Five Literacy-Based Ways to Celebrate Earth Day with Your Child
By: Reading Rockets (2013)
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Earth Day is an annual day dedicated to environmental awareness. Celebrations range from tree planting ceremonies to 5K runs to doing something simple around the house that benefits the environment. Earth Day provides parents with a terrific opportunity to talk with children about our responsibilities for taking care of our planet. Below are five ways you and your family can participate in Earth Day celebrations while also practicing reading and writing skills.
- Read a book! Dr. Seuss's book The Lorax may be one of the best known children's books about the environment and trees. Read The Lorax together. Talk about the difference between the land before and after the Once-ler arrived. Discuss ways the Lorax spoke for the trees and why it's important to speak up for something you believe in. (You might also want to check out our Lorax reading adventure pack with ideas for hands-on activities inspired by the book). The Giving Tree is another terrific children's book about a special friendship between a boy and a tree.
- Plant a tree! Learning how to choose the right tree or plant for your location involves reading and understanding the tags provided with plants. Work together to decipher the symbols related to amount of sunlight and water appropriate for a plant. Read to find out how much fertilizer is recommended and how deep to dig a hole. Your child will be learning and digging in the dirt at the same time!
- Write a poem! An acrostic poem is a quick and easy form of poetry. Simply write each letter of a word vertically, and fill in each line with something related to that topic. For Earth Day, children could use the words green, recycle, planet, or nature.
Trees provide shade in the summer
Really tall trees can grow to be 300 feet high
Erosion and air pollution are helped by trees
Every day should be an Earth Day!
- Go for a walk! One great family activity is to go on a nature walk in your neighborhood. As you walk, use a simple science journal to record any wildlife, animal tracks, insects, or interesting plants that you see. Draw pictures and write captions too.
- Give yourself a hand! Ask your child to trace a hand and cut it out. On each finger, your child can write one way he or she can help the Earth. Ideas might include turning off a light when leaving a room, shutting off the water when brushing teeth, or opening a window instead of using the air conditioner. Display your Earth Day hand on the refrigerator for all to see!
Regardless of the activity you choose, be sure to make this Earth Day the best one yet!