Earth is a fascinating subject! It is also the perfect time of year to hit some important studies about our planet and it’s resources! With technology at our fingertips, we can visually explore planet Earth from the classroom! Here are a few resources and ideas to help you study the Earth and make Earth Day memorable!
Gather and Prepare
I usually start with The Earth and I. I liked to begin with this book because students naturally made a text to self connection. I want students to feel connected to Earth on a personal level first and then we can get into the more general topics like sources of energy and recycling too!
Next, download Google Earth on your school desktop! (free) Simply type in a place and watch the Earth rotate and zoom in on your location! The students are completely mesmerized.
If you want to see how Google Earth works, I made a short little video showing how you can search for locations on google earth and how it will take you on a visual tour. Pardon the obnoxious red watermark in my little screen capture video. Google Earth is free and you will not have a red watermark. That was just the program I used to show you what I was doing on the screen. There is no sound. Just watch my cursor. In order to see what I was typing in the search bar, you may want to click the full screen mode in the bottom right corner.
Here’s a great little Earth Day song to kick off your studies too!
There is a natural connection to living and non living things. We come off of our learning of living and non-living things and into a look at Earth. Here’s an anchor chart we did where I just asked students what we can find on the earth.
After making this anchor chart, we are ready to add to our knowledge of Earth!
Last year I created activities that paired well with our Earth Day studies and could fit in a science journal or a keepsake paper bag book. Let’s take a look!
This can go in a science journal, or you can find instructions to make this paper bag keepsake book later in this post.
Under each letter in the word EARTH, students write a short phrase or an adjective describing Earth.
Here’s a peek at some of the activities included.
Earth Day Activities
We begin with understanding why Earth is different from other planets. To allow students to understand that other planets do not have the correct make up to sustain life. Earth has life, water, air, plants, etc.
We learn about what we find on Earth and how we use it in our lives.
After reading books about taking care of Earth and it’s resources,we write one thing we can do under each flap below to take care of Earth.
You know you have their full attention when they work intently and quietly. #teachervictory #engagedstudents
I also play music of ocean sounds and different audio of the Earth. Here’s one of thunderstorms. It has all sorts of insect and outdoor sounds before the storm. It’s the perfect background noise during independent work on this book.
What Did We Learn?
Finally at the end of our Earth studies, we try a little interactive writing to see what we now know about the Earth.
Look at the difference!
I also love giving them this last little reflection where they choose one thing on or about Earth and expand on the importance with a 5 finger story. (Opening sentence, 3 details, closing sentence)
Making a Paper Bag Book
Each book will need to be 2 paper bags. Our local grocery store was happy to help a teacher out with this. They handed them right over.
Overlap two bags in opposite directions.
Use a long stapler to staple in the seam. I gave it to staples.
Fold the top down and cut up the sides to create enough pages in the book. Don’t worry if some of the pages look uneven. When you glue the activities down, it covers everything up nicely!