Earth Day Activities for High School Students
Earth Day is a global movement on April 22 where we honor our planet and take action to protect it. It’s an opportunity to help students – our future changemakers – envision a better future for our Earth.
If you want to celebrate Earth Day in a meaningful way with your high school students, these ideas will help you plant the seeds.
Meaningful Earth Day Ideas for High School Students
Honor our planet with these Earth Day activities for high school students.
Learn about young environmentalists changing the world.
Global issues like climate change can feel like impossible challenges for individuals to tackle. High school students may think, “I’m just one person.” What difference can I make?”
The reality is that there are young environmentalists making a difference worldwide. What better way to show students that their actions matter than to learn about real kids their age who have made an impact on the environmental movement?
Students can learn about 14 years old Mari Copeny’s impact on the Flint water crisis or Celeste Tinajero’s movement to raise money for eco-friendly renovations of her high school. Their stories can inspire your high school students to chart their own course for change – in their homes and beyond.
Get students outside in nature.
Both children and adults are spending less time outdoors. In fact, the average American child spends 4 to 7 minutes a day outside and more than 7 hours a day on electronics. This disconnection from nature can make us all feel separated from discussions of environmental protection. Help your students feel connected to what they are learning on Earth Day by spending time together outdoors. Here are a few outdoor activity ideas to consider.
- As a class, start cleaning up trash, even if it’s only near the school grounds. Cleanups are important because they help us see the problem with our own eyes and change our behavior when it comes to the way we handle waste.
- Start a school community garden to connect students with nature and provide a habitat for important pollinators. Checking out EarthDay.org’s School Garden Advocacy Package for more information on starting a garden at your school.
- Spend some quiet moments in nature as a class. Have the students pay attention to what is around them – the animals, the plants, the weather – and write down what they notice. You can use this mindfulness activity as a starting point for extended class discussions, environmental research projects, journaling exercises, or even a regular social-emotional learning exercise.
If going outside isn’t feasible for your class, don’t worry! With this bottled biosphere activity you bring nature into your home.
Earth Day Bottle Biosphere Project – Bundle by MoonDust eLearning LLC
Grades: 6th-12th | Biology
Engage students in hands-on learning with this two-week project where they build and observe a living bottle biosphere. They learn about biotic and abiotic factors, microorganisms and more in this fun Earth Day activity. This resource can be used with Easel by TpT.
Emphasize the importance of Earth Day by exploring its history.
Give your students rich context for the importance of Earth Day by sharing how the event began. These activities allow students to practice reading comprehension and other important language skills while learning how Earth Day was recognized around the world.
Reading comprehension Passage and questions: Earth Day through speech paths
Grades: 6th-10th | English Language Arts, Special Education, Speech Therapy
Your students will practice reading comprehension with this engaging passage about the history of Earth Day. It also includes four activities for students to reflect on what they have learned and videos to support the article.
ESL Earth Day activity through My Adventures in ESL
Grades: 4th-12th | ESL
This ESL Earth Day close reading resource includes vocabulary, speaking, writing, and listening activities for students of all levels. It also includes a digital version so students can complete the activities anywhere.
Encourage students to think about their own impact on the environment.
One of the best ways to help your students feel connected to being good stewards of the earth is to encourage them to think about their daily routines and their carbon footprint. With these resources they can get started!
French Earth Day writing activities by Mme R’s French Resources
Grades: 7th-10th | French
Students practice writing in French with this fun activity where they learn environmental terms, practice the future tense and subjunctive, and think about how they reduce, reuse and recycle. Students can fill in this activity digitally with Easel by TpT.
Earth Day – Digital Mapping Grid by the trendy science teacher
Grades: 5th-12th | Earth Sciences
These six ready-made activities will increase the environmental awareness of the students. They will see the connection between the decisions they make and their impact on the planet. They then create an infographic to spread environmental awareness.
Include Earth Day in your math lessons.
Earth Day celebrations don’t have to be limited to science and language arts. Incorporate Earth Day into your math lesson plans to engage students in new ways. These activities require students to solve word problems or equations to unlock information about the environment.
Earth Day – Algebraic Equations by Jelly Beans and Jumping Jacks
Grades: 6th-9th | Math
In this Earth Day math activity, students solve algebraic equations to answer Earth Day questions and solve a riddle. They can also complete this activity with Easel by TpT.
Earth Day Word Problems – Math Mixer Activity by The Math Pantry
Grades: 9th-12th | Math
This engaging math mixer station activity has six station maps where students walk around and solve one Earth Day themed question per station. The corresponding answers can then be deciphered to spell out the answer to an Earth Day riddle.
Use research as a starting point to discuss possible solutions to environmental challenges.
These activities include researching and analyzing environmental issues, practicing persuasive writing, and coming up with solutions to environmental issues.
Earth Day and Environment Graphic Organizers by Diana Bailey
Grades: 7th-10th | General science
This resource has graphic organizers for 15 environmental topics. Assign topics to individual students or groups, or start a discussion before students research the topic. It also includes a webquest activity and can be used with Easel by TpT.
Writing Earth Day Opinion on Environmental Hour by Pagecraft ELA
Grades: 7th-10th | English language art
The pupils start thinking about whether schools should have an ‘environment hour’ every day. They then practice persuasive writing by expressing their point of view in a speech, letter, or essay with this fun bingo prompt activity.
Spanish lesson on global challenges by Granada
Grades: 10th-12th | Spanish
Encourage critical thinking about global challenges in your Spanish classroom. In this project, students analyze the causes, obstacles and solutions of a global challenge of their choice and present the findings to their peers.
discover more Earth Day Resources for High School Students on TP. If you’re an elementary or middle school teacher, we’ve got Earth Day ideas for you too!
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