April 22, 2006

April 22, 2006 marks the 37th Earth Day in the United States.  It is a great opportunity for History-Social Science classes to get involved in a service-learning project dedicated to renewing and preserving the environment. Below are ideas for observing Earth Day at your school and for pursuing an Earth Day service- learning project. The sites have been selected as the best for the social studies classroom. Most of the activities integrate history-social science and science content and do it in such a manner that the learning is meaningful and motivating for students.
Margaret Hill, Ph.D.
Director, SCORE H-SS


Ten Ways You Can Make Earth Day Matter
This World Wildlife site has ideas for observing Earth Day throughout the year.

Climate Change Solutions: What You can Do Right Now
Here are a few simple changes that can save energy and maybe save the earth.

Ecological Footprint Quiz
The multiple languages available for this quiz underscore the idea that the environment is a global issue and that the actions of each one of us across the world matter.

Earth Day In A Box
Here is all you need to organize an Earth Day program related to climate change.  The materials will work any time during the year for an environmental club or a service-learning project.

Earth Day Trash Survey
As part of Earth Day clean up activities, students will inventory the types of garbage that they picked up and generate statistics on what they found. Students will then develop a survey to be distributed to other classrooms to see what type of garbage they were most likely to find. For Earth Day they will collect, organize, analyze, and describe data in a real-world situation. Then they will make inferences and convincing arguments based on data analysis and formulate reports suggesting an action plan to address a problem in the community.

Earth  Portal for U.S. Government Events and Information
Earth Day is a time to celebrate gains we have made and create new visions to accelerate environmental progress. Earth Day is a time to unite around new actions. Earth Day and every day is a time to act to protect our planet.

Environmental Protection Agency: Lessons on the Environment for the Classroom
Need activity ideas for your unit on water quality? Interested in teaching pollution prevention concepts? On this page, you will find curricula and activities on a variety of environmental topics. Explore these links and find creative ways to teach your students about the environment or find an activity for your environment club.

CREEC Network (California Regional Environmental Education Community)
The California Regional Environmental Education Community (CREEC) Network is an educational project supported by the California Department of Education, Environmental Education Program, in collaboration with state, regional and local partners.  The CREEC Network is the best source for Environmental Education resources in California.

Environment Lessons from A to Z Teacher Stuff
Here are 11 units of study focused on topics appropriate for Earth Day. Recycling, water, and oil spills are major topics of the units. The unit “Be Accountable for your Environment” is good for integrating history-social science and science.

What on Earth Are You Doing for Earth Day?
Here is a list of classroom activities from discussing, to graphing, to developing a joke book that will generate interest in Earth Day.

Earth Day Every Day
This lesson demonstrates how classroom and community projects can improve the local environment and benefit communities beyond one's own. Students will discuss environmental concerns, analyze these concerns, and offer practical remedies. Students will conclude by devising a project to implement the remedies and share the results with classrooms around the world.

Earth Day
The Wilderness Society maintains a web site devoted to Earth Day activities and information.

From Arbor Day to Earth Day
From Arbor Day to Earth Day asks students to analyze the influence of diverse forms of public opinion on the development of environmental public policy and decision making from the early industrial age through the postwar era. Students will understand the effects of rapid industrialization on the environment and the emergence of the conservation movement and then compare it to the modern environmental movement.

History of Earth Day
The first Earth Day in 1970 rallied over 20 million Americans from around the country and on college campuses to get involved in environmental "teach-ins." This event, which was the largest grassroots mobilization in U.S. history, created what has come to be known as the environmental movement. It was out of this event that came the first environmental legislation – the Clean Air and Water Acts.

Mr. Donn’s Keeping Our Planet Green
Here are tested classroom activities for Earth Day and Arbor Day International Earth Day from topics on plants and trees to ways to reduce and recycle trash.

Service-Learning and History Social Science
Service learning is a teaching and learning approach that integrates community service with academic study to enrich learning, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities. Effective service learning engages students not only in doing a project, but in reflection about what they experienced, what public policies were involved, how the community was benefited, and what was learned.

Children's Literature with Environmental Themes

This list was adapted from a bibliography compiled by Nancy Andersen, Librarian OLCS, Erie, PA and Susan Miceli, Children's Services Manager, ECPL, Erie, PA

Albert, Richard E. Alejandro's Gift. Chronicle Books, 1996.

Allsburg, Chris Van. Just a Dream. Houghton Mifflin Co, 1990.

Arnosky, Jim. Guide to Knowing Animal Habitats. New York: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers, 1997

Baker, Jeannie. Where the Forest Meets the Sea. William Morrow & Company, 1988.

Bang, Molly. Common ground: The Water, Earth and Air We Share.  Blue Sky Press, 1997.

Bjork, Christina. Linnea in Monet's Garden.  R&S Books, 1985.

Bornstein, Ruth Lercher. Rabbit's Good News. Clarion Books, 1995.

Bowden, Marcia. Nature for the Very Young A Handbook of Indoor and Outdoor Activities.  John Wiley and Sons, Inc, 1989.

Brenner, Barbara. The Earth Is Painted Green : A Garden of Poems About Our Planet. Scholastic Trade, 2000.

Brown, Craig. In the Spring. Greenwillow Books, 1994.

Brown, Ruth. Toad. Dutton Children's Books, 1997.

Bunting, Eve. Secret Place. Clarion Books, 1996.

Burningham, John. Hey! Get Off Our Train. Crown Publishing, 1989.

Carson, Rachel. The Sense of Wonder. HarperCollins, 1998 (reprint).

Cherry, Lynn. The Great Kapok Tree.  Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1990.

Cowcher, Helen. Jaguar. Scholastic Books, 1997.

DeFelice, Cynthia. Lostman's River. Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 1994.

Ehlert, Lois. Snowballs. Harcourt Brace, 1995.

Fleming, Denise. In the Small Small Pond. Henry Holt, 1993.

Fleming, Denise. In the Tall Tall Grass. Henry Holt, 1991

Fleming, Denise. Time to Sleep. Henry Holt and Co, 1997.

Fleming, Denise. Where Once There Was a Wood. Henry Holt & Co., 1996.

Fife, Dale H. The Empty Lot.  Sierra Club Books, 1991.

Friedman, Pamela. Earth Day Activities. Teacher Created Materials

Gallivan, Marion. F. Fun for Kids II An Index to Children's Craft Books.  The Scarecrow Press, 1992.

George, Jean Craighead. Dear Rebecca, Winter is Here. Harper Collins, 1993.

George, Jean Craighead. The Firebug Connection. An Ecological Mystery. Harper Collins, 1993.

George, Jean Craighead. Who Really Killed Cock Robin? An Ecological Mystery.  E.P.Dutton, Inc, 1971.

George, Lindsey Barrett. In the Snow: Who's Been Here? Greenwillow Books, 1995.

Gibbons, Whit and Gibbons, Anne R.  Ecoviews - Snakes, Snails and Environmental Tales. University of Alabama Press, 1998.

Glaser, Linda. Wonderful Worms. Millbrook Press, 1992.

Goldberg, Jake. Rachel Carson (Junior World Biographies).  Chelsea Juniors, 1992.

Hall, Zoe. The Apple Pie Tree.  Blue Sky Press, an imprint of Scholastic, 1996.

Hiscock, Bruce. When Will it Snow? Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 1995.

Holling, Holling C. Paddle to the Sea. Houghton Mifflin, 1941.

Kroll, Virginia. The Seasons and Someone. Harcourt Brace, 1994.

Luenn, Nancy. Mother Earth. Atheneum, 1992.

MacLachlan, Patricia. All the Places to Love. HarperCollins, 1994.

Martin, Bill Jr. & Archambautt, John. Listen to the Rain. Henry Holt and Co, 1988.

Martin, Jacqueline Briggs. Washing the Willow Tree Loon. Simon & Schuster Juvenile, 1995.

McCloskey, Robert. Time of Wonder. New York: Viking Press, 1957.

O'Callahan. Jay. Herman and Marguerite: An Earth Story. Peachtree Publishing, 1996.

O'Donnell, Elizabeth Lee. Winter Visitors. New York: Morrow Jr. Books, 1997.

Parker, Philip. Your Wild Neighborhood (Project Eco-City). Thompson Learning, 1995.

Parker, Steve.  Pond and River. Eyewitness Books. Alfred A. Knopf, 1988.

Peet, Bill. The Wump World. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1970.

Peters, Lisa Westberg. October Smiled Back. Henry Holt and Co, 1996.

Pfeffer, Wendy. A Logs' Life. Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers, 1997.

Polacco, Patricia.  I Can Hear the Sun. A Modern Myth. Philomel Books, 1996.

Showers, Paul. Where Does the Garbage Go? Harper Trophy, 1994.

Silverstein, Shel. The Giving Tree. HarperCollins Juvenile Books, 1997 (reprint).

Seuss, Dr. The Lorax.  Random House, 1971.

Siddals, Mary McKenna. Tell Me a Season. Clarion Books, 1997.

Tafuri, Nancy. Do Not Disturb. Greenwillow, 1987.

Tamar, Erika. The Garden of Happiness. Harcourt Brace, 1996

Willard, Nancy. A Starlit Somersault Downhill. Little Brown and Company, 1993.

Wood, Douglas. Northwoods Cradle Song: A Menominee Lullaby. Aladdin Paperbacks, 1996.

Yolen, Jane. Owl Moon. Philomel Books, 1987.

Zoehfeld, Kathleen. Ladybug at Orchard Avenue. Sound Prints, 1996

Zolotow, Charlotte. When the Wind Stops. HarperCollins Juvenile Books, 1997

Zolotow, Charlotte. Over and Over. HarperCollins Children's Books, 1995.