Earth Day has been celebrated for 51 years and I always make a point of including it in my middle school curriculum. Here are some Earth Day activities for your middle schoolers:
- Plant a tree. If your school property has room, buy a few seedlings from a local nursery and have students plant them. (Better yet, have the seedlings donated.) If space is a problem, plant annual flowers around the entrance to the school. Send kids home with seedlings or small potted plants. Nice segue into Mothers Day and Arbor Day as well!
- Learn about climate change. There’s no doubt that climate change is one of the biggest challenges to science this year. Have students research evidence of climate change so they can be armed against naysayers. Have groups of students research the impacts climate change has on your local ecosystem.
- Just for fun, include Earth Day images in your daily slides, Google forms and Google Classroom.
- Do a project. If you have some flexibility in your timing, allow students a few days to get to know about endangered animals. I do an endangered animals problem based activity that kids love. Begin by having each student choose an endangered species and then researching the habitat, food, and other needs of their species. Then, students research why their species is endangered. Finally, students draw an ideal habitat to preserve their species. As extensions, students can create flyers to promote their habitat as an exhibit in a zoo and can calculate how long it will take for their species to be delisted from the Endangered Species List.
- Play a game. For a single day Earth Day activity when timing is a challenge, I often give my middle schoolers a day to learn about Earth Day in a digital escape activity. They find clues and solve puzzles, all while learning about Earth Day.
What do you do to celebrate Earth Day with your middle schoolers?