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Next Generation Science Standard (NGSS) addressed in this packet:
Grade K: Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems: Animals, Plants, and the Environment
K-ESS3-3: Communicate solutions that will reduce the impact of humans on the land, water, air, and/or other living things in the local environment
Every year, America and over 100 different countries join together in the celebration of Earth Day on April 22nd. Earth Day is the largest, most celebrated environmental event worldwide. On Earth Day, we remember to appreciate nature and learn ways to protect our environment. This packet is about taking care of our Earth. It can be used for Earth Day but Earth Day is really every day!! So it can be used at any time throughout the year! We must teach our children how to take care of our planet and they will in turn teach their families!
Project the 6 scenarios in this packet onto your classroom whiteboard to facilitate class discussion on how we can minimize human impact on the environment. Each scenario shows a “before” picture and an “after” picture. Discuss with your class – what happened, why did it happen, why is this bad for our Earth, and is there a better way? Example: “Before” picture is a forest, “After” picture is a home with just one tree next to it. What happened? The trees were cut down to make room for the house. Why is this bad for the Earth? Loss of oxygen from trees, loss of absorption of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, loss of animal habitat, loss of the beauty of nature. (Teacher info sheet included to help you discuss each scenario with your students). Is there a better way? Yes! Cut down as little trees as possible. Plant a tree for every tree you cut down. Build a smaller structure. Other scenarios in the packet to discuss: rainforest clearing, cars and pollution, ocean dumping, landfills, recycling, and saving electricity.
Which home to build? Student activity and worksheet – 1 set is made up of 5 pieces to laminate: 1 forest sheet and 4 homes. I have students use the sets in pairs. Students must use the forest and the homes to figure out how many trees need to be cut down to build each home. They then must determine which home will have the least human impact on the environment. Students can independently work on this and fill out the corresponding worksheet.
After this, have your students make a cute little mini-booklet out of just one piece of paper! Pattern and instructions provided. Booklet includes 6 pages on ways we can take care of our Earth.
Have your students create Rainbow Forest and use this beautiful creation to teach about the environment. I tell my students that humans must sometimes change the environment (to build homes, roads, stores, hospitals, etc.) but we must do so in as responsible a way as possible. Every student makes one tree that is home to one bird, one bug, and one mammal. It is a very visual way to show human impact on the environment and to help kids think – when we need to build, should we cut down all the trees in the forest? Or just what we need? Directions on exactly how to create Rainbow Forest along with photo examples of my class’s creation are included: how to make the trees, directed drawing instructions for making the bird, the bug, and the mammal, 3 follow up worksheets and discussion questions included as well.
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Please note: these units are for the use of one educator.
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Sue from Science for Kids :)