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Lesson Plans for Earth Day

Lesson PlanningTo recognize this special day, Education World offers original lesson plans that will engage students in creating maps of an astronaut's view of Earth, exploring issues of junk mail and hazardous household waste, and learning about endangered species. Included: Student work sheet, 20 bonus Earth Day lessons, plus links to fun Earth Day resources for kids!

What are you doing to celebrate Earth Day? Following are a handful of ways in which some teachers are planning to recognize Earth Day:

Those are just a few of the educational -- and fun -- ideas Education World offers this week. Read on to find five fabulous original lessons from the Ed World editors plus 20 bonus Earth Day lesson plans and a handful of Earth Day sites that are just plain fun!


From the Ed World Archives

Searching for other Earth Day lessons and resources? Don't miss Education World's special Earth Day Archive.


Click each of the five lesson plan headlines below for a complete teaching resource. (Approximate grade levels for each lesson are indicated in parentheses.)

Earth from Space Maps
Help students use photo images from space to create a large map of the United States or the world, find where they live, and label other places they know. (Grades 3-12)

Junk Mail Overload
Ask students to track the amount of junk mail received at home in one week. They can use collected data to estimate how much junk mail accumulates in a year and explore ways to solve the junk mail problem. (Grades 3-12)

Clean Up Hazardous Waste
Students identify sources of home hazardous waste and create posters to educate community members about how to handle that waste. (Grades 3-12)

ABCs of Endangered Species
A student-created ABC Book of Endangered Animals includes locator maps, "fast facts," and explanations about why those animals are endangered. (Grades K-8)

101 Amazing Earth Facts
Play this Jeopardy-style game in your classroom; or make it a school-wide competition. (Grades 4-12)


Education World editors searched the Internet for great Earth Day lesson ideas. You'll find a few of our fabulous finds in the introduction to this article. You'll find more than a dozen more below!


Following are a handful of Earth Day games and other activities that are available on the Web. They offer fun for kids of all ages!

The Lorax's Save the Trees Game
The game requires Shockwave plug-in.

Earth Day Concentration Puzzle
This puzzle requires Java plug-in.

Earth Day Word Searches
Find puzzles at four levels, from beginner to super difficult.

Happy Earth Day Coloring and Activities Book
Download a .pdf version (Adobe Acrobat required) of this learning activities book from the EPA.

Earth Day Online Games
Link to more than 30 games.

SeaWorld Teacher's Guides
Developed at SeaWorld and Busch Gardens to help you teach your students - in an active, hands-on way - about how people interact with the environment and how we can best care for Earth's resources.

Wild Places
Learn about all about endangered animals across the world.

Article by Gary Hopkins
Education World®
Copyright © 2010 Education World





Originally published 04/5/2002
Last updated 03/19/2010