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Make a Difference
On Earth Day

Lesson Planning Channel

Earth Day is when people around the world hold events to honor our home planet -- and to remind everyone about the importance of our ecosystem. Education World offers five service activities for students who want to help make a difference in their environment! Included: Activities that have students cleaning up trash-filled areas in their communities, creating public-service announcements about environmental issues, and much more.



Related Articles From Education World

Looking for additional lesson ideas and resources. Be sure to visit Education World's special Earth Day Archive.


Founded in 1970 by Gaylord Nelson, a former United States senator from Wisconsin, Earth Day has grown into a global event. In 1970, 20 million Americans demonstrated in streets, parks, and auditoriums for a healthier, cleaner environment. This year, hundreds of millions of people in more than 180 countries are expected to participate in Earth Day activities around the world!

You don't have to look far to find a host of Earth Day activities and projects. Check the "Earth Day Events" section of the Earth Day Network Web site to learn about Earth Day events in your state or country.

One of the most comprehensive Earth Day projects for schools is The Earth Day Groceries Project, an activity in which students decorate paper grocery bags with environmental messages. This year, each school that reports its participation will automatically be eligible to win prizes for students, teachers, and schools! Read more at the project's Bonus for Reporting page.

This week, Education World offers some additional ideas for recognizing Earth Day in the classroom. Help your students get into the spirit of community involvement with the five public-service activities listed below. Read the brief descriptions and click on any headline for a complete teaching resource!

Community Clean Up
Students identify areas in their community filled with trash and work together to clean those areas. (Grades 3-5, 6-8, 9-12)

Cafeteria Compost
Students create a compost pile in the schoolyard, using lunchroom food scraps and yard clippings. (Grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12)

Earth Day PSA
Students develop a short public-service announcement (PSA) video to raise awareness about an environmental issue.
(Grade 3-5, 6-8, 9-12)

Earth Day Fund-Raiser
Students hold a fund-raising activity to raise money to buy seeds, plants, or tree seedlings to beautify school grounds. (Grades K-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12)

Improving School Recycling
Students evaluate their school recycling programs and propose improvements. (Grades 3-5, 6-8, 9-12)




EPA Community Service Projects
This page from the Environmental Protection Agency Web site offers ideas for environmental community service projects.

Earth Day Page
This page from the Planet Pals Web site provides a listing of numerous Earth Day activities and teaching aids, plus Earth science information.

The National Arbor Day Foundation
This nonprofit organization provides millions of trees for planting throughout the United States each year.

All About Earth Day
This page provides an article about the history of Earth Day written by its founder, Gaylord Nelson, a former U.S. senator.