Earth Day Ideas for Elementary Science {and Why Earth Day Fun Means Real Learning}

Earth Day activities free

Earth Day is a great holiday to celebrate while building background knowledge (or schema) for science. You may think your cute Earth Day crafts are a fun break from real learning, but talking about Earth’s characteristics, resources, and conservation will make learning about these topics in depth later on so much easier!

Ways Earth Day can build schema:

  1. Students can color a picture of the Earth and learn that some parts are green (land) and some parts are blue (water). Making an Earth craft is even more hands-on and offers fine motor skill building. They might even notice through their crafts or coloring pages that the Earth has more blue than green. This simple activity is building knowledge to help them understand and remember that the Earth is about 70% water and 30% land.
  2. Talking about the importance of the three R’s (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) can build knowledge to help students when they cover standards about conservation of resources and human impact on the Earth.
  3. In addition to the three R’s, conversations about alternative energy resources can help students build knowledge for when they cover concepts such as hydroelectricity, geothermal energy, wind energy, solar energy, and bio-fuels.
  4. Observing the Earth around you by taking a walk outside and letting students share what they love about the Earth will build knowledge for learning Earth’s characteristics and systems.

See! Simple little crafts and activities can encourage real learning!

Here are some fun ways your students can celebrate Earth day and learn without realizing it.

 Free Earth Day Crafts and Printables:

Earth is our Home – Talk about ways kids can use the three R’s to save the Earth.

We love the Earth – Students can write about the reasons why they love the Earth.

Earth Walk – Take students on a walk outside so they can draw some things they observe and love about Earth.

Earth Pledge – Let students place their painted hand on the Earth to represent their pledge to keep it beautiful. They can write how they plan to help the Earth at the bottom.

Earth Day upper elementary

Earth Day Handprints – Just add green handprints to the blue Earth to add land.

Color the Earth – This can simply be a coloring page. You can also trace kids’ hands on construction paper to glue around/behind the Earth (after it is cut out) to look like their hands are holding the Earth.

Earth Mosaic – Cover the Earth in small tissue paper squares to make an Earth Mosaic.

Earth in Water Colors- Students can trace the outlines of the Earth in glue. Let it dry and paint the water and land with water colors.Earth Day primary

Grab the Freebie by clicking the image below!

earth day freebie

Earth Blobs!

Earth Blobs are so much fun! And what kids don’t like slime? After making the land blob and the water blob, just mush them together and play! Roll into a ball for a globe, squish flat for a map view, blow a bubble to make a translucent 3D model. The instructions for the slime to make Earth Blobs are below!

EARTH BLOBS RECIPE:

Water Blob

6oz bottle glitter glue

3-5 pea sized drops liquid watercolor (blue)

2-3 drops liquid watercolor (green)

Blue glitter (as much as your heart desires)

1/3 cup liquid starch from the laundry aisle

Mix the glue, watercolors, and glitter in a bowl.

Add the starch in slowly, kneading with your hands. (It is sticky at first, but I promise it gets better.)

Land Blob

4oz bottle white glue

3-4 drops liquid watercolor (green)

1 drop liquid watercolor (yellow)

Blue glitter (as much as your heart desires)

1/3 cup liquid starch from the laundry aisle

Mix the glue, watercolors, and glitter in a bowl.

Add the starch in slowly, kneading with your hands. (It is sticky at first, but I promise it gets better.)

Once the two are done you can break them up into small sections so each student gets one. If you have a little blue and a little green for each student, they can roll them together to make a ball that looks like Earth!

***Do not put the blobs on paper! They absorb the paper, and you will never get it back…

***Save an extra blob for a lesson on gravity! They spread out and roll off a table ledge showing off the force of gravity.

Need more lessons and resources to teach more in-depth about our Earth? Click any image below to get that set!

Suggested Teaching Materials Related to Earth Day:

Need more lessons and resources to teach more in-depth about our Earth? Click any image below to get that set!

Biomes Stations and Task Cards cover  Slide1  Slide1  Slide1naturalresources2  sem3  Slide1

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