With the goal of educating children early on about doing their part to protect the environment, Dr. Seuss Enterprises, the National Education Association, and Random House Children's Books are proud to bring you the Lorax Project Student Earth Day. This annual event encourages educators and students to celebrate the Lorax's message and act on their own pledges to beautify and conserve their school environment and beyond.
- Lead a class discussion about the upcoming event. What does the day mean to your students? Why is it important to take care of the earth all year? What is our commitment to future generations?
- Brainstorm a list of simple earth-friendly actions that people can do every day, such as changing to energy efficient lightbulbs, carpooling, picking up litter, and using both the front and the back of scrap paper.
- Share articles and news clippings about global warming. Why is this issue so important today and why is education about it so necessary? What can we do to help?
- Have students research Henry David Thoreau, John Muir, Rachel Carson, and other naturalists. What can we learn from these individuals?
- Start a schoolwide Student Earth Day campaign! Decorate your classroom and the hallways with posters that have students' environmental slogans.
Click here to download a Lorax Classroom Pledge Poster for you and all your students to sign
Click here to download "Dear Mother Earth" printer-friendly activity sheet
- Take action! Challenge students to come up with conservation goals to meet by Student Earth Day. They may want to pledge to recycle a certain number of bottles, plant a certain number of trees, clean up a local park, or adopt an endangered species. To make it more interesting, you may want to compete against another classroom or school or join forces with an environmental group in your community. Entice students with a special reward!
- Host a reading of Dr. Seuss's The Lorax to kick off the celebration. Each class can read the book on their own or you can gather all students in an auditorium for a reading by student volunteers. The book lends itself beautifully to a reading by a cast of characters. (Click here for discussion questions for The Lorax.)
- Present awards to the students and classrooms who have met their conservation goals.
- Beautify your school's outdoor space by turning an ordinary tree into a pledge tree! Pair older students with younger students and have each pair come up with a pledge to the environment that they write down on a slip of paper. Have each pair come up to the tree together; the younger student can read the pledge aloud and the older student can tie the pledge slip onto the tree.
Click here to download official Student Earth Day Pledge Tree Slips.
- Clean up your school's playground or local park. Students may want to beautify the space by planting trees, creating a space for relaxing during recess, or painting a mural. Give students free time afterwards to play games and enjoy the clean space they have created.
- Have students share pro-environment ideas or a cheer for the Lorax Project Student Earth Day over the loudspeaker or on your school's radio or television station.
- Write poems for the earth. Encourage students to try their hand at haiku, acrostic poems, or shape poems.
- Make creations from recyclable materials, such as tire swings or pinecone bird feeders for the playground.
Click here to download "The Path to Recycling" printer-friendly activity sheet.
- Invite park rangers, environmentalists, or government officials to speak with students about local policies and volunteering opportunities.
- Decorate trash bags with environmental messages for use at a local supermarket.
- Make creations from recyclable materials, such as tire swings or pinecone bird feeders, for the playground.
- Decorate old t-shirts and make them new again.
- Challenge students to a game of Earth Jeopardy. Create your own or use the one on the Education World Web site.
- Learn about the environment you live in and have the class do research specific to your region. Create materials to share with residents on the beauty of the region and how to keep it safe.
- Keep the momentum going as our commitment to the earth is important every day.
- Spread the word: have each student share a tip for helping the environment with 10 friends or family members in person, on the phone, or via e-mail. Discuss how much impact can be made by sharing knowledge and using our voices and minds.
Click here to download "A Tree Planting Campaign" printer-friendly activity sheet.
- Share your Lorax Project Student Earth Day successes with fellow teachers! E-mail your tips and photos to firstname.lastname@example.org and they will be posted in the Photo Gallery and Idea Exchange.