Teaching Earth Day for the first time this year, or need a quick guide to the 2023 holiday? Read on for tips from our teacher team!
When Is Earth Day 2023?Earth Day is held on the same day each year, which means this year the holiday will be on April 22, 2023. This is Saturday, so students will not be in school, but you can celebrate being kind to our mother earth before the holiday or after!
What Is the Theme of Earth Day 2023?Following the Earth Day theme — chosen annually by EarthDay.org — can help you focus your lesson planning to save time and have the greatest impact on your students. The 2023 theme is Invest In Our Planet. As EarthDay.org President Kathleen Rodgers explains, "In 2023 we must come together again in partnership for the planet. Businesses, governments, and civil society are equally responsible for taking action against the climate crisis and lighting the spark to accelerate change towards a green, prosperous, and equitable future."
How Do You Explain Earth Day to a Child?Depending on the grade level you are teaching this school year, explaining the state of our planet can be a challenge. So how do you touch on the importance of being green and sustainability in kid-friendly ways? First, you may want to consider why it's so important that our students learn about Earth Day in the first place. Earth Day is an important opportunity for children to learn about the environment, the importance of conservation and sustainability, and to understand their role as active citizens. Among the issues kids are learning when you teach about Earth Day in the classroom:
- Environmental education: Learning about Earth Day helps students understand the importance of protecting the environment and preserving natural resources for future generations.
- Climate change: Understanding the impacts of climate change and how to reduce carbon footprint can be started in elementary school and have a real impact as kids grow up
- Active citizenship: Children learning about Earth Day are learning about how they can make a difference in their own community, such as recycling, conserving energy, and protecting endangered species.
- Interdependence: Learning about Earth Day also helps children understand how everything in the world is interconnected, and how our actions can have a direct impact on the planet.
- Encouraging curiosity and creativity: Earth Day promotes curiosity and creativity in children, leading them to want to explore and learn more about the world around them.
What Can Students Do on Earth Day?This collection is full of activities you can use with your students this Earth Day, and here are some things elementary schools can do to mark this important annual event:
- Planting a garden: Create a school garden, and teach children about the benefits of plants, flowers, and trees.
- Clean-Up: Organize a clean-up event to pick up litter in the school's community.
- Recycling: Encourage children to recycle by setting up recycling stations around the school or in your classroom.
- Energy Conservation: Educate students about energy conservation and encourage them to turn off lights and unplug electronics when they're not in use.
- Nature walk: Organize a nature walk around the school or in a nearby park. Your class can learn about different types of plants and animals while they enjoy fresh air.
- Guest speaker: Invite an expert to speak to the class about environmental issues and what kids can do to help.
- Art project: Children can make artwork using recycled materials and learn about how these items can be transformed into something new and beautiful.
- Science experiment: Have children conduct a science experiment related to an environmental issue and learn about how we can make a difference