Looking to celebrate Earth Day in your classroom this year? I did a little research for you and now you can share some facts along with a free download activity in the free album What is Earth Day?

We all know Aesop’s fable, The Ants & the Grasshopper, where a family of ants bustles about all summer and autumn storing up grain for winter while a whimsical grasshopper wastes his days making music in the sunshine. As summer turns to late autumn, grasshopper finds himself fiddle under arm but without any food to eat. He invested his time foolishly and now it’s too late.  

That’s kind of the idea for this year’s Earth Day theme, Invest in Our Planet. We need to invest in our planet now before it’s too late. Just like the ants and the grasshopper, we all make choices that affect our future. For most students, however, the ‘future’ is some distant and irrelevant concept. So, to get your students geared up for Earth Day 2022, why not try this little experiment?

Now or Later Earth Day Experiment:

Step 1: Set two boxes in front of the students and label the boxes as below.

  • Box A- large box labeled: Can Open Immediately 
  • Box B- very small box labeled: Can Open After 1 Hour of Working

Step 2: Add the following notes inside each of the boxes:

  • Box A- large box- 1 minute of student free time
  • Box B- very small box- 15 minutes of student free time (or recess)

Step 3: Have students write down their choice. Box A or Box B?

  • Discuss students’ choices.
  • What did they decide?
  • Why?
  • Is their reward immediate or in the future? 
  • Reveal the messages inside the boxes.
  • Discuss lessons to be learned.
  • Immediate reward vs. delayed gratification
  • Appearance vs. reality (big vs. small)
  • Things aren’t always what they seem.

The idea of making good choices now to reap rewards later is an important part of this year’s Earth Day theme, Invest in Our Planet. Before considering specific ways to invest students’ time and efforts, first have them explore the history of Earth Day along with some Rockin’ Resources Earth Day resources!

What is Earth Day?

The environmental anniversary known as Earth Day has taken place each year on April 2022 since its origin in 1970.  The origins of the holiday are traced to a growing amount of pollution that took place in the United States of America in the decades leading up to the 1970s. Automobiles, industrial corporations, and other sources produced and emitted gases and smokes that were harmful to the atmosphere. The state of the environment concerned Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin, especially following an oil spill in Santa Barbara, California. Senator Nelson began a teach-in at colleges alongside Dennis Hayes, a young activist. The men chose to conduct the first of these events on April 22nd. Later, the title of these teach-ins was changed to “Earth Day”, and they attracted national attention. Americans everywhere began to lead demonstrations and protests addressing environmental destruction. In 1990, the holiday became a worldwide event.  Today, Earth Day serves as the largest secular event in the world, as more than a billion people recognize its anniversary each year. 

Download this summary now in my Rockstar VIP Freebie Album!

Like the grasshopper in Aesop’s fable, if we only worry about right now, we might be out of luck tomorrow. As citizens of Earth, we must invest wisely now. Here are some fun ideas:

  • Hold a ‘sustainable’ fashion show. (using donated, gently loved clothes)
  • Organize an ‘upcycled’ art or invention fair. (using old objects in new ways)  
  • Do regular ‘trash walks’ around school to pick up litter.
  • Research and plant a tree in honor of Earth. 
  • Grow a vegetable garden. 
  • Compost
  • Create a plant-based recipe book (to encourage meatless eating which reduces carbon emissions from animal farms). 
  • Walk or ride a bike instead of riding in a car. 
  • Take shorter showers.
  • Drink from reusable bottles.
  • Turn off lights when leaving a room.
  • Unplug appliances if not in use.
  • Wash laundry in cold water (to save on having to use energy to heat water).
  • Use cloth bags for groceries.  

I hope you found some ideas you can use to ROCK Earth Day this year! For more tips, see below, and check out my Amazon Book List.

Keep Rockin’,