This Earth Day lesson plan asks students to approach Earth Day in several ways. They will write about their impact on the Earth, complete a web search of pollution and Earth Day focused ideas, and write a narrative from the point of view of litter or pollution.
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.
A web search encourages students to look at details surrounding Earth Day. Students will search for the history, purpose, and main definitions of Earth Day. This too can be done independently or in conjunction with the main activity.
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.
I took the pictures in two different states, Illinois and Florida. Some are on the beach and others are rural. Using real pictures helps students see the impact pieces of paper, plastic, glass, factory smoke, and other debris have on the environment. It includes:
* 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 answer 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.
* A cover sheet and three different notebook pages for students' final drafts.
* 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. Finally, students will stretch their writing brains by writing from a unique perspective.