How Can I Save the Earth?


Teacher’s Name: Julia Dilger

Class Grade Level(s) & School: K-2, Peaks Island School

Class Subject: Science/Language Arts                                               

Number of Students in the class: 25 (2 teachers)                                               

Lesson/Project Name: How Can I Save the Earth?                                   

A.  Pre-Reflection

1. What are your own teaching goals going into this?

1. Students will develop a greater appreciation for their island community.

2. Students will improve their desire to take care of their things and community.

3. Students have a better understanding of the affects of nature/outdoors on our daily lives.

4. Students will enjoy themselves and work together to achieve a goal.

2.  What are your goals for students going into this?

a. Process/skill goals:

1. Students will understand the importance of not littering and cleaning up after ones self.

2. Students will be able to give ideas of how to reuse items.

3. Students will write about how they can help improve the Earth.

4. Students will participate in a discussion based upon “The Lorax.”

b. Subject/content goals:

1. Science – ecology

2. Language Art – writing, literature appreciation

B.  The Plan:

1.  Materials

List any/all materials needed.  Also, please attach any handouts you created for this plan.

-“The Lorax” by Dr. Seuss, trash bags, egg cartons, art supplies (we used yarn, pipe cleaners, tissue paper, beads, glue, glitter glue).

2.  The Class/Project

a. Prep before going outside: (45 minutes/1 day, 15 minutes/1 day)

Day 1: Read “The Lorax” to the class. Ask the students what the book reminds them of in their own lives. How did the book make them feel? What message was the book giving them? What could they do help the environment not go down the same road as in the book? List ideas and make sure someone includes cleaning up litter.

Day 2: Prepare the students to clean an area of the community. (We chose the beach.) Explain that each student will get a partner and their own reused bag. Discuss the expected behaviors on both the walk to the area and during the clean up. Partners must stick together and help each other locate and pick up trash. Designate a certain area that you will be cleaning and make sure they are always in your line of sight. Some of our specific rules: you are not allowed to pick up broken glass on your own, go above the rock-line (into people’s yards), no running, and make sure you can always see an adult in charge. See p. 71 – 76 of Broda for more rules. I also made sure to invite parents to join us.

b. Outside: (30 minues/1 day)

The classes lined up with their bags and their partners. The group walked to the beach and the designated area was repeated, using visual markers. Partners were allowed to collect as much trash as they could from the area, trying to fill up their bags. Upon arriving back at school, trash was collected into one large bag (or more if needed) to put out for trash day.

c. Classroom follow-up: (60 minues/1 day)

The group was broken up into 2 groups to do 2 centers, each 25 minutes long.10 minutes were use to break up the groups.

Center 1 – Litter Bugs – Students had 5 minutes to go to yard and collect 3-4 items that fit in the palm of their hand off the ground (litter, sticks, etc). They were given egg carton pieces (1-2 sections) and different art materials and asked to make what they thought of when they heard the term “litter bug.”

Center 2 – Group reviewed the ideas they had generated for helping the environment. Students chose their favorite and wrote their idea on handout and drew a picture of their idea.

C.  Reflection:

This was a very fun activity. The classes had a wonderful discussion about “The Lorax.” They were really moved by the story and had some wonderful feelings associated with it and expressed them well. The discussion time would have been a good time for a Think-Pair-Share to generate ideas.

The beach clean up was a huge success. The children were like hawks finding trash that I didn’t see. They were fearless going into bushes to pick up bottles and trash. Almost every bag was full by the end of the 30 minutes. I took a picture of the whole group with their bags on the beach and every single person looked proud of their achievement.

The close-up activities were fun. I did a lot of preparation, cutting yarn, separating egg cartons into 1 and 2 cup pieces. I had made a few examples, but the children were much more creative with the “Litter Bugs.” I should have asked the students to collect small, cleanish trash on our beach clean up in a separate bag and used those, but rather we went to the school yard to collect twigs, rocks and litter out there for their bugs. I had also brought in bottle caps and corks, but they were very big and the Elmer’s Glue did not hold it well to the egg carton. If an extra adult was available, hot glue might have been a good idea.

(Handout below)

Name: _____________________________

One thing I could to do help the world is ________

Please draw a picture of your idea:


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