Water Pollution?


  • Buckets
  • Water
  • Various “Pollutants”

This is a great hands-on experiment for Earth Day. This is a good project to do outside as it could get messy. The objective is simple. Separate your students into small groups of two or three and provide them with your buckets of polluted water. Use pollutants such as: coffee grounds, plastic, paper, and banana peels. Their job is to return the dirty water to it’s clear sparkling state. They will find that it is impossible to get the water clean again, which represents how hard it is to purify water that has been polluted.

STEM Oil Spill Challenge


  • Cotton Balls
  • Plastic Containers
  • A Sponge
  • Vegetable Oil (use a 1:4 oil to water ratio)
  • Plastic Spoons
  • Dawn Dish Soap
  • Plastic Cups (To hold the soap and cotton balls)
  • Cocoa Powder (to mix with oil to make a crude oil look-alike)
  • Bird Feathers

This is a great way to share the impact humans have had on the planet. The objective of this activity is to “clean up” the oil from the “crude oil” soaked bird feathers. You can start the activity by discussing past oil spills and how they affected the wildlife. Tell your students they have an allotted amount of time to clean up the bird feathers and they may only use these tools to do the job.

Fact Based Opinion Writing


  • Writing prompts

Have each student write a fact-based essay on some environmentally controversial subjects. Writing prompts could include: Are humans responsible for climate change? Are hybrid cars as environmentally friendly as they are portrayed to be? Should car owners pay more in taxes as a result of the environmental damage caused by their car’s pollution?

These are some great examples of the many ways you can encourage environmental awareness in your classroom. Be sure to read next week’s blog on environmental volunteer activities for you and your students.

CE Credits Online has been providing online professional development courses to teachers in NYC, LAUSD, and across the country for almost 20 years.