Sunday, April 6, 2008

Earth Day Activities for School- Trash

During this month, we will be doing Earth Day related studies for science and social studies. I will share what we are doing in hopes that it will motivate you to share some earth-friendly thoughts with your own children!

We started this "unit" last week, with reading The Berenstain Bears Don't Pollute (Anymore). Since we just finished learning about communities and neighborhoods, this was a great follow up story to lead into how we take care of our community. Because it is an easy concept to grasp, we are starting with "trash," and where it goes. This is much easier than starting with wasting electricity or water. Once they get the trash issue, it is easier to transfer their understanding of good stewardship to something that is not as concrete.

So how do you teach about trash? Good question! I remember when I first had a newborn and a toddler in diapers and how much trash it generated every week. One baby's diapers didn't phase me, but two...holy cow! I was moved to start using cloth diapers and life returned to normal. So it only makes sense for the kids to see how much trash we generate as a family. I have a book from The Mailbox called Environment. It is for grades 1-3. In this book, there is an activity called "Tons of Trash." For this activity, you are to collect a day's worth of trash all in one bag. I decided to go three days, and then take an average. Today is the 3rd day. Tomorrow we will complete the graph, showing how much trash we generate each day, how much it would be in a week, and how much for a month. Then we will go through the bag and look at each item, discussing how we could reduce the use or if the item can be recycled. (No food went into the trash).

This week we will also make a visit to our local recycling center. We will bring all our recyclables and talk about what we see there. We have lived here for two years and this is the first visit to the center! This is totally unlike me, but it took this long to find out we even have recycling here. In Georgia they picked it up curbside, so it wasn't much to think about. Next week, we will visit our local landfill. It is only two years old, and my children's dad had a part in helping construct some railings around the landfill offices. We had just moved here when he did the work, and we've never been to see it. Perhaps we will visit each year and see how much it changes!

Come back and see the other ideas I have planned this month!
*Various mom-owned businesses are running Earth Day specials. Check them out!

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