Earth Day Challenge!
- Think about actions that help protect and restore the environment
- Create art that inspires kindness to the planet
- Explore artwork from other students to identify common goals and learn new ideas
When students participate in eco-art projects, research shows that this experience helps them form an emotional connection between themselves and the environment, and understand how they can better respect, care for, and guard the world around them. Educators should encourage students to leverage skills around kindness to identify actions that can help protect and restore the environment, and collaboration as a global community working together to keep our planet healthy.
To learn more about these skills, and how they promote students’ healthy growth and the development of empathy, please check out our Empathy Framework.
- Art materials (e.g., pens, pencils, markers, crayons, and paint)
- "Earth Day Promise" template
- Introduce Earth Day to students. You might say: “Every year, on April 22nd, people from around the world come together to celebrate Earth Day! The goal of Earth Day is to reflect on how our actions impact the world around us, and how we can help protect and restore the environment. What are some ways that you care for our planet, or ideas for what you’d like to do in the future?”
Make a list of students’ responses. For example, they might mention:
• Picking up trash
• Watering plants
• Being kind to animals
• Reusing an item instead of throwing it away
• Using less water and electricity
• Walking or bicycling when possible
- Invite students to complete the art projects below:
• Ages 5-8 Years Old: Distribute a copy of this template to each student, and ask them to write down a promise for how they will practice kindness to the world around them. Then, they can color in the Earth, and decorate the space around it with their favorite flowers, animals, and other parts of nature that they are helping to protect!
• Ages 8+ Years Old: Ask students to design an “Earth Day” poster, which includes 1) a slogan (or short message) about taking care of the planet, and 2) an illustration that captures thoughts, feelings, or actions they want to inspire in others!
- After students complete their art projects, consider sharing their artwork on this community Wakelet board, which can also be viewed below. For example, you can add photos or videos of students' artwork, or ask them to record a Flip video directly on the board. Please ensure that students aren’t sharing any personal information such as their full names or home addresses.
Then, explore other students’ artwork on the board, and ask your class the following questions:
• What is something that you like about another person’s artwork?
• What is something interesting or surprising that you noticed?
• Did you see any similar ideas for practicing kindness to the Earth? What about new ideas that you want to try in our community?
• Students all around the world are working hard to keep our planet healthy, including our class! How does this make you feel?
If students in both classes have individual devices (e.g., mobile phone, tablet, laptop, etc.)...
Use a platform such as Google Meet, Zoom, or Microsoft Teams which allows you to screen-share during a video call.
One educator should set up the Kahoot! game and share the code with students in both classes by following this tutorial about using Kahoot! in a remote learning environment, and share their screen so everyone can follow along.
If students in either class don’t have individual devices...
Follow the same instructions above, with one educator starting the game and sharing their screen so both classes can follow along.
Instead of students joining the game to answer the questions, they can hold up their fingers, call out their answer, or use a paper template to indicate their response.