On April 22 each year something special happens around the whole World.
People of all walks of life, all ages, and all beliefs put aside their differences to help show support for environmental protection.
What could be a better cause to celebrate and educate about in our classes than one which fosters understanding about the challenges humanity faces, and encourages being thoughtful about how we can each make a difference.
Why should we do Earth Day activities in school?
While most of our class will be aware of environmental issues such as climate change and plastic pollution, there are usually plenty of students who haven’t given much thought to these topics.
I think it’s so valuable to take a day (or a week as many regions extend Earth day out to) just to put some focus on all of these important issues – these are their formative years after all.
The discussions that come out of Earth day activities are wonderful, with all sorts of education happening around what the issues are, how environmental damage is occurring – and perhaps most importantly, how they as individuals can help bring about real change through their own actions.
For some of these kids, these core ideas will stay with them for years to come.
How to use these prompts?
Group discussion around Earth day topics is something I would highly recommend.
You’ll cover the issues and solutions you wanted to, and there will be plenty of other interesting angles brought up by most classes – both in terms of issues and of solutions.
I like for my students to have the understanding that the issues are complex, but the solutions are infinite too.
Then breaking the class out into small groups can keep those vital discussions and sharing of concerns and ideas going.
Finally, I’ll give a couple of prompts to each student to take away and write about in their own time.
The 15 Earth Day Prompts:
- Which do you think we’ll use for electricity in future – solar energy, or burning coal? Why?
- How has your attitude to the importance of reducing waste and recycling changed as you’ve become older? Why?
- What are 5 things that kids can do to help their family use less water?
- Science has proven that climate change is a real problem being caused by human activity. Why do you think some people struggle to understand that?
- Plastic pollution is a huge problem. What are 7 things we can do to reduce our use of plastic every day?
- What is palm oil, and why is it considered such a threat to many endangered species such as Orangutans? How can we help?
- What are 3 things you do already to help the environment, which you perhaps didn’t do a couple of years ago?
- Change is caused by people standing up for what is important. How can you help stand up for Earth and it’s environment?
- What positive changes can you encourage your friends to make in their lives, to use less plastic?
- Why are younger people often more aware of the need to do things better than older people?
- What are 8 ways we can reduce our electricity usage each day?
- It’s not only cars that use oil. What else are oil and petroleum used for, and why is this also a problem?
- If you had a child of your own how would you explain to them why it is important for us to look after our planet?
- How many other planets can humans easily get to and start living on if Earth becomes uninhabitable? How can this fact help change the way we think about looking after Earth?
- What is one simple change any one of us can make today, to help humans cause less damage to the environment?
Become the change you want to see!
As you’ve probably got already, I believe in opening kids eyes to what is happening to our planet.
I don’t want to overwhelm them with the scale of the environmental issues that we’re all facing, but want them to see the importance of facing these challenges – and crucially that they can play a direct part in making things better.
I hope you and your students find these prompts useful in encouraging plenty of enlightening conversation and writing around Earth day, and beyond.
Please let us know if you’d like more of these type of activities and resources such as free printable versions of these prompts too.
We are publishing more of these for you to make use of each week, so make sure you bookmark and Pin!
Thanks and see you again soon,
– Matt & Hayley