A No-Prep Earth Day Lesson for Upper Elementary and Middle School
The first Earth Day was celebrated in 1970 when millions of Americans joined together to protest against environmental destruction. After decades of drawing attention to the importance of preserving the planet, Earth Day is now a global event. Even though teaching students about Earth Day can take many forms, the ultimate goal is to increase awareness.
The Earth Day lesson plan detailed below is designed to connect students with a relatable environmental issue. Ideally, they will be able to take action in their own lives, making the lesson relevant and significant, two things that create a lasting and meaningful learning experience.
1. Ask students to record five details about the photo shown below. After students record five details about the photo, tell them that the photo is a plastic bag floating in the ocean.
2. Next, have students respond to the following questions:
How do you think the plastic bag ended up in the ocean?
Does the plastic bag look like a type of sea animal? If so, which one?
How might the plastic bag be harmful to plants and animals living in the ocean?
Is there anything we can do to prevent plastic bags from ending up in the ocean?
1. Read the following article about sea turtles and plastic bags from the World Wildlife Fund: