Conservation and Earth Day Inquiry-Based Learning Unit
Hey, y'all! This Earth Day, we're going to be doing a lot of work about what conservation and protecting the Earth really means. The kids reuse things in our classroom like scrap paper or milk cartons for crafts, but they don't really understand why we do that. This year, we're taking an inquiry approach to this unit and we're letting the kids lead part of our research.
We start off our inquiry units by asking questions to establish a focus in our learning. We might start with a round table discussion or graffiti wall about what we know about the topic. We might start with a QFT approach. Or we might do a read aloud about the topic and start generating questions from there.
Most of the time when we do an inquiry unit, the kids are pretty self-directed with learning. With this unit, we'll spend some time focusing on a few different areas of conservation in order to give students a broader understanding of all the things related to conservation.
We'll start where they're comfortable with the 3 R's: reduce, reuse, recycle. They've heard the terms before and have some schema on the topic. We'll read books about what it means to conserve and do the 3 R's, then we'll branch out into more ways we can take care of the Earth and why it's so important.
Some students may have some knowledge about what sustainability and "green" mean, but I like to go a little deeper so students have a firm understanding of the concepts and why they are important. We may spend an hour or so exploring different products we use that advertise being sustainable or using "green" technologies and how that affects us.
We live in an area where we have a lot of solar panels and wind energy has been a topic of conversation as well. The kids are always fascinated by the different ways we can use natural energy sources as opposed to using fossil fuels. With a Tesla plant nearby, we can also explore the implications of electric vehicles versus traditional gasoline powered cars.
My students always start to panic when they realize that the trash and other pollutants in our environment affect different animals and their habitats. But it's something they need to be aware of. We usually spend at least a couple class periods exploring different habitats, the pollutants that are affecting them, and how we can help fix the problem.
If you're looking to get your students involved in some real-world advocacy, help your students find organizations that work to clean up the environment or plant trees and create a fundraising project for students to donate and support their efforts. Your students could also write letters to different government leaders in support of conservation efforts.
You can find this conservation inquiry unit for Earth Day or any time in my Teachers Pay Teachers store here. I'm always adding new resources so be sure to follow my store for the latest updates and ideas.
I hope you found some new ideas for your next conservation unit. I hope you have a wonderful week and I'll talk to you soon!