1-2-3 Come Learn About Reducing Your Environmental Footprint With Me
Since both my sons are Eagle Scouts, we were very into recycling while they were growing up. From paper drives to cleaning up the parks and river projects, we enjoyed "going green" and trying to do our part to help conserve the earth's resources.
Caring about conservation followed me into the classroom as well. We collected paper trash in a box and I tried to do at least one recycled sort of craftivity each month.
Even though Earth Day is celebrated only one day on April 22nd, I did a huge week-long unit about ways even a child can pitch in and do their part to help sustain the earth. I can only hope that the information that they learned, became healthy habits for them.
Reducing man's carbon footprint has been a much talked about topic lately, so I thought I'd design an Earth Day writing prompt and footprint craft with that in mind.
Start by explaining to students the fact that we’ve all seen our footprints on the beach or left in the mud. When we step, we leave marks that can last even after we are long gone.
In the same way, all of us place pressure on the environment by the way we live our lives. Scientists call this an “ecological or carbon footprint” one which can show how hard we tread on our earth’s resources.
Leaving an environmental footprint means we have left things behind, that have not or can not be recycled, and the size of our footprint depends on how much biologically productive land and water we require to live our life.
No matter what one knows about leaving a "carbon footprint" the fact is, that we all need to try to reduce them, thereby impacting our world in a positive way. I thought a good way to start, would be to make up a list of how to go about this.
Hours of interesting research later, I comprised quite a long list, and was surprised at how simple many of these activities are to do. Quite a few items are not difficult, expensive, or time intensive to perform, and merely easy behavioral changes.
Hopefully, just by sharing them, and making students aware of do-able things, via this checklist, they'll start implementing a few into their lives.
After reviewing the information in the Reducing Your Environmental Footprint packet, (I've included a list of informative websites you may also want to visit) have students do the footprint writing prompt craftivity.
To make things more personal and a keepsake, students can trace their own foot, or they can opt to use my flip flop template.
After discussing things people can do to reduce their footprint and checking ones off the list that they can truly start doing, students write these down on their footprint.
I've included several ways to go about this. Students can write the prompt on their footprint, or they can write it on the back of the earth and simply glue their footprint on the globe.
They can also make a smaller, 3 dimensional earth, by gluing 3 earth "circles" together, and then suspend their footprint from the sphere, or simply hang students' footprints from the ceiling and enlarge the earth and hang that in the middle of your display.
A caption you could write on the large earth could be "Mr./Mrs. ____________'s class is stepping up to help the earth!" Click on the link to view/download the Earth Day Footprint Writing Prompt Craftivity. I hope your students enjoy it.
Every little bit truly does help and I find it comforting to know that many others are also on board, trying to make a difference one step at a time.
If you're looking for a few more Earth Day recycling actvities and crafts, click on the link to pop on over to that section of my site.
I also have a very "pinteresting" PIN board, entirely filled with more FREE Earth Day ideas, activities & crafts. I spend way too much time looking for free educational "stuff", but then you don't have to!
Thanks Stephanie, a librarian from Seattle, who told me about a wonderful list of links to all sorts of recycling projects for children. (And a special thank you to Mary, her student, who shared it with her!) If you have an educational website, craft or activity you'd like to share to help others, I'd enjoy hearing from you. email@example.com or feel free to post a comment here.
That's it for today. Thanks for visiting. Praise the Lord the sun is shining, especially since we had snow flurries yesterday (What? I's March 28th for pete's sake!) and it's only 27 degrees out. Sigh... I guess this is just another cold Michigan spring. Wishing you a clean and green weekend.
"Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed." Mahatma Ghandi
1-2-3 Come Make A Keepsake With Me!
I’m Surviving In School is a quick, easy and fun way to get students to practice their writing skills.
Graphic organizers are extremely beneficial for visual learners and help students organize their thoughts and think succinctly. These mini-writing prompts are more do-able and less intimidating. Doing a page at the end of each month, is a terrific Daily 5 activity, or independent writing center. Alphabetize the booklets and number them, so students can quickly and easily find theirs to work on. These are a great addition to a portfolio or file, to share with parents, during conferences, as they should show marked improvements along the way. Completed books make an outstanding keepsake.
Encourage students to use proper capitalization, punctuation, spaces, adjectives etc. and you have covered a lot of Common Core State Standards as well. There’s a generic cover as well as covers for preschool through 6th grade. Define what an adjective is and why using describing words are important. Pass out markers and have students write adjectives that describe themselves, in each bubble box on their cover. Explain that they can add more words as the year progresses. To make this extra special, have students glue their school picture inside the bus. You may want to make a booklet yourself, to use as an example to help explain things each month. Students really enjoy learning about their teacher.
The pages are geared from easy to more difficult as students advance. Later, explain to them that instead of just a list, you want them to write sentences. You can also have them start with the header, so that they are working on a complete sentence with proper capitalization, instead of just answering the topic. i.e. Favorite food: My favorite food is pizza. Later, have them expand their thoughts even more, by explaining why and adding adjectives: i.e. My favorite junk food is pizza, because I like spicy pepperoni.
To get in more fine motor practice and add some pizzazz to the pages, have students use colored markers, pencils and crayons. In the Me... section, students practice writing their name and drawing a self-portrait. This is especially important for preschool and kindergarten students. In the beginning, younger kiddo’s can draw a picture of how they feel, with a happy or sad (etc.) face. They will be limited to 1-word answers in the boxes. You can also opt to have students do these 1-on-1 with a helper, who writes down their answers, or send a page home as homework to be returned in a week.
Click on the link to view/download the I'm Surviving School, monthly-writing prompt booklet. If you're looking for another fun keepsake book, that students can write in monthly, check out The Very Hungry Student. Children write what they learned each month. Of course they are still hungry for more, so they move on to the next month... The rhyming text makes it a fun read-aloud. There's a page in the back for students' autographs. It's also a nice way to review the names of the months and a super way to show progress/improvement to parents. Click on the link to view/download The Very Hungry Student.
I also have an entire year's worth of writing prompts. Each month's writing prompts are based on popular stuff that's going on during that time frame. Click on the link to view/download the Monthly Writing Prompts packet.
Thanks for visiting today. Feel free to PIN away. To ensure that "pinners" return to THIS blog article, click on the green title at the top; it will turn black, now click on the "Pin it" button located on my menu bar. If you'd like to take a look at all of the awesome educational items I spend way too much time pinning, click on the big heart to the right of the blog.
"Millions saw the apple fall, but Newton asked why!" -Bernard Baruch
It's Keen To Go Green!
Do you need a quick and easy writing center?
Run off this “Love the earth” bookmark.
Students trace the words, fold the bookmark in half and glue it.
They write 3 things that they will do to reduce, reuse, and recycle to love their planet.
After everyone is done have them share their goals with their classmates.
This is a nice culmination activity for your recycling or Earth Day studies.
Click on the link to view/download Love the Earth bookmark.
I hope you can roll on over tomorrow for another quick teaching tip.
Do you have one you'd like to share? I'd enjoy hearing from you: firstname.lastname@example.org or feel free to post a comment here, especially if you use one of my ideas.
Thanks for your time and for visiting!
1-2-3 Come Do A Fun Spring Writing Activity Via a Venn Diagram With Me!
Since Bunny Buddies were so popular, as promised, here’s another Venn Friend, with more on the way for the other months. Here in Grand Rapids, Michigan, we are close to the city of Holland, and like the country, they are all about tulips and even have some awesome windmills too.
If you ever get a chance to visit, it's worth the trip! Literally 1,000's of tulips are everywhere, in every color imaginable and all sorts of varieties. Click on the link to take a look at some fabulous photographs.
The hot pink and purple ones are a particular favorite of mine. Since a tulip is a simple pattern, I thought I'd design a tulip Venn Friend.
Venn Friend Diagrams are a great way to introduce or review the compare and contrast concept and a terrific way for students to get to know more about their classmates.
The finished product provides an adorable spring bulletin board and working with a partner enhances all sorts of life skills.
Simply run of my masters on a variety of construction paper that is conducive to tulip colors.
Write half of your students’ names on scraps of paper, toss them in a basket and have the other ½ select a Venn friend from this basket or bag.
To make these more of a keepsake, take a photo of each of your students, or use their school picture and have them glue it to their side of the tulip.
Use my list of questions, so each pair of students can interview each other appropriately and come up with lots of similarities and differences. Students then choose from this list, which things they want to include on their Venn diagram.
You may want to brainstorm this part as a whole group, writing things on a white board, so that younger students know how to spell words. Each student writes their own “different” tulip side, and then shares the writing of the "same" middle section.
You may want students to number things so they are easier to follow. When they have completed the writing portion, students glue their tulips together and share with the class.
These make a lovely spring bulletin board, or can be suspended back-to-back and hung from the ceiling by punching a hole at both ends and making a yarn loop. Click on the link to view/download this spring Venn diagram. April Venn Friends
Thanks for visiting today. Feel free to PIN away.
"In the spring, I have counted 136 kinds of weather inside of 24 hours!" -Mark Twain
Spring Into Writing!
Do you need a quick and easy spring center?
This Easter bookmark reinforces counting skills for little ones and doubles as a cute keepsake card for someone special.
Run off the template. Students fold it in half and glue it.
They trace the numbers on the front and write 10 reasons why they love the person that they’ll be giving the bookmark to.
Make it an extra-special keepsake by running off your class composite. Cut students’ pictures into ovals and have them glue their photo to the bottom back of their bookmark.
Click on the link to view/download the Easter-Writing Prompt bookmark.
Be sure and pop back tomorrow for some more springtime activities.
Do you have one you’d like to share? I’d enjoy hearing from you. email@example.com or feel free to leave a comment here, especially if you use one of my ideas. Thanks in advance.
Spin A Story Wheels
Looking for a way to spice up your Writing Center or add something different to your Daily 5?
Include a Spin A Story Wheel and help motivate your students to WANT to write!
Students spin the wheel 3-4 times and write sentences or a 1-paragraph story and include the picture ideas in them.
Challenge students who are writing sentences to try and write one sentence incorporating ALL 4 picture prompts!
Click on the various links for the Spring-Summer Spin A Story Wheels.
March Story Wheel, April/May Story Wheel, Summer Story Wheel
For your convenience, if you’d like the entire collection, I’ve bundled them up in one download as well.
Write on and happy spinning!
Be sure and pop back tomorrow for more teacing tips!