April 22, 2020 marks the 50th Anniversary of the first Earth Day. The first Earth Day in 1970 mobilized millions of Americans for the protection of the planet. On April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans – 10% of the U.S. population at the time – took to the street, college campuses, and hundreds of cities to protest environmental ignorance and demand a new way forward for our planet. The first Earth Day is credited with launching the modern environmental movement.
Earth Day is now recognized as the planet’s largest civic event and it led to passage of landmark environmental laws in the United States, including the Clean Air, Clear Water and Endangered Species Acts.
Normally, we make a whole day Earth Day at Saklan, but this year we thought we’d make it a week. Here are some ideas for your students to help celebrate this coming week:
Earth Week Activities You Can Do At Home
Save it Sunday – have your child make a sign to hang in the home or other shared space to remind people to save resources (turn off the lights, save water at the faucet)
Make it Monday – encourage your child’s engineering/artistic side, allow your student to create something that had been made from recycled materials (for example, turn a jar into a vase, create sunbutter and pine cone bird feeder, or artistically make a milk jug into an animal)
Teach it Tuesday – have you or your students learn and then teach a friend or family member something about sustainability (for example, an idea about saving water or reducing waste)
Walk it Wednesday (Actual Earth Day) – take you and your children on a walk (even if it’s just in your backyard) and enjoy the wonders of our planet. Enjoy the beauty of your community, create a nature treasure hunt or even pick up trash in your community to help celebrate Earth Day.
Be Thankful Thursday – Even in uncertain times, the sun rises each day, our birds chirp, and we are blessed to have this amazing community. Encourage your students (and family members) to share what they are thankful for.
Farm it Friday – Spring has sprung and what better time to plant and plan for the future. Let your students put their hands in the dirt, plant some seeds or small plants, water them, and tend to their flower or vegetable filled future.
Set a new Habit Saturday – Encourage your students to make one environmental gesture a habit; maybe always using a reusable water bottle, never using a plastic straw again, riding their bike short distances instead of needing a ride, etc. No one can do everything, but everyone can do something!
Here are some great picture books as well to get your students in the mood:
- It’s Earth Day: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_GqM-U5dCsQ
- How To Help The Earth – By The Lorax: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lbUS3jPjyrc
- Earth Day, Birthday: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aA-obG2CAkQ
- Earth Day, Hooray: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lxs8Aebxxhk
- Miss Fox’s Class Goes Green: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-UNKPdwpTg
Want to hear from Scientists in the field?
National Geographic Explorer classroom lets you hear & chat with real scientists, sign up here: https://www.nationalgeographic.org/education/student-experiences/explorer-classroom/sessions/#inthefield
Want a Family Movie Night? These are always a hit:
- Our Planet
- Disney’s Ocean
- Planet Earth
- Blue Planet