Earth Day is one of the holidays that can be easily overlooked, especially in special education. So consider, what does Earth Day mean to you? Is this just another day for you or do you focus on sharing the importance of our planet to your children and/or students?
Now remember, children may not be able to grasp the importance of preservation and protection of our world. This rings even more true when working with students with a disability. So, it might be beneficial to help make them aware of the risks of neglecting our environment. You can always try giving them a visual and incorporating activities to share the importance. Some helpful ideas could be:
How Do We Do Our Part?
- Explain that our Earth is warming and humans are largely responsible for this. Discuss why do they think this is and what can be done?
- Then together as a class, brainstorm a list of ways we can help protect and preserve the Earth.
- Create an interactive notebook to assist with discussions and incorporates pictures.
- Utilize crafts and projects about recycling and re-using items.
- Team up with another class for a large project, such as “cleaning up the playground”, etc.
- Utilize technology: check out websites that promote Earth Day activities both for your benefit and interactive websites for students. Such as: http://www.nea.org/tools/lessons/Earth-Day-Curriculum-Resources-Grades-K-5.html
When it comes to saving the planet, be aware that a disability is not an excuse to not Do Your Part. But, children with some form of special needs may need more guidance. The good news is that there is a way for every single person on this planet to help preserve and protect our Earth. Earth Day is a good jumping off point. Good Luck and have fun!
Author: Kelly Dale, School Psychologist