Earth Day is a global movement every April 22nd where we honor our planet and take action to protect it. It’s a chance to help students — our future changemakers — imagine a better future for our Earth.
If you’re looking to celebrate Earth Day with your high school students in a meaningful way, 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 students in high school.
Learn about young environmentalists who are 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 globally. What better way to show students 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 year-old Mari Copeny’s impact on the Flint water crisis or Celeste Tinajero’s movement to raise money for eco-friendly renovations to 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.
Kids and adults alike are spending less time outdoors. In fact, the average American child spends 4 to 7 minutes outside per day and over 7 hours per day on electronics. This disconnect from nature can make us all feel separated from discussions about environmental protection. Help your students feel connected to what they’re learning on Earth Day by spending time outside together. Here are a few ideas for outdoor activities to consider.
- Initiate a trash clean-up effort as a class, even if it’s just around your school’s grounds. Clean-ups are important, because they help us see the problem with our own eyes and change our behaviors when it comes to how we handle waste.
- Start a school community garden to connect students with nature and provide a habitat for important pollinators. Check out EarthDay.org’s School Garden Advocacy Packet for details on how to start a garden at your school.
- Spend some quiet moments in nature as a class. Have students pay attention to what’s 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 rich class discussions, environmental research projects, journal exercises, or even a regular social-emotional learning practice.
If going outdoors isn’t feasible for your class, don’t worry! You can bring nature indoors with this bottle biosphere activity.
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 that involves building and observing a living bottle biosphere. They’ll learn about biotic and abiotic factors, microorganisms, and more in this fun Earth Day activity. This resource can be used with Easel by TpT™.
Highlight 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. In these activities, students can practice reading comprehension and other important language skills while learning about how Earth Day came to be recognized globally.
Reading Comprehension Passage and Questions: Earth Day by Speech Paths
Grades: 6th-10th | English Language Arts, Special Education, Speech Therapy
Your students will practice reading comprehension with this engaging passage on the history of Earth Day. It also includes four activities for students to reflect on what they’ve learned and videos to support the article.
ESL Earth Day Activity by My Adventures in ESL
Grades: 4th-12th | ESL
This ESL Earth Day close reading resource includes vocabulary, speaking, writing, and listening activities for learners of all levels. It also includes a digital version, so students can complete the activities from anywhere.
Spark student reflection on their own environmental impact.
One of the best ways to help your students feel connected to being good stewards of the Earth is to encourage reflection on their daily routines and carbon footprints. These resources will get them started!
French Earth Day Writing Activities by Mme R’s French Resources
Grades: 7th-10th | French
Students will practice writing in French with this fun activity, where they’ll learn environmental terms, practice the future tense and the subjunctive, and reflect on how they reduce, reuse, and recycle. Students can complete this activity digitally with Easel by TpT.
Earth Day – Digital Assignment Grid by The Trendy Science Teacher
Grades: 5th-12th | Earth Science
These six ready-to-go activities will build students’ environmental awareness. They’ll see the connection between the decisions they make and their impact on the planet. Then, they’ll create an infographic to spread environmental awareness.
Incorporate Earth Day into your math lessons.
Earth Day celebrations don’t have to be limited to science and language arts. Weave Earth Day into your math lesson plans to engage students in fresh ways. These activities will have students 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 will solve algebraic equations to answer questions about Earth Day 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 cards where students move around and solve one Earth Day themed question per station. The corresponding answers can then be unscrambled to spell the answer to an Earth Day riddle.
Use research as a starting point to discuss potential solutions to environmental challenges.
These activities involve 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 initiate a discussion prior to students researching the topic. It also includes a webquest activity and can be used with Easel by TpT.
Earth Day Opinion Writing on Environmental Hour by Pagecraft ELA
Grades: 7th-10th | English Language Arts
Students will consider whether schools should have an “environmental hour” every day. Then, they’ll practice persuasive writing by expressing their viewpoint in a speech, letter, or essay with this fun bingo prompt activity.
Spanish Lesson on Global Challenges by Granabana
Grades: 10th-12th | Spanish
Foster critical thinking regarding global challenges in your Spanish classroom. In this project, students will analyze the causes, obstacles and solutions of a global challenge of their choosing and present the findings to their peers.