As Earth Week 2008 wraps up around the globe and corporate promotions come to an end, it’s important to help our students understand that caring for our environment and practicing what we’ve learned on Earth Day should be everyday, not just a few days in April. Over the last month I’ve been sharing a few websites and ideas for encouraging environmental education throughout the year, so I thought I’d end my series of posts with a few ways to make Earth Day Everyday. Whether you’re a kindergarten teacher, or a high school environmental studies instructor, there are simple ways to incorporate environmentally friendly activities, videos, and resources on the web in your classroom throughout the year. Below are just a few to get you started.
The Wilderness Society has put together a really nice collection of teacher resources in their Teacher’s Lounge that emphasize making everyday a day to respect the Earth. Lots of links to Earth day sites, environmental organizations, and downloadable lesson plans are just a few of the teacher resources. Interactive adventures, photo treks, and recommendations for off line reading help round out the resources for students from kindergarten through high school.
Always providing the most in depth and immersive resources on the environment, National Geographic does a fantastic job of blending the latest environmental news with timely in depth articles and interactive activities. The Earth day page of National Geographic’s website is well suited for middle school and high school classes, though an elementary teacher could “cheery pick” resources. Daily environmental news updates make the site a MUST for any environmental studies classes, interactive virtual habitats on the Earth Pulse section of the website were always a must when I taught middle school science, and topical issues like fresh water conservation are a great resource for secondary classrooms.
Earth 911 is a great resource for starting your own grassroots recycling and ecological efforts. Club Earth 911 lays out simple plans for starting your own school wide recycling program, including logos to print and tips for spreading the word. The teacher’s page includes the ABCs of simple steps to help the environment, a fun resource for early elementary students. Or you can check out the latest news of national contests that are available to students who want to show off their “green-ness”.
Other posts in my Earth day series: