Celebrate Earth Day with a Writing Activity
Looking for an Earth Day writing activity?
When I was in seventh grade, I ventured on a writing campaign. I was going to save the Earth, and I was quite serious in this undertaking.
I had tons of (bad) ideas. I wrote to Hefty, Procter and Gamble, any company that had plastic. My determination never wavered, no matter how many letters I received, letters that I could not understand.
My eagerness to help the planet has never changed, but my approach has. One way I help the planet is by introducing the concepts of Earth Day to teenagers. My writing assignment for Earth Day takes about a week, and you should be able to duplicate it easily.
Ask students to take pictures of pollution and trash. You might have them go on an adventure outside. Then, have them research core definitions and concepts. Ideas include the history behind Earth Day, the recycling programs in your state, plastics in the ocean… anything that students find interesting.
Using the pictures as inspiration (you might also like to use images from the web), ask students to write about a narrative from the pollution’s perspective. Have fun with this! Encourage students to brainstorm a decent amount of ideas.
Sometimes, students will trade pictures, which I encourage. They might “know” why a piece of trash ended up by a bridge or where that article was before it became litter.
Draft the narratives. Review dialogue rules and expectations. Ask:
Where does this piece of litter wish it was?
Who put that litter here?
Why is this harmful to the environment?
Encourage students to tie in their Earth Day terms from the first day in their narratives.
Time for peer editing of the Earth Day writing activity! I don’t mind peer editing, but this activity is normally more fun than other papers because students are seeing the personification of these inanimate objects. Students enjoy sharing and fixing papers with their peers.
Normally, I do offer suggestions. Watch for students to forget that they are writing from another perspective. The largest trouble area will be when students forget the point of view.
Publication day! Students can create digital displays of their final drafts if you are a 1:1 school, or you can print the pictures and papers. Display in the hallway and invite administrators to accompany students on a gallery walk.
Making a difference for Earth Day can involve writing letters. It can also involve an impassioned teachers sharing facts about Earth Day with future generations.