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Earth Day | Recycle Reuse Reduce Collage Preschool Lesson Plan Activities

Activities & Materials
How can young children learn to care for Earth?

Art & crafts experiences enable children to acquaint themselves with the natural qualities of the earth such as leaves, rocks, shells, dirt, wind, rain and sunshine. Children also learn to observe, create, and remain in touch with the ever changing world, and to develop a caring attitude towards the earth by learning to recycle and use materials for art and crafts rather than throwing them away.

For a list of the recyclable materials that can be collected for art & craft projects visit our First Materials List. These can be discussed during the Earth Day presentation.

Activity Part 1: Discuss some simple facts about Earth Day or World Environment Day:

What is Earth Day?
For young children.April 22 is Earth Day. Everybody over the country tries to pitch in and do something that could help the planet we live in, Earth. It is like a big Spring Clean Up Day! A man by the name of Gaylord Nelson, said there were lots of problems with the environment, and that our planet Earth was getting very dirty.Here are some pictures that can demonstrate some of these problems.

What is the ENVIRONMENT? The natural world: the natural world, within which people, animals, and plants live. It is regarded by many as being at risk from the harmful influences of industrialized societies.Senator Nelson had this neat idea of having one day in which people everywhere would get together to clean things up making the environment and Earth a little better.

Because of all the attention Earth Day got, lots of laws (rules) were passed to protect our air, land and water.

For grown ups and older children: For a great article on what these laws are and how they have affected the environment please visit this page at DLTK.

What is World Environment Day?
This day is celebrated June 5 and it is one of the principal vehicles through which the United Nations stimulates worldwide awareness of the environment and enhances political attention and action.

Activity Part 2: Discuss The Three R's:Recycle, Reuse and Reduce.

Let's practice the letter R and learn what the three R's of Earth Day mean:
These are some simple examples that can be discussed:

Recycle: We should not throw cans, bottles and newspapers into landfills. These items can be recycled. Don't throw those shoe boxes away -- they can become toy dioramas or doll houses. Discuss how these items get recycled. Reuse: We don't always need a new piece of paper or a new t-shirt. We can try to reuse what we already have. We can help keep trash out of the landfills. How can a piece of paper be reused? Example: We can use the comics to use as wrapping paper, print the templates in this web site on the blank/clean side of junk mail or other discarded paper material. How can a T-shirt be reused - many pieces of fabric from T-shirts can make a great quilt! Reduce - Every home can reduce the amount of waste/garbage it produces and the landfills would last years longer. Composting is one way of reducing -- explain how you can help and/or are helping to reduce.

Activity Part 3: The Three R's Poster Collage.
  • A big piece of paper or tape 3 or 4 pieces of scrap paper to make a poster
  • paints
  • scraps of newspaper, magazine or junk mail
  • paint brushes
  • leaves, pinecones or any other yard material to glue on the poster

Visual Arts - related lesson plan: The Collage Get acquainted with this technique

Make a big Letter R on a piece of paper or tape a few pieces of scrap paper to make a poster size. Draw the letter and then have child paint over the letter.

Now glue pieces of newspaper, pages from old magazines, junk mail, draw bottles and cans on the picture for the child to paint or color. Discuss how the newspaper, bottles and cans be recycled or reused.

Add any other natural materials to the picture for explaining the other R's: leaves, pinecones, etc.Optional Activity:

You probably already have a recycling program already in place at home. Discuss it and ask child for ideas on how to recycle! You will be surprised at what they have to say!