Did you know that Earth Day is on a Friday this year? That means you can be prepared for a week long study with your students on ways to help the environment. Here are a few helpful books and resources to get you started!
Like most primary teachers, I build background knowledge using picture books (both fiction and nonfiction). Here are some books I like to share:
- Rocket Says Clean Up
- Let’s Celebrate Earth Day
- I Can Save the Earth
- Compost Stew
- Earth! My First 4.54 Billion Years
- Cam Jansen and the Green School Mystery
- Ready, Freddy! Save the Earth!
- Earth Day from the Black Lagoon
- Nate the Great and the Earth Day Robot
- Fly Guy Presents: Garbage and Recycling
- Earth Day (Rookie Readers)
- The Great Kapok Tree
- Dear Earth…From Your Friends in Room 5
- The Earth Book
- Thank You, Earth
- Dr. Jon Jon Saves the Moon
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I also like to have an anchor chart prepared and ready to collect our ideas as we read:
As we read, I record ideas and information that students share on our anchor chart. Since I often tie our writing lessons into themes and holidays, students use this as a reference tool during the writing block, too:
When I have a full week to focus on an upcoming holiday, I also tend to choose a chapter book for read aloud or for my guided reading groups. I have two kid-friendly novels to share with you!
First up is Cam Jansen and The Green School Mystery:
First and second graders love finding out just how this super-sleuth will solve her next case. Throughout the week students are reading this book they might be doing comprehension checks after each chapter.
We also focus on vocabulary from the text. I print vocabulary cards on bright paper so the words stand out in the pocket chart.
Once we have finished reading the text, we will play a little memory game with the words. I print a second set of vocabulary cards on a different color. The game seems easy, right? Nope! When the kids find a match, they must be able to either give a definition or use the word correctly in a sentence to keep the pair of cards!
When using this book as a read aloud, a graphic organizer is a wonderful tool to keep students focused on their purpose for reading. Since Cam Jansen books are part of the mystery genre, students can focus their attention on the suspects, clues, and details about the mystery along the way.
All of these items (and so much more) can be found in this pack:
Next up is Ready, Freddy! Save the Earth.
Freddy is a boy many students can relate to and find connections with. Like the Cam Jansen series, you can monitor comprehension after each chapter. Sometimes we write the answers and sometimes I use them to get a book discussion going.
You can find all of these resources (and much more) in this pack:
Sometimes you just need a little something extra, especially when a holiday is involved. Do you remember those freebies I promised? Here you go!
First up is an ABC order page. This one has students working on looking to the second and third letter to determine the correct order.
Next up is a word search. You can liven things up by letting your students use blue and green crayons!
Since April is poetry month, I’ve included an Earth Day acrostic poem template. I suggest doing a whole class brainstorm on an anchor chart first. You can use any of the books mentioned above to gather vocabulary and action words your students can use when writing their acrostic poem.
Here’s an example of a finished poem:
Take a look at even more ideas for Earth Day on my Pinterest board.
Enjoy your Earth Day!