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Great Sites for Teaching About ... Earth Day

Internet educator Walter McKenzie tracks down the best of the best Internet resources.

Each week, Education World's Great Sites for Teaching About page highlights Web sites to help educators work timely themes into their lessons. This week's sites are among the best on the Web for teaching about Earth Day.

  1. The Earth Day Groceries Project
    Ask for brown paper grocery bags from a local supermarket, have your children decorate the bags with messages of ecological awareness, and then return the bags to the supermarket for use on Earth Day! This long-running online activity continues to grow each year. Civic involvement, environmental responsibility, and developmentally appropriate tasks all make this project a winner!

  2. Earth Day Network
    The Earth Day Network offers a comprehensive listing of Earth Day events, suggestions for Earth Day activities, discussions of environmental issues, and educational resources for parents and teachers. Volunteer! Change a habit! Send a "green" card! Teach a child! Visit one of the site's eco-friendly links.

  3. Planet Pals
    PlanetPals provides lots of Earth Day arts and crafts activities and links to projects that elementary students can participate in as they prepare for and celebrate Earth Day. The site includes recycling and energy-saving tips and tricks. An environmental calendar lists other Earth related holidays and celebrations. Don't miss the four Earth Day recycling kits -- on recycling, pesticides, and saving energy -- ready to print out and use with your kids!

  4. Kid's Domain Earth Day Page
    This awesome site provides Earth Day games, free downloads, cards, songs, activities, stories, crafts, recipes, and clip art. Click on PC Downloads for The Planet ARK Earth Disk, which includes an environmental dictionary, and Teaching Guides for a number of environmental topics. The "Adopt" a Rainforest Animal activity will help elementary students get involved by providing concrete examples of endangered species. The site also offers coloring books, word searches, and screensavers.

  5. Garbage: How Can My Community Reduce Waste?
    This Annenberg/CPB Project exhibit explores the amount of solid waste, hazardous waste, and sewage people generate each day. The site includes discussion about possible solutions to the problem and a look at how people will deal with those problems in the future. Students may be shocked into action when they discover that they create 4 pounds of garbage every day!

  6. WWF International
    This site, the online presence of the organization dedicated to protecting nature, offers information and resources about animals, plants, biomes, and Earth as a living macrocosm. The site is chock full of news and information, and the Cyberdodo/Just for Kidssection includes a Virtual Wildlife page that zooms in on animals and their habitats. The Canon Photo Gallery and Video Library combine to help make wildlife come to life for students.

  7. Earth Force
    If you're looking for a way to spark activism in your students, this site may be just the ticket. Earth Force invites children to make a difference in the quality of the environment in their communities by making their communities "bike friendly," protecting rivers, and having a say in the upkeep of vacant lots and houses. Earth Force delivers the message that environmental responsibility begins at home.

  8. Earth History Resources
    The photographs of dioramas, fossils, and models and computer-generated images and drawings at this site are designed for use in the development of either an Internet site or interactive multimedia project related to Earth history. Geologic Timelines is an exceptional tool for helping children link Earth's past with human history. The Mammoth Site, in South Dakota, is a virtual tour that helps students share in the amazement of physical archaeology.

  9. Earth's 911
    If you want your students to "think globally but act locally," Earth's 911 is the site to see! Type in your ZIP code to find information about environmental programs, addresses for recycling facilities, and educational and news information -- right in your own backyard.

    Additional Earth Day Resources

    • Don't miss additional lessons, projects, resources, and more in Education World's Earth Day Archive.

    Article by Walter McKenzie
    Education World®
    Copyright © 2004 Education World

    Originally published 4/1998
    Links updated 03/19/2003
    Links last updated 04/01/2004