Earth Day teaching ideas

Sian Evans
13th April 2018
Primary and secondary resources for Earth Day to raise awareness of environmental issues, climate change, recycling and plastic pollution. For all ages.

Innovative activities and lesson ideas to prompt thoughtful discussion about Earth Day

Taking place on 22 April every year, Earth Day is a worldwide movement that offers an ideal opportunity to get students thinking about their environmental footprint both in and outside of the classroom.

To help you to enthuse your learners, we've picked a handful of primary and secondary resources on the environment and linked to this year's theme of plastic pollution.

Primary resources

Explore how recycling can give new life to our rubbish with this straightforward sequencing activity on the process behind turning a plastic bottle into a fleece jacket. Why not inspire the conservationists of tomorrow with these well-structured lesson plans for each year, outlining clear curriculum links.

Consider the ways in which we can care for the environment with this comprehensive Earth Day toolkit, packed full of activities from writing prompts to cause-and-effect worksheets. Similarly, challenge your class to become climate change detectives and examine a range of environmental issues using this detailed workbook.

For even more fun, pupils can try to avoid becoming eco-horrors in this colourful board game, highlighting the little things they can do to look after the planet. Plus, get them involved in this practical recycling activity, in which the process of sorting different materials prompts discussion about how recycling helps the environment.


The recycling journey of a plastic bottle

A set of pictures to sequence, illustrating the journey of a plastic bottle from rubbish to a fleecy jacket. One sheet has the pictures to sort. The other sheet has the pictures with a caption, all muddled for the children to sequence. The pictures in this case or in the correct sequence.
By renosparks

Earth Day Lesson Plans

Earth Day lesson plans adapted to each year to meet national curriculum guidelines while still providing fun and interactive lessons for primary students. Created for teachers by teachers, these lesson plans hope to educate the conservationists of tomorrow on environmental issues, but at a level that they can understand. Intended for use on Earth Day, April 22, or during the following Earth Week, but are applicable year round. More information on our webpage at

By HealthyPlanet

Earth Day

Celebrate Earth Day with your class this year. This Earth Day pack is perfect for any age group! There are 130 pages of fun, exciting and engaging activities and research for your kids.

Included in this pack is the following:

*Information Posters
*What is Earth Day
*Our Earth
*I Can Help
*The 3 R's (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle)
*Research Pages
*KWL Chart
*Mini Book - Differentiated
*Word Wall
*Fact or Opinion
*Earth Day around the world
*Acrostic Poems
*Letter Writing
*Cause and Effect - differentiated
*Magazine Hunt
*Recycling labeling
*The Earth Flip Book
*The Earth Can Has Needs Is
*Scrambled Sentences
*ABC Order - Differentiated
*Read/Write the Room
*Noun, Verb, Adjective Sort- differentiated
*Word Search
*If I Had a Garden
*Writing Prompts
*Earth Day Word Match
*Grow a Plant Word Mat
*Planting Seeds- Writing
*Home Hunt: Recyclables
*Helping at Home
*Craft: Earth Day Crown
By Rachel O Donnell

Be a Curious Climate Change Detective - Explore Cool Questions & Hot Answers

Ready to tackle one of the most debated and difficult situation that face the earth – climate change. There are lots of things to explore when thinking about climate change.
As the earth gets warmer and warmer the causes, mechanisms, or impacts of climate change on our planet is something that is important to discuss with young children. It is also crucial to explore solutions and ideas that can help us build a better future.

The package contains:

1. What do you know? What do you want to learn?
2. What is the difference between weather and climate?
3. Ask the Penguin questions about climate change
4. Main Reasons people cause the climate to become warmer
5. What is Global Climate?
6. Imagine that you are a polar bear. . . a coral fish. . .sitting on the moon watching the Earth
7 .Why is the climate changing?
8. Greenhouse effect
9. Greenhouse Gases – What is good? What is the problem?
10. A little extra warming
11. It matters what we do. Work with nature!
12. My action plan
13. Spread the message about climate change
14. Visions of the future. A bright and sunny vision! A little darker vision!
15. Reflection on the learning
16. Question cards - How can I help?
By asajomard

Costing the Earth Board Game

You will need to print out, cut up and prepare the game elements and you will also need dice.
By Values, Money and Me

Recycling sorting activity

I gave the children a bag of rubbish, with plastics, paper and metals all mixed up. They had to sort them into the right bags, and write down on this sheet what they found.
By groov_e_chik

Secondary resources

Highlight the issues of our reliance on single-use plastics with this reading comprehension worksheet and follow-up activities, ideal to facilitate a deeper conversation as part of a lesson or tutor time. Explore how every day is Earth Day for Nasa’s observing satellites with this informative activity booklet, exploring how their work gives us a better understanding of the environment.

Examine the impact of climate change and help learners reflect on worldwide environmental issues with this short film and information pack, using African countries as a case study. Alternatively, delve into this two-lesson climate change challenge, in which students debate problems and research solutions.

Discover the human impact on the environment, and what can be done to rectify it, using this clear presentation and accompanying worksheets. Or, investigate the six Rs of sustainability with these visually-appealing slides and accompanying activities, such as planning a blog post, designed to get students thinking about how to look after the planet.


Plastic is not fantastic

Plastic pollution was highlighted recently in ‘The Blue Planet’. This is a reading passage with questions, a vocabulary study, prompts for discussion and they have to rearange the sentences to get advice on what you can do to help. Key included.

By andorian

'Earth Day at NASA' Activity Booklet

Use word puzzles to learn how NASA's Earth-observing satellites help us better understand our planet.
By NASAeducation

Climate Change Challenge

This Scheme of Work (attached ) is a 2 lesson adaptation of what we use at Blackfen School for Girls for our Year 8s who do what we call the 'Climate Change Challenge'. I wrote this so to teach our Year 11 GCSE Citizenship class about climate change, who is to blame, why are they, what are the solutions to resolve this? This was a great couple of lessons which got students engaged and interested in the issues with the silent debate in lesson 2 being the assessment.
By Jonathan Gullis

Human Impact on the Environment

A PowerPoint and accompanying worksheets for teaching Human Impact on the Environment - these resources have been used for both Standard Grade and GCSE teaching

I am fundraising to travel to Rwanda in July 2017 to provide CPD for teachers. I am not going to charge for any resources that have been on TES for years, but if you like this resource I would appreciate a download or two of the new resources I uploaded. Thanks Katie
By K Hanson

The 6Rs of Sustainability - Earth Day

The 6Rs of Sustainability - Earth Day: A quality presentation and activities for teens!

This resource comes with an easy to follow and attractive PowerPoint presentation which explains each of the 6 Rs (Recycle, Reduce, Refuse, Rethink, Repair, Reuse). It contains lots of appropriate visuals: great to maintain engagement and for differentiation, and as you go through it, give students the opportunity to reflect and discuss our Earth’s sustainability and what we can do to look after our planet. Perfect for Design and Technology lessons and Earth Day themed activities!

There are also some printable activities to accompany the PowerPoint, allowing all students to reflect on their learning and share their opinions. The resource also includes task cards (that come in both color and ink saving black and white) for students to work in groups to match up the 6 Rs to their definitions / put into order of importance etc.

Finally, students can plan and write their own blog posts using the templates provided to encourage them to make a positive influence on the world.

I hope you and your students find this resource valuable and that it helps generate some interesting and insightful discussions in your classroom, enjoy!


• If you choose to download this resource, please take the time to leave a rating - I do really value your feedback and I always look forward to reading what you think about my resources! If you have any questions about this resource or anything else, you can email me at

• Be the first to know when I upload new resources, discounts and freebies by following my page!
By TeachersResourceForce

Contact us

Visit our forums

Latest education news

New to TES Resources ? Find out more about becoming an author on TES, or dive straight in and start downloading.