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Earth Day Activities for Upper Elementary

Earth Day is one of my favorite days to recognize in the classroom. No matter where your students are on their learning journey, they will be able to connect with and elaborate on their thoughts and feelings about protecting the Earth. This post includes some of my favorite activities for 4th and 5th graders for Earth Day.

EARTH DAY ACTIVITY #1: Minds on Read Aloud Books

Never underestimate the power of a picture book, even in upper elementary! Two of my favorite books include:

a) All That Trash: This is an engaging narrative story about a massive bag of trash that is looking for a place to go! Told from multiple points of views, with funny illustrations and supplementary materials for post-reading; you can use this story as a whole class read that your students will likely read again later independently!

b) One Plastic Bag: An excellent example of how one person can make a difference, this true story will teach your students about a problem that faced the people of Njau, Gambia and the solution created by Isatou Ceesay.

EARTH DAY ACTIVITY #2: Nonfiction Readings Breakout

A Teacher Pay Teachers best seller, this activity includes 4 readings about:

- pollution - recycling - composting and - renewable and non-renewable resources

Each reading comes with a puzzle that challenges students to recall the main ideas and supporting details provided in each reading or make inferences about what they learned. As students correctly complete each puzzle, they receive two letter clues that are needed to solve a joke at the end!

This activity is available in both print and digital versions and is perfect for April! I like to use one reading a day leading up to Earth Day!

EARTH DAY ACTIVITY #3: Google Earth Scavenger Hunt

Teach or review Google App skills with these FUN digital challenges! To play:

1) In Google Slides, students are given latitude and longitude coordinates that they must copy and paste into Google Earth.

2) Then, they travel across the world and must determine the major city they land in! Each Google Slide comes with a link to a Google Form where they will confirm where they are in the world. If they are correct, students will earn letter clues they need to solve a joke at the end!

3) Finally, students must navigate to "street view" and take a screenshot of a landmark of their choosing and paste it into the Google Slides digital notebook.

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