Earth Day is an important day each year to remind students of the impact their daily choices have on the planet. Many students do not know the history of Earth Day or its significance. Use this middle school Earth Day lesson to help students gain insight into this important day as well as think about their habits.
When I want to bring awareness to holidays, important days or significant events, I always start with a quick video and then a high-interest non-fiction reading. By starting with a quick video it catches students’ attention and activates any prior knowledge they may have about the topic. Non-fiction articles are a great way to build students’ interest and background knowledge (schema) about a topic.
When learning about important days, I do not try to have students replicate cultures, events or symbols through crafts or games in order to avoid cultural appropriation.
Middle School Earth Day Lesson
1. Watch a short video about Earth Day.
2. Complete a pre-reading activity like a K-W-L chart.
3. Have students read a non-fiction article about Earth Day.
4. Students will work on their non-fiction reading comprehension skills with short answer questions and a multiple choice quiz.
5. Have students work on a long answer critical thinking writing prompt like “What are some daily habits you can change to improve the environment? e.g. walk or bike to school, pack a litterless lunch.”
6. Students can share their ideas post-writing with the class through a class discussion. Class discussions can take place in person or through digital means like Flipgrid, Zoom, Google Meet or by having students record their ideas using Online Voice Recorder and uploading them to Google Classroom or another school system.
Want a No-Prep Middle School Earth Day Lesson?
Earth Day Non-Fiction Article PDF and Digital Formats: This lesson plan contains 1 non-fiction article and 3 reading activities to assist with reading comprehension, standardized test prep (EQAO) and cross-curricular learning. This middle school Earth Day lesson contains print and digital versions of the lesson as well as an audio file of the article. Use this engaging lesson plan to help your students develop a deeper appreciation for this important day.
Buy this lesson here.