Since 1970, in the face of rising pollution and growing concerns over environmental issues, April 22 has been celebrated as Earth Day. This is a great chance to teach your students about the value of the planet they live on and how to protect it, while also incorporating some fun craft projects to help your students remember the lessons they’ve learned.
Here are some ideas to get you started!
1. Rock Animals
Some of the easiest things to find when exploring nature are rocks! Encourage your students to collect a number of rocks and arrange them into the shapes of animals. They can then use white craft glue or cement glue to secure the rocks together before decorating with acrylic or tempera paint. Extra details like tails and whiskers can be added using craft materials such as coffee stirrers or pipe cleaners. You could incorporate their rock animals into a lesson about erosion and why rocks come in so many shapes and sizes.
2. Tissue Cherry Blossom Branches
After a cold snap it can be hard to find many leaves or flowers to use in crafts. Why not collect some fallen twigs and branches instead? Use this project to teach your class about how the seasons affect trees. Encourage your students to think about the different shapes of leaves and flowers, and teach them about how they can use the shapes to identify different types of tree. Then highlight the lesson by encouraging your students to give the branches back their blossoms!
Using pink tissue paper and white glue, your class can affix tufts of tissue to different points on the branches to look like cherry blossoms. Stand the decorated branches in jam jars or small vases for lovely, homemade decorations.
3. Seashell Wind Chimes
Something most children love to do when visiting the seaside is collect shells. These beautiful treasures make lovely keepsakes as they are, but they’re excellent for use in crafts, too! Carefully make small holes in the shells using thin nails and a small hammer. Then the shells can be strung together to make a necklace, or even tied onto embroidery thread and hung up to create beautiful wind chimes. The frame for the chimes can be made using a wooden hoop or a pair of wooden dowels tied together into a cross-shape.
4. Treasure Bowls
Why not finish off a lesson on looking after the environment by encouraging your students to decorate a bowl with pictures of their favorite things in nature and what they can do to protect them. When they’re done, they will not only have a reminder of their lesson, but a useful keepsake in which they can place the natural treasures they collect while exploring outside.
Learning about the importance of looking after the environment is an important part of every child’s education. Your students will be growing up with a strong desire to preserve the natural things around them, so you are teaching them to preserve a healthy, beautiful world for their own futures.
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