Celebrating Earth Day

I’m getting ready to celebrate Earth Day with some second grade classes and April 22nd is right around the corner! (I’ll share my plans in another post but it’s not your traditional reduce, reuse, recycle!) I headed to my local Old Worthington library to see what treasures I could find:


What Does It Mean to be Green? by Rana DiOrio

This book would be a good introduction to any Earth Day discussion, especially to generate ideas about how to preserve the earth and its resources on a day-to-day basis. Simple text with cartoonish illustrations. A quick and easy read aloud for primary classrooms.

The Great Big Green Book  by Mary Hoffman

Nice informational text complete with engaging text features so I would add this to a writing workshop mentor text collection too. Each section briefly explains a different approach to preserving the earth. Cute, eye-catching illustrations with speech bubbles that contribute to the content. 

How Groundhog’s Garden Grew by Lynne Cherry

I love Lynne Cherry’s books about nature and this one did not disappoint! Groundhog keeps stealing food from his friends’ gardens and come to find out, it’s because he doesn’t know how to grow his own. This is not just a simple “how to plant a seed” type book – it also goes into different categories of how vegetables grow. Beautiful borders that add to the content. Beautiful illustrations, good story, great science content! Ends with an author’s note telling about her experiences growing food as a child and encourages the reader to do the same. Buying my own copy!

What to Do with a Box?  by Jane Yolen

Very simple text to introduce the idea of reusing things for new purposes.

Love Your World: How to Take Care of the Plants, the Animals, and the Planet (DK Books)

An easy-to-read introductory text that explains the 3R’s: Reuse, Recycle, and Reduce. Appropriate for preschool-kindergarten. Nice mixture of photographs and collage in an engaging layout.

What Happens to our Trash by D.J. Ward

Informative book from the Lets-Read-and-Find-Out Science  series. There are mind boggling facts in here to convince the reader how important it is to reuse, recycle, reduce, compost, etc. AND if you’re looking for a mentor text to teach comparisons in writing workshop, this would be a good one. Here’s just one: “An estimated 80 million Hershey’s kisses are wrapped each day, using enough aluminum foil to cover over 50 acres – that’s almost 40 football fields.”

Bee: A Peek-Through Picture Book by Britta Teckentrup

Very pretty, poetic book to introduce the topic of how important bees are to our food supply, a topic that has gotten much attention the past couple of years. 

Clean and Green Energy by Colleen Hord

Informative text comparing clean energy sources using sun, wind, and water with energy sources that rely on fossil fuels. Sounds like heavy content but described in easy to understand manner. A little different, but important  topic for Earth Day appropriate for 2nd grade and up.

All the Water in the World by George Ella Lyon and Katherine Tillotson

I saved one of my most favorite literary non-fiction books for last! Now, I loved using this book as a mentor text in writing workshop when we were writing and designing our own informational books – great conversations about the decisions authors make in HOW they communicate the content through layout, color, font size, etc. But also another great read-aloud for Earth Day, particularly water as a limited resource that we need to protect. 

So, there you have it! I love how Earth Day can be approached in lots of different ways to motivate our little activists to get out there and make a difference in the world!


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