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Best Instructional Videos: Earth Day & Earth Awareness Month

The month of April has been designated Earth Awareness Month. Below are four videos that highlight ways to protect the environment and take care of our planet. Each includes a description and grade level. We also note the video’s capacity for engagement (“cool factor”).

Title:  Earth Awareness Day - Learning How to Compost

Source:  International Language Schools of Canada

Grade level:  Third grade on up

Run time:  5:37

Description:  This is a 2011 Earth Awareness Talk on how to take organic materials such as paper towels and paper plates, break them down and turn them into soil.

Cool factor:  Composting may not sound like a topic with a “wow” factor. But younger students will find learning how to compost good, perhaps not-so-clean, fun, and older students will take note of how to reduce their carbon footprint.


Title:  Saving the Environment

Source:  Thanos Nikopoulos

Grade level:  All ages

Run Time:  1:27

Description:  An artist uses 700 pieces of paper and stop-motion photography to create an innovative message about saving the environment.

Cool factor:  Putting aside the irony of using so much paper to deliver a message about not clear-cutting trees, the video is a great way to get students of all ages thinking about what they can do to protect the environment. Students may be inspired to generate other creative ways of delivering an Earth Awareness Month message.


Title:  5 Easy Ways to Save the Planet

Source:  YouTube user gnomediaries

Grade level:  All ages, but primarily elementary school

Run time:  3:42

Description:  Here’s an effective and simple (if you can get past that it was made in Britain and uses the metric system) video of “Super Power Bloke,” who learns about climate change and how to lessen his carbon footprint through easy measures.

Cool factor:  It’s old-school animation, but it’s also captivating.  


Title:  The Crying Indian

Source:  Posted by a YouTube user, but produced by Keep America Beautiful

Grade level:  All ages

Run time:  1 minute

Description:  A (supposed) Native American travels down a river in his canoe, lamenting the destruction of the environment.

Cool factor:  If nothing else, this classic PSA will open discussion about how racist/non-PC the 1970s were. Students may also find it interesting that the commercial was one of the most effective of its kind in curbing litter some 40 years ago.


Article by Ted Glanzer, EducationWorld Contributor
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