“The environment is where we all meet; where all have a mutual interest; it is the one thing all of us share.” —Lady Bird Johnson

50 years ago, our nation celebrated the very first Earth Day. On April 22, 1970, roughly 20 million Americans gathered in cities across the country to protest against pollution, the extinction of wildlife, devastating oil spills, and the loss of America’s wilderness areas, among other issues. Demonstrations were organized on thousands of colleges and university campuses, and the modern environmental movement was born. The first Earth Day helped pave the way for the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts. 

Today, as we continue to address issues of environmental justice, global warming, and the long-term effects of industrialization, it is more vital than ever to learn about ways to conserve resources and be engaged stewards of the Earth. There are so many amazing resources available to inspire and inform students on this milestone Earth Day. Below is a cross-disciplinary roundup of activities, learning tools, and events that can be enjoyed at home.

  • The official EarthDay.org website has great resources and ideas for celebrations, including a feature where users can find virtual events happening in their communities on Earth Day.
  • PBS Learning Media’s Youtube channel offers great videos about the first Earth Day, for both younger students and for older students. In addition, teachers can create lessons, assign puzzles, and give quizzes to their learners. Do a Youtube search for: PBS LEARNING MEDIA | Earth Day | PBS KIDS to find the videos!
  • The awesome offerings from the Smithsonian include historic Earth Day collection posters, buttons, stamps, and other environmental objects. In addition, students can view and send virtual Earth Day postcards to friends and family members.
  • This article highlights a collection of perfect podcasts to enjoy on Earth Day, and many were recorded for younger students.
  • TIME for Kids has provided free access to all of its 2020 content until the end of the school year. Included is the April issue, totally dedicated to Earth Day and geared toward early readers.
  • The National Park Service kicks off National Park Week on April 18th and has put together exciting digital offerings to celebrate “America’s Best Idea” and Earth Day. Young people can complete different activities and earn Junior Explorer status!

Pearson K12 Learning provides teachers and families with a robust collection of resources to implement distance learning. Among the offerings are award-winning K-8 Elevate Science, K-8 myWorld Interactive, and 9-12 Social Studies programs that provide a range of inquiry-based learning activities centered on scientific phenomena, environmental issues, the impact of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, and a detailing of the first Earth Day events.

How are you planning to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day this year? Connect with us on Social Media @PearsonPreK12 and use hashtag #TheScienceofDoing and let us know your plans! 

Continue reading > Earth Day: Changing How We Look At and Use Plastics 

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Meg Honey

Meg Honey

Director of Professional Learning Content

Note: Fresh Ideas for Teaching blog contributors have been compensated for sharing personal teaching experiences on our blog. The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any other agency, organization, employer or company.