Earth Day, on April 22nd, is approaching us, and it’s the perfect time to incorporate some Earth Day curriculum into your lesson plan!
This holiday often focuses on appreciating Earth and discovering ways that individuals can help improve the environment. These topics correspond with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), which asks students to learn about resources and consumption in standards on energy.
One way to teach these topics is to educate students on consumption habits and how they relate to the environment. A great web tool for this lesson is National Geographic’s Human Footprint Interactive, which you can find here. It lets students input their own consumption habits to see which energy resources they and their carbon footprint.
The tool is colorfully animated and extremely detailed! Students can see the effects of food consumption, transportation, showers, and more. It provides lots of statistics, behind-the-scene videos, and other cool tidbits!
Earth Day is also the perfect holiday to integrate some social studies. National Parks are an important part of preservation, and the Library of Congress offers great free resources that can be used in geography and history lessons.
One such resource is the collection of National Park Maps. It includes about 200 maps of different types—such as topographic and route maps—from the 17th century to the present. The maps cover four National Parks, including Yellowstone. Examining the maps allows students to see the historical, cultural, and geological changes that happened in these areas overtime.
Consider combining a mapping activity with a social studies lesson on John Muir or Theodore Roosevelt. Use some of the many historical photos available on Library of Congress for an engaging and dynamic lesson.
How would you use these resources in your classroom? Comment below to share some ideas!