This Digital Earth Day lesson plan asks students to approach Earth Day in several ways. They will research pollution, Earth Day, and similar ideas; complete a pre-writing activity; write a narrative from the point of view of litter or pollution; and close with a writing prompt that relates to their lives. It takes me 5-6 days for completion of this activity.
Task cards allow students to reflect about the environment in their lives and their influence on the Earth. This can be taught separately or in conjunction with the main activity. Answer keys are included as well as websites to get students started.
The main activity is the creative writing exercise. Students get two choices with the Earth Day Writing Activity: first they will choose from twenty pictures of pollution/litter and then choose from ten writing prompts. Once they have decided, they will write a narrative that encourages creativity in writing from the perspective of an inanimate object.
Included are thirty-four pictures from five different states. Using real pictures helps students see the impact pieces of paper, plastic, glass, factory smoke, and other debris have on the environment. Feel free to share these pictures digitally with your students.
★ A list of common core standards addressed in the lesson.
★ An opening activity that includes 30 task cards. Students will define general words (garbage patch, global footprint) and research questions pertaining to Earth Day.
★ Twenty pictures in jpeg format. The pictures depict real-life pollution.
★ A list of ten possible writing prompts that vary in difficulty and concept.
★ A prewriting sheet.
★ Detailed lesson plans that walk through the writing process.
★ A rubric.
★ Four reflective task cards.
This assignment is a wonderful way to create empathy with students about environmental issues. It also implements the writing process, and it has tools to address the process. I upload all of the materials to my Google Classroom and share them with students. If you do not want to share the task cards, the same material is in an editable document that you may share with students.
Finally, students will stretch their writing brains by writing from a unique perspective.