Trying to plan lessons and projects for your students can be hard, especially if you’ve worked as a teacher for a few years!
You may always be looking for new ways to keep your students interested and engaged with the subject matter, so that they can comprehend new topics in a fun way.
Earth Day is a great day to celebrate the world around us.
If you want to teach your children in class about the importance of caring for the Earth, then we have 12 great activities and projects for you to implement into your classroom.
Why It Is Important To Teach Middle Schoolers About Earth Day
Earth Day is a yearly celebration that aims to honor the achievements of the environmental movement, and the need to protect the Earth’s resources and longevity for the generations to come.
It is really important to celebrate Earth Day every year because it is a chance to recognize the harm and damage that humans have caused the Earth, and how we can make changes to save the environment.
Teaching your students about Earth Day is essential, as you are educating the next generation about how to care for the environment and to reduce, reuse and recycle to protect the Earth and its resources.
12 Best Earth Day Projects For Middle Schoolers
1. Scavenger Hunt
A great way to get your students excited about Earth Day is to organize a scavenger hunt.
You can take them outside on the school grounds, and have them search for clues and observe nature without damaging it.
They can earn points for picking up litter, or finding the animals (toys or paper representations) that you have hidden. If they spot actual wildlife, they can also earn points if they can tell you what they are.
Students can also draw pictures of the plants and wildlife they spot. This is an excellent way to get them thinking about what wildlife surrounds them in their immediate environment.
2. Litter Clean Up
Begin the class by explaining how litter can damage the environment, and how certain materials take years to break down in landfills, or that some don’t even deteriorate.
Create a list of materials that are recyclable, and those that are not, and educate your students. Then, remove the materials from the list, and get them to tell you which ones go into the Non-Recyclable column, and the Recyclable column.
Then, split your class into pairs or groups, and encourage a litter clean up. The more items they collect, the more points they score, and can win. This encourages a little bit of competition, and helps students learn to tidy up after themselves.
3. Grow A Plant
Try a simple plant growing exercise. You can either do this in groups if you have a large class, or supply each student with a small planter and seeds.
Your middle schoolers can take care of their plants day to day and week to week to watch them grow!
4. Day With An Alien Activity
This worksheet encourages students to apply what they have learned about Earth Day and write as if they are meeting an alien.
They can tell the alien about Earth, and its resources and why we need to protect them.
5. Recycling Essay Writing
A longer project could be to write an essay about recycling, plastic waste, or any Earth Day related topic you can think of.
Your students can implement persuasive writing skills by creating an argument, and pitching ideas through their essays to encourage others to recycle and care for the environment.
6. Facts About Earth Day
Create worksheets and a slideshow with facts about Earth Day and its importance. This is a simple memory task.
Once you go over the slideshow, use interactive whiteboards (and markers) for students to write down the answers.
Go over the materials you just taught, and ask them to provide the correct responses like a pop quiz.
7. Earth Day Collage
Use old magazines with a range of images and ads in them. Then, you can get your students to work in groups or tables to cut out the right colors and tones to create a collage of the Earth!
This is a great lesson in recycling, and it is super fun and creative. You can even add more fun by making it a competition for the best Earth collage, and reward the students who win.
8. Oil Spill Science Experiment
For this fun experiment, you will need water, a spoon, dish soap, cooking oil, cotton balls, medicine droppers, and paper towels.
Get a tin pan, and fill it up with water about halfway. Then, squirt some oil into the pan with the water.
Now, the students need to come up with ways to remove the oil spill with various items such as paper towels, medicine droppers and cotton balls.
Seeing how difficult it is to remove the oil from the water can help students learn about the impact oil spills can have on wildlife.
9. Coffee Filter Earth
For this project, you will need newspaper, coffee filters (circular ones), blue and green food coloring, and some eye droppers and spoons.
Lay out the newspaper beneath your supplies, and put the coffee filters on top. With the spoons and eye droppers, students can use the food coloring to create their own planet Earth.
Then, spray some water onto the coffee filters with a spray bottle to blend the colors, and make the Earth images look more realistic. This is a really exciting and creative activity.
10. Take A Pledge
Another option is to encourage your students to take a pledge together.
This pledge can have a list of options such as using less paper, not being wasteful, recycling plastics, using cloth grocery bags instead of plastic ones, planting trees, turning off lights and electronics when not in use, and not wasting water.
You can encourage them to come up with their own ideas to reduce their carbon footprints and make a difference.
All you will need to do is grab a sheet of paper, and have the class shout out to you with suggestions.
Then, you can write them all down, and place them on the wall as a reminder. This is a collaborative project that encourages everyone to work together to make a difference to the environment.
11. Make A Poster About Climate Change
For this project, students can create their own imaginative and creative posters about climate change.
They can do so as if they are taking a stand against pollution or other environmental factors, and present their argument.
For instance, you could present the task with the outline that a large company wants to dump oil in the ocean, and the students would have to create a poster about why this is a bad idea- and what impact this would have on marine life.
Or, if a company wants to remove areas of the rainforest to build housing and architecture, and how this would damage the environment.
They will need to provide facts and figures on how this would impact the Earth and destroy its wildlife and greenery.
12. Endangered Species Poster Project
Lastly, we have the Endangered Species Poster Project. Many kids have a passion for animals, and love learning about different creatures and their habitats.
Create a list of animals that are endangered, or live within environments that are under threat, such as those who are at risk of poachers, or ones that live in the rainforest.
Ask your students to choose an animal from the list, and to create a poster (either in class or as a home project).
Within that poster, they will need to discuss the animal’s diet, habitat, location and how these are impacted by climate change and environmental factors.
When it comes to presenting the posters, your students will need to talk about what we can do to help sustain these animals, and ensure that they do not go extinct.
To summarize, there are many ways that you can get students involved with Earth Day. Earth Day is all about making a conscious effort to reduce harm and damage to the Earth and its environment.
This is a great opportunity to educate middle school students about the impact humans have on the Earth, and what we can do to make a difference ourselves.
These activities are fun, collaborative, and interactive- so the students can learn about Earth Day in a positive way, and look forward to helping make the planet a better place for the years to come.
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