An Earth Day Lesson and Craft for Elementary School

Every year I try to visit my children’s classes to do a quick Earth Day lesson and craft activity. This year, I had the opportunity to work with a group of third graders who were more eco-savvy and creative than most adults!

I shared with them a quick handout with some simple tips which sparked great conversation. They were especially excited to learn about the incentive-based apps. πŸ™‚


  • Take a shower instead of a bath

  • Bring your lunch and beverage in a reusable container – we have great new water fountains here at school!

  • Pick up litter – ask your parents about signing up for the School Team on the Litterati app to earn money for our school just by picking up trash!

  • Turn off lights when you leave a room

  • Use both sides of your paper (not toilet paper ????)

  • Recycle at school and at home. Not sure what is recyclable? Paper, glass, aluminum, and plastic is usually safe to recycle in Philadelphia. Learn more here.

  • Think before you BEG your parents to buy you new things! ???? You can save resources by borrowing, sharing, or shopping for gently used items. Our school has a wonderful library for books, uniforms, and other clothes can be handed down among families, and junky toys usually end up as just more junk! Before you buy a new toy, think about how much you will really play with it – and is it something that can be shared?

  • Kids can advocate for change! Your parents might like to learn more about where parents and kids can visit with politicians to advocate for a cleaner world! You can also start locally and learn about the Green Team at our school.

  • Other reward-based activities with incentives for easy green actions like and

I also shared a handy graphic on what to recycle from Green Philly Blog for them to bring home and hang in their kitchens.

For the craft, I needed something simple that would take less than 30 minutes. So I went with upcycling aluminum cans into pencil holders. I collected 30 cans, magazines, stickers, and scraps of wallpaper from my local Buy Nothing Group.

After handing out the supplies the kids went wild with creativity – lids, handles, extra compartments. It was really amazing to see how quickly they came up with useful and unique creations!​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

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