Engaging Earth Day Activities

Thursday, April 16, 2015

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I wanted to share an Earth Day activity with you. One thing I miss terribly about being a classroom teacher is that I don't get to do these types of activities much anymore.. I like this one so much that I had to borrow a classroom for about an hour!

Have you ever heard of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch? I was shocked to read about it. I can't believe I hadn't heard about it before. If you want to know more about it, check out this 2008 video done by Good Morning America.

We have Leveled Literacy Intervention in our district, which has a wide variety of short texts for students. One of them, They Voyage of the Plastiki by Myka-Lynne Sokoloff focuses on one environmentalist's voyage to raise awareness about the Great Garbage Patch. 

For those of you who have LLI, it's in the red kit (book #137). If you don't have access to this book, here are some other resources I found on the topic:

Here's what we did: 

We watched the GMA video as our introduction. The kids were SO engaged and had very strong opinions (we did a turn and talk after so they could get it all out!) 

I read The Voyage of the Plastiki aloud to the class. After reading (with lots of turn and talks) I broke the class into groups of four. Each group was given questions to answer on a large chart paper and a different colored marker to hold students accountable for contributing to the group work. 


  1. Write 3-5 facts you learned:
  2. What text features are included? How did they help you? (We're working on identifying and using text features, so this was a perfect review.)
  3. Why did David and his crew take the voyage? Was the voyage of the Plastiki worth it? Explain. 
  4. How can you help solve the problem of plastic pollution. 

The groups couldn't wait to share out their ideas! 

Need more? Keep reading for FREE Earth Day fun! 

I've blogged about Wonderopolis before, but I’m obsessed. It’s SO engaging! I was looking through and found 5 wonders that are perfect for Earth Day! Check them out below: 
What are you doing in your classroom for Earth Day? I'd love to hear other ideas!
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Theme: One Person Can Make a Difference

Sunday, April 5, 2015

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I've been having a hard time blogging since being out of the classroom, so I asked a few TPT friends for advice about how to get my blog up and running again. They had so many wonderful ideas! Since reading is my passion, I've decided to start a series dedicated to a theme of the month. 

Here it goes...
My first theme of the month! April: One person can make a difference

I recently attended a PD and was introduced to the book, Olivia’s Birds: Saving the Gulf. I was in complete awe that it was written by an eleven year old girl. If you've never read or heard of this book, click the cover to visit her website. 

Olivia heard about the Gulf oil spill and wanted to help. As most of us do when something of that nature happens. The difference is, when most people say “I’m just one person, how can I possibly make a difference?” Olivia took action and proved us all wrong. One person can make a difference, no matter how small (Thanks, Horton). It’s very true.

As teachers, sometimes I think we forget that. I know I do. With all of the pressure and stress, there are days when I wonder if I've made even the smallest difference in any child’s life. This book reminded me that each and every one of us has.
Our students also need to hear that one person, themselves included, can indeed make a difference. What a better time of year than Earth Day! Olivia’s birds has a fantastic Earth Day tie in.
Activities and Resources for Olivia’s Birds:
Other books with the theme One person can make a difference:

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