EARTH DAY LESSON PLAN
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Earth Day Lesson Plan

 

Students read curated stories, watch short films and analyze art about individuals who have made a difference in their environment, and consider the discussion questions. Resources are organized by grade level

Earth Day Lesson Plan
Credit: MY HERO

Earth Day Lesson Plans and Resources Curated for One Class Period 

30 Minute Earth Day Lesson Plans
Credit: MY HERO

"Words Have Power" Film and Lesson Plans Organized by Grade Level

Inspire Students - Watch the film Words Have Power and learn how 10-year-old Jaysa rallied the community with her speeches about how the power plant causes asthma and “so much suffering.” When they succeed in shutting down the plant, Jaysa concludes that “words have power!”

Included are the Young Voices for the Planet Lesson Plans Organized by Grade Level - focusing on social justice, leadership and empowerment. 

Words Have Power Social Justice Lesson Plan

By: Laura Nietzer

Impact of Plastic on Our Oceans: A short film for each grade level that explores the impact of plastic on our oceans. 

360 SEA PLASTIC

Hendrik S. Schmitt

High School: The Jetlagged and Plastic Pollution Coalition wants to show our addiction to plastics and raise awareness about the impact plastic waste has on the environment. (5:20 minutes run time)

Plastic Plague

Produced by:Jody Lemmon

Middle School: Plastic pollution is threatening the ocean's ecosystems, but we can work together to prevent further damage! (4:46 minutes run time)

MABON ‘The 8 year old activist’

Jack Davies

Upper Elementary Students: Our world has a serious ocean plastics problem. There are now a higher number of plastics in the ocean than the number of fish. (4:39 minutes run time)

The Plastic Perils of The Pacific

Produced by:Brandon & Carlene Strathmann

Younger Elementary Students: Pollution is not a species-specific problem. (4:00 minutes run time)


Discussion Questions: Adapt based on the age of students

1. Why is single-use plastic bad for the environment and oceans?

2. What changes need to be made to protect our food chain and the environment?

3. Where do you find single-use plastic? Look around your own home. What can you and your family do to make a difference?

Middle School: Read the story and watch the film to learn about Olivia who was inspired to make a difference after an oil spill.

Olivia's Birds and the Oil Spill

Produced by:Lynne Cherry

Young Olivia loves birds, and creates over 500 paintings of her feathered friends to raise funds for Audubon's bird rescue.

Olivia Bouler

By: Betty Bailey

Olivia raised funds for Audubon's bird rescue. This story has text with audio so students can listen as they read along. 

Middle School: Learn about Wangari Maathai, founder of the Greenbelt Movement, through story and film.

Wangari Maathai Tribute Film

Produced by:Collaborative Partnership on Forests

Wangari Maathai

By: Frances Moore Lappe
Wangari Maathai was an environmental activist and Nobel laureate who founded the Green Belt movement.

11-year-old Felix from Germany was concerned about the climate crisis. As he researched this issue, he learned about Wangari Maathai. Felix was so inspired by her efforts, that he decided to create an action plan and started Plant for the Planet: Trees for Climate Justice. The goal is for school children in Germany to plant 1,000,000 trees.  

Young Voices for the Planet - Plant for the Planet

Produced by:Lynne Cherry
Felix from Germany is inspired by Wangari Maathai's work to plant trees with his fellow pupils.

Middle and High School: Choose a selection of films for students to watch and/or stories to read about environmental heroes. 

Films About Environmental Heroes Making a Difference in Their Own Communities 

Rainforest Action

Will Parrinello
In 2020 Nemonte received the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize and was named to Time Magazine’s Top 100, its annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world.

Mother of All Rivers

Producer: Produced by: Will Parrinello / Directed by: Will Parrinello

Berta Cáceres rallied her indigenous Lenca people to wage a grassroots protest that successfully pressured the government of Honduras and the world's largest dam builder to withdraw from building the Agua Zarca Dam.

Interview with Youth Activist Sophie Healy-Thow

Kitty Richardson

Taking Root

Produced by:Michelle Law
In a small farming area outside the city, Mr. Loi, a local farmer, discovers the techniques of chemical-free farming.

My Toxic Reality

Produced by:Tom Dusenbery
Hilton Kelley is tired of seeing his community ravaged by pollution from oil refineries. He and his fellow citizens demand change.

Upstanders: The Kids Who Killed an Incinerator

Produced by:Howard Schultz and Rajiv Chandrasekaran [Starbucks]
The high school students who battled a giant incinerator — and won.

Stories About Environmental Activists

Frances Moore Lappé’s Diet for a Small Planet Celebrates 50th Anniversary

By: Deborah Neff, MY HERO Staff writer
Frances Moore Lappé’s Diet for a Small Planet Celebrates 50th Anniversary with new edition.

Dayna Reggero Wins Special Award for THE STORY WE WANT

By: Deborah Neff, MY HERO Staff writer
Two grassroots environmental activists--moms address fracking and coal ash dumping in Walnut Grove and the state of North Carolina.

Suryo Wardhoyo Prawiroatmodjo

By: Wisnu from Surabaya

Suryo Wardhoyo Prawiroatmodjo educated people in Indonesia to protect the environment.

Greta Thunberg

By: MY HERO Staff

On the first day, Greta Thunberg, a climate activist with aspbergers, protested outside of Swedish Parliament alone. Now, she's leading 1.5 million students globally.

Dr. Vandana Shiva

By: David Kemker

Dr. Vandana Shiva works to preserve biodiversity for the planet.

Chibeze Ezekiel : Award Winning Climate Activist

By: Deborah Neff, MY HERO Staff writer

Listen and Read Along: The Following Stories Have Text and Audio

Rachel Carson

By: Wendy Jewell

Rachel Carson, author of Silent Spring, was the mother of the environmental movement.

John Muir

By: Harold W. Wood, Jr.

John Muir advocated preservation, feeling that natural areas promote mental health.

Discussion Questions:

1. How are these environmentalists featured in the films and stories living examples that an ordinary person can make a difference?

2. What character traits do these individuals share?

3. How are these environmental issues relevant today?

4. What environmental issues are you motivated to work towards improving? Who is making a postive difference? What can you do?

 

Learning Outcome

After having a discussion about these individuals and the positive impact they made on the environment, students will have a deeper understanding of the importance of protecting the environment and how one person can make a difference and become inspired to address an environmental issue important to their own lives. 

Posters About Protecting the Environment: Students Consider Creating Your Own Environmental Poster to Submit to MY HERO

Protect Sacred Waters

By: Ernesto Yerena

This poster for the Amplifier Foundation represents artist Ernesto Yerena's commitment to Native American heritage, issues and sacred lands

Stop Fracking Stop Drilling

By: Gregg Deal

Protect the Sacred

By: Shepard Fairey for Amplifier

Artist Shepard Fairey of Obey Art has created many posters for the Amplifier Foundation and has been instrumental in the Kickstarter campaign to get the Amplifier Foundation off the ground.

Portraits of Two Environmental Heroes

Wangari Maathai by Guinevere D from Henrietta, NY

By: Guinevere Devlin

Aldo Leopold

By: Robert Shetterly

Murals

Cousteau

By: Art Miles Mural Painters

Environment - Life in the Clean Water and Air

By: Yasutomikita Elementary School in Japan and W.H. Day Elementary School in Ca...

Additional Environmental Films

Elementary School: Environmental and Ocean Conservation Films

MY HERO Multimedia Ocean Conservation Resources for Elementary Students

By: Laura Nietzer

For Homeschooling and Virtual Education to Enrich Learning Connected to the UN Sustainability Goal #14 Life Below Water: Activities Included

Environmental Film Selections for Elementary Students

By: Laura Nietzer

Students watch a selection of curated films from the MY HERO Multimedia Library to enhance learning at home and school.

The Importance of Clean Water Around the World: Resources for Younger Students

By: Laura Nietzer

Resources for both younger and upper elementary students that highlight the need for access to fresh water for all, as well as keeping water free from pollution. Resources are connected to Sustainable Development Goals #6 Clean Water and Sanitation and #14 Life Below Water.

Middle School: Environmental and Ocean Conservation Films

MY HERO Multimedia Ocean Conservation Resources for Middle School Students

By: Laura Nietzer

For Homeschooling and Virtual Education to Enrich Learning Connected to the UN Sustainability Goal #14 Life Below Water: Activities Included

Environmental Films Selections for Middle School Students

By: Laura Nietzer

Students watch a selection of curated films from the MY HERO Multimedia Library to enhance learning at home and school.


High School: Environmental and Ocean Conservation Films

Environmental Film Selections for High School Students

By: Laura Nietzer

Students watch a selection of curated films from the MY HERO Multimedia Library to enhance learning at home and school.

Ocean Conservation Efforts Lesson Plans, Activities and Resources for High School

By: Laura Nietzer

Celebrate the Best of Humanity Working on Ocean Conservation:Learning Connected to the UN Sustainability Goal #14 Life Below Water

Related Links

Jane Goodall Lesson Plan
Credit: Jane Goodall Institute
International Day of Biodiversity Lesson Plan
Credit: MY HERO
Wangari Maathai Lesson Plan
Credit: Kingkongphoto | www.celebrity-photos.com from Laurel MD, USA
World Environment Day Lesson Plan
Credit: MY HERO

 

Laura Nietzer

The Earth Day lesson plan was created by MY HERO Education Outreach Director Laura Nietzer.

Students can share their Hero Essays, Films and Art through our Create Program

How to use MY HERO's Create Program to Publish Stories, Art, Film and Audio for Students

Tutorial for students: Publish written stories, film, original artwork and audio in MY HERO's multimedia library.

Create Program
Credit: MY HERO

Outstanding essays submitted to MY HERO will be considered for a certificate/t-shirt prize or be featured on the Story Homepage.

Submit your artwork to be entered in the MY HERO art contest or to be exhibited on our Gallery Homepage.

Students can submit their films for free with a waiver to the MY HERO International Film Festival.

Learn about a New Hero Every Day of the Year: Use the MY HERO Calendar in the Classroom

Links


Organizer created on 3/14/2019 12:01:43 AM by Xenia Shin

Last edited 4/19/2022 2:14:38 PM by Laura Nietzer

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