Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Earth Day Ideas ... Buried Under ALL This SNOW!

     Our school will be celebrating Earth Day on Thursday.  One of our tried and true activities is our annual community clean-up.  The entire school is divided into groups, and each group is responsible for cleaning up an area around the school and main road.  It's a great activity that gives students a real feeling of ownership over the community.  Unfortunately, this year there is new snow on the ground, and the forecast is calling for more.  YIKES!  So, it's back to the drawing board ... indoor activities it is!
  • Do you make the grade?  Last year my students completed a "Green Report Card" for the school.  They surveyed the school, interviewed the teachers, support staff, principal and custodian.  They graphed the results, and gave suggestions for improvements over the announcements.  It was a fantastic activity and really got the students involved in the school.  Print out your own copy here:  http://www.nczoo.org/education/EducatorResources/AGreenReportCard.pdf
  • Get planting!  We start our seeds (indoors) for our school garden on Earth Day.  We plant them a few weeks later (if the snow ever goes away, that is). 
  • My absolute favourite poem to read to the class on Earth Day is "Lost Generation".  I have typed out the words and give handouts to the students for shared reading (this can also be done over the projector).  We discuss the tone and mood of the poem as is.  THEN ... (and this is the exciting part) I show them the youtube video that has the poem being read forwards and then backwards.  The reaction from the students is priceless!!!  At least half my class bring the poem home to share with their parents.  Check out the youtube video here:                                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=42E2fAWM6rA                                                                      This is an effective poem for Earth Day, but is equally effective ANY DAY.  It's a great poem to use when discussing mood and tone.
  • Lastly, my favourite (Earth Day) story to share with the class is Just a Dream by Chris Van Allsburg.  A perfect book to study characterization, and teach about global responsibility.  I have written a 5 day mini-unit for inferring using this book.  Each lesson contains detailed plans, including questions for oral discussions, as well as reproducible handouts and graphic organizers for students. Assessment rubrics are also included. Some topics include: OQI anchor chart (Observe, Question, Infer), comprehension questions, character chart, creating a rubric, peer assessment, summary writing, and reader reflection.



    
Students want to get involved and feel they have made a difference.  Show them they can on Earth Day!

2 comments:

  1. Love your earth day ideas! I actually just posted a new blog post today myself. I've been dragged out of my hiatus by my followers who convinced me to post less often, but still post. I'll be posting WAY LESS, but I guess it's a better solution than giving up on it all together. I have put A LOT of work into it to just give it up. Your blog looks great by the way. Super cute design!

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  2. Yay! My first comment - thanks, Jill!!! I noticed your new post today - and love it - can't believe you pulled out the play-doh! ;)
    My girls would love that idea. So glad you're continuing on the blog - who else would I steal craft ideas from??

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