Read “Earth Day” (poem) with kids several times. Point out that we read left to right. At the end of a few of the lines ask where to go now. Discuss how the lines end (period or exclamation). Discuss the purpose of the period and exclamation point. Find and circle the rhyming words.
Discuss the differences between recycling, reusing, and reducing:
Recycle: processing used materials (waste) into new products.
Reuse: to use again – possibly in a different way
Reduce: make smaller or less in amount, degree, or size
Use VTS to discuss the oil painting View of the Shimmering Sea from Woods Hole, Massachusetts by Feodor Zakharov. Ask the group a few open ended questions:
What’s going on in this picture?
What do you see that makes you say that?
What more can we find?
How does the painting make you feel?
As facilitator, paraphrase comments neutrally. Point at the area being discussed without touching! Link contrasting and complementary comments.
Compare the first painting with the photograph Demolition, by Zhang Dali. Discuss setting, what is made by people, what is natural, which shows more Earth care, etc.
Project the first painting onto a large piece of white paper. Have volunteers tape pieces of trash (the pieces of clean trash you have gathered) onto the white paper where the picture is projected. Ask the kids how it makes them feel after the trash has been added. Discuss what they can do with the trash: recycle, reuse, or reduce.
Give the kids a toilet paper roll and some scrap paper to create something else out of the “trash”. Can use something else instead of a toilet paper roll here.
Have the students work in small groups to create a poster promoting Earth Day. Brainstorm before they start:
What would you want to ask people to do in order to take care of the Earth?
How would that look?
How would you get people excited to what you wanted them to do?
Extension and/or Center Activities
Make individual copies for students and cut the lines or words apart and put them back together; identify the rhyming words by coloring over them in yellow.
Have other “clean” pieces of trash for them to reuse creatively.
Differentiation and Modifications:
Beyond Grade Level: Students will draw picture only or picture with labels for poster.
At Grade Level: At minimum poster has a title.
Below Grade Level: Students will draw picture only or picture with labels for poster.
Minute-by-minute assessment: As students are working make note of any kids having difficulty with a skill or mastering a skill.
light pieces of clean trash to tape on projection, toilet paper rolls, paper scraps
Feodor Zakharov, American, View of the Shimmering Sea from Woods Hole, Massachusetts, c. 1927. Oil on canvas, 32 x 45 inches (81.3 x 114.3 cm). Collection of the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Durham, NC, USA. Museum purchase, 1996.6.1. Photo by Peter Paul Geoffrion.