Seeing the World Through Green Colored Glasses: Earth Day

It was a marvellous day in 2nd grade today! Today was Earth Day and I was ready!  I was armed with lots of fun and lots of learning to teach our precious young ones what it means to protect our environment.  I am using The Earth is Yours and Mine this week as well as a few little things I had up my sleeves and I am going to share them with you!

We started the day with a little coloring contest - a way to settle my students in after a 4 day weekend. I played a lovely cd that I had purchased for my multiculturalism unit and I thought it was fitting because after all - we all live in this world. (link below)  It was a little busy because it was a festival so they didn't really hear it that much.  The kids LOVED it! The room was quiet.

We started this week by learning where paper comes from. I was very surprised to see how little the students knew about what was made out of paper.  Once we got over the "paper airplanes" and discussed things that we needed (although we did agree we'd miss paper airplanes if there was no more paper), some good ideas started to spring up.

We then watched a little snipit video about Earth and why we should care for it. It was really cute. Two kids actually stood up on their own and took the pledge... unfortunately this little video only captured 1 on the list of 8 important things. I'm on the search for the rest of the videos.  If you find them let me know!  It is called Earth Day Video for Kids by School Tube.

After this we read a great little book called Emeraldalicious - yes, the one and only Pinkalicious goes green.

It was a great book for girls and boys because there is a boy character in it and they both have fun using a magic wand to make things green. When the wand catches the wind and flies away, the kids wonder how they will continue to make everything green.  This was a great time to reinforce making inferences with the kids.  Of course, the children can make things green by planting things and picking up garbage! Tomorrow's lesson will be on just that!

After recess we did "Earth Math" and it proved to be very tricky! There were many different ways of trying to figure out this problem. We used the doc camera to discuss the different ways. I purposely chose a harder question to keep the kids thinking.

I incorporated a writing activity into this lesson and some students started the lesson with the language aspect.  It's nice to show how Math is real life!
If you would like a copy of this to try - click  HERE.

It was then GYM time!  We played Save the Animals.  I picked one student to be the animal and the rest went to the other side of the gym.  Students were shown the hand symbols for things animals need.  Hands above your head in a triangle shape (house) meant SHELTER, hands over mouth meant WATER and hands on tummies meant FOOD.  The animal turns around so as not to see and says, "Animals need....(pause)  WATER!"  Then the animal turns around and runs towards any one child who shows what they called out and they bring them back to the other side.  Now there are 2 animals looking for shelter, water, food.  As the process continues there ends up being more animals than needs and the balance goes back and forth with students running back and forth. If the animal calls one and only one person represents that, then all the students run towards that one need. Only one can win just like in the real animal kingdom so the rest have to stay on the needs side.

Finally, it was the end of the day and I had this brain storm so I scrapped my original painting Earth project and designed some eye glasses to go with the Emeraldalicious book.  I picked up some pipe cleaners and green cellophane and got to work designing these little gems on my prep.  You'll need a front and back and a rectangle of green cellophane to glue it together like a sandwich.  Then you just trim the green away.  I used a hole punch to attach the pipe cleaner.  I called it "Seeing the World Through Green Colored Glasses". Grab the free template HERE. The kids had a blast making them and wearing them home.

Well, I think I might have had the most fun of all but shhhh! Don't tell them.

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