Earth Day Education: Ideas to Save Our Planet For Students and Educators
Earth day is in April and many students, teachers, and parents want to combine education with being Green. There are several great ways that students can celebrate Earth day in April, and every day of the year, while learning at the same time. Here are a few suggestions from an Orange County private academic tutor (READ: “5 Books for the Nature Lover in You”).
Students can learn about being eco-friendly by doing a visual check of the house before leaving for school. Are all the lights off? Are unused appliances unplugged for the day? Students can also learn about saving water, especially in California, by remembering to turn off the faucet when brushing their teeth or by taking shorter showers in the morning. These things seem very simple, but it’s a great way for children to learn about the importance of preserving resources for our planet.
Walk instead of drive
This is a great way for parents to work on physical education and saving the planet with their children. In the car-dominated areas of Southern California, parents and children can take a walk to the local supermarket or park. Having students walk or ride their bikes improves physical education awareness while learning about the environment and pollution reduction.
Clean the beach
Teachers and parents can organize a ‘clean the beach’ day through the PTA or parents can take their children as a family. Younger children will be amazed how much waste is left on the beach and it will help them learn how to use the trash can and recycle bin more often when at home. It’s also a fun way to spend a day outside as a family (CLICK: “How Much Plastic Is in the Ocean? You Tell Me!”).
Do a botanical science experiment
Parents or teachers can purchase two different types of plants from the nursery, one that needs a lot of water in one that is drought resistant. They can set up the plants at home or in the classroom and demonstrate to younger children how much water is needed per day for each type of plant. When students have the opportunity to interact and participate, they’ll often retain the result of the experiment. Teachers can add in a lesson about Botany if they wish to extend the experience.
Parents who find that it’s getting too hot to conduct outdoor activities this spring, can participate in online research with their children. Students can look at different climates and sub-climates focusing on the micro-climate here in Southern California. They can learn about disappearing reservoirs, plants and animals that are native to our local environment, and learn about annual inches of rainfall & increasing temperature. Students with a creative flair can create a poster project were they print out pictures of plants and animals local to our environment and learn about how much water they need to thrive. Better yet, parents can encourage artistic skill by asking their kids to draw the plants and animals for their poster project.
Southern California is filled with beautiful foothills with family friendly hiking trails. Parents can take their kids on a short hike on the weekend so that they can see which types of plants thrive in a drought prone environment. Also, parents can discuss with their children the importance of conserving water and maintaining fire prevention in the natural landscape while on the hike (CLICK: “Best Hiking Trails in Orange County”).
Arrange a trip to the nursery
Teachers and parents can arrange to take children to the local plant nursery to study different types of botanicals and why some thrive in a desert-like climate, such as Southern California, and why others require additional water and shade (perhaps better suited to a cooler or more humid environment). Additionally, students can each take home a small plant and learn the specific amounts of water it will require to thrive. Parents who want to sneak in a little bit of creativity can bring a camera along for their children to photograph, and later draw, the different botanicals and succulents at the nursery.
No matter how teachers and parents choose to share Earth day with their students and children, it’s important that the younger generations understand the value of our natural resources and the importance of water conservation, recycling, and other ways of being Green in Southern California.
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