Sunday, June 30, 2013

Favorites from the year: Earth Day

I love doing activities around Earth Day each year. This year I didn't get chance to do as much as usual but I'll share anyway.

One of the fun activities is "paper making." A couple of years ago a fabulous parent made the frames that I use during the process. Basically we grind up newspaper and construction paper scraps then add some extra water to make a good pulp. The kids put the screen through the wash tub with pulp, remove the top guide, flip it and then sponge the excess water away. Then they put it away to dry. The frame I have is the perfect size to fold into a card and then fit in the card envelopes from the office store. It was great that I had a couple of parents come and help with each class. That way we could work on other things while they waited for their turn.

Another activity that day was writing and recording group Earth Day videos using iMovie. The kids were divided into teams and they worked out who would be working on each section. This idea came from Heidi Raki. Here is the TpT file. Some of them came out really cute.

You can check out one of the videos (with the dangling puppet above) by clicking here.

One of my classes got a chance to make recycled items out of old stuff the day before Earth Day. To get inspired we read The Dumpster Diver. The kids had a chance to bring in old stuff that might be able to reused in some other way. I shared a bunch of examples of newspaper crafts and some of the kids ran with it making slippers, flowers and other items. A few students had something in mind they wanted to make and they scrounged what they needed. Other kids were just inspired by the stuff and came up with things on the fly. Each student (or team) wrote short "how to" directions for their item. A couple kids had enough time to create snap guides for their creations.

A neat activity that we didn't get to the this year is reading one of the Adventures of books and then writing about the life of another inanimate object from first person point of view.

So that's one favorite holiday from last year that I haven't written about yet. Hopefully some others will join in with Amanda too over at the Teaching Thief. What about you?



  1. You guys look like you had SO much fun doing this! I really wanted to do a project similar to this with my kiddos, but our research project on earth conservation went in a couple of different directions that I hadn't originally planned it to (I'm not the only one that happens to from time to time right?) We learned a ton, but they would have loved doing this! I'm definitely going to make sure we do it next year! I'm so excited to have found your blog and can't wait to see some of your great ideas, especially technology related, I'm constantly scouring blogs for tutorials and technology implementation in the classroom. My school is blessed to have iPads, laptops, and more so I'm definitely in need of some new tricks to show my kids! Have fun at your family reunion!

  2. Very cool! Love these activities! We did paper making in 4th grade 2 years ago, but we had a makeshift frame that was not as cool as your frames are! Thanks for sharing the books.

    Tales of Frogs and Cupcakes