Earth Day Activities for First Grade (Freebie)

I always LOVE when I come across a blog post that details a week’s worth of plans and so I wanted to share with you all what I did for Earth Day this year.

Here is a snapshot of my lesson plans:
On Monday I started off with accessing my kiddos prior knowledge by discussing why we celebrate Earth Day. In our discussion I then connected it to our discussion about non-renewable resources. It’s amazing what first graders can come up with on how we can help Earth! I was impressed and excited about the kiddos in my classroom.
On Tuesday I introduced the idea of “Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle”. We then talked about what each of those mean.
Reduce- make less of
Reuse- use again and again
Recycle- make something old into someone new
At my school we are lucky enough to have a Brain Pop, Jr. subscription… but lucky for anyone who doesn’t, their “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” video is free to access for anyone! :) Check it out here!
After we watched the video, we took the quiz and discussed the questions/answers.
To practice our new found knowledge on Reducing, Reusing, and Recycling, we did a sorting activity on the SmartBoard. My kids absolutely loved it! I found pictures of all different kinds of items and the kids had to pick a picture and tell what they could do with it.
Wednesday was my FAVORITE day of the week. I brought in a bunch of recycling and trash items for us to sort through (jars, plastic bottles, cardboard boxes, pizza boxes, Styrofoam cups, diapers, paper towels, Kleenex, candy wrappers, soda cans). I divided the class into 3 teams and each team had to sort the items into the recycle bin and the trash can. The teams not competing turned to face the wall so they couldn’t copy. I timed them and also counted the number of items sorted wrong (but I didn’t tell them which items). They had a combined score of seconds spent sorting and # wrong and the team with the lowest score won. Lots of explaining, but the kids had SO MUCH FUN!!

 I then had them pick 5 items for each side and they drew and illustrated them.

Thursday I actually had a sub, so the students watched a video on Discovery Education about Earth Day and then completed an Earth Day Flip Book from The First Grade Parade.
On Friday I did a combo art/writing activity. I always love doing art and nonfiction writing on Fridays to culminate and assess all the learning we did. This cute craftivity is pretty common on Pinterest and blogland, so I’m sure you’ve seen it, but here are a few of my sweet babies’ work:


I can help our Earth by clean up the naberhood. I can nisely tell people to pick up this litter. I can clean up the world.”

“I can help our Earth by picking up trash and litter. I can use paper bags. I can reuse.”

And then there is that sweet cutie with a green hand!
I’m pretty impressed with the things my kiddos came up with. It makes me a proud teacher!
FREEBIE: Click below for a download of my Earth Day writing paper!

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