Earth Day Birthday ~ Learning Festival

Overview How old is the Earth? When kids hear that it is 4 billion years old, they understand why we must care for it. Based on the concept of Learning Festivals where older students host learning stations for youngsters and neighboring senior citizens, Earth Day Birthday challenges tutors to teach principles of ecology and recycling. Staged in the school's high-in-the-sky outdoor play area, inner city children get the message: Nature is everywhere. From seed planting to creating a peaceful tree, the event provides ways for older students to perfect emerging English skills and for younger ones to learn earth friendly concepts.

Classroom Activities
Community Activities
Career Activities
Research activities on Earth Day Network.
Recruit CityYear Corps Members & other volunteers to help at learning centers.
BPlan & rehearse activities Ex. Recycled Art: Bugs & Butterflies, Happy Birthday to You, Earth!, Peaceful Tree, Recycle Toss, Migration Hopscotch.
Design & send flyers to parents, seniors & partners.
Design & plan Activities Schedule & Floor Plan.
Write article about festival.
Grade 4 students escort primary youngsters to each event.
Grade 5 students host stations.
Send Earth Day e-greetings to senior shut-ins.
Welcome guests to Earth Day Birthday.
Recognize & thank community partners for supporting school's roof garden & playground.
Share photos & computer slide show (or download, 4.73 MB) with seniors after event.
Deliver article to local newspaper.
Submit photo to Service Learning calendar contest.
Discuss & research careers in education & the environment.
Interview classroom teacher on classroom management tips.
Interview principal on qualifications for a school administrator.
Interview CityYear Corps Members on service careers.
Interview school volunteers and seniors on their former careers.
Observe workers at local newspaper.
Discuss careers in journalism.
Write thank-you letter to editor upon publication of article.

Learning Standards English Science

Collaborate on a project that applies learning to educate others.
Understand, analyze, evaluate & respond to oral presentations.
Make effective presentations.

School to Career Competencies

Practice Communication & Literacy Skills.
Use Technology.
Complete Entire Activities.
Act Professionally.
Interact with Others.

Assessment Students wrote essays reflecting on their Earth Day experiences.

Software or Materials Used Microsoft Office for Graphics, Flyers, Activities Schedule, Floor Plan; specific materials for sample activities are listed in Lesson Plans.

Web Sites For Earth Day & School; for Earth Day Links: US World Wildlife Fund; download the US EPA Happy Earth Day Activity Book; send an Earth Day ecard.

Keywords Earth Day, ecology, environment, Learning Festival, recycling.

Final Words Thanks to: my co-chair LaiLai Sheung, our teacher team, the CityYear Corps and our School Volunteers, and our student teachers, Earth Day Birthday was a success. Planning together and sharing responsibility with teachers and students is a must.

Teacher Tip Boston IMPACT II @ School to Career provides substitute coverage for teachers to visit West Roxbury High and participate in their model ServiceLearning Festival. This makes all the difference. We were able to adapt to our needs but still maintain the original learn to teach ~ teach to learn, experience.

E-mail contact Wai Chin Ng

Teacher Bio Wai Chin Ng teaches a fifth grade Chinese Bilingual class at Josiah Quincy Elementary School. Born in China, he immigrated to USA with his parents when he was eleven. First hand experience with cultural transition convinced him to become a teacher of students with limited language proficiency. As Lead Teacher, Wai Chin serves on school-based committees such as ILT (Instructional Leadership Team), Technology Support Team, and Yearbook Committee. He also enjoys professional challenges like the IMPACT II Outdoor Classroom Project and TERC Math Program.

Subject Areas Science, Environmental Studies, English Language Arts, Social Studies

Grade Levels Grades 5 & 4 tutor grades 1 & 2

Students All

Return To Index Page