What's Happening in Character?

What I Owe to Nature

Posted by Heather Cazad on Thu, Apr 13, 2017 @ 10:04 AM

When I was three, I lived in the country where my mom owned 21 acres of woodsy hillside. I was too young to form many memories there before we moved, but of the ones that remain, all but two took place outside. I had a swing set that faced the hill, and on pretty days, I would swing and focus my attention to the hill with all of its untouched trees and weeds, on the hawks that soared overhead, on the sound of nature around me. I felt the warm breeze as I watched butterflies and bees pass by. That was my happy place, outside in my little clearing. 

When I was ten, I begged my dad to take me to the park every chance we got to walk the paths, see the squirrels and traverse the creeks and streams. We played games and talked, but mostly, we blazed our own trails through the woods in revered silence. As we walked, we listened to the frogs and the echo of twigs beneath our feet.

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Topics: earth day

16 Earth Day Reads Recommended by Educators

Posted by Character.org Staff on Tue, Apr 19, 2016 @ 05:04 AM

On April 13, we hosted a #SchoolsofCharacter chat that focused on ways educators can connect character education to their Earth Day initiatives. Question 4, “What are your favorite children’s books that promote environmental action?” prompted so many great responses that we wanted to share them with you. These suggestions are elementary level texts. If you have to resources for older students, we’d love to hear them in the comments!

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Topics: earth day, environmental action, Literacy

8 Meaningful Ways to Celebrate Earth Day

Posted by Rebecca Bauer on Mon, Mar 30, 2015 @ 14:03 PM

Earth day is the perfect time to get your students outside enjoying nature in springtime. Make sure you take advantage of this opportunity to teach your students how they can care for the environment. Here are 8 engaging earth day activities that will inspire children to be mindful of the planet’s resources.

  1. Teach your students to appreciate nature and all it has to offer by planting a garden. Did you know that kidsgardening.org has lesson plans and offers grants to help you get started?

  1. Start Environmental Action Committees at your school. Learn how Chesterfield Elementary created student-driven environmental studies projects and integrated them into their English curriculum. Read more about it here.

  1. Teach your students about the importance of conserving water. These books will help you introduce the topic and offer a few 

    practical ideas!

  1. Make a recycled art project. Take a look at this list of recycled art projects that include a plastic bottle bird feeder, an oatmeal box pencil holder, smashed soda can animals, and more!

  1. Read a book that inspires environmental action. My personal favorite is The Lorax, but you can also check out this list of “Green Reads” from PBS for more options.

  1. Make and eat some “Sun S’mores” as a special earth day snack. Your class can learn about solar power, while eating chocolatey marshmallow sandwiches. What could be better?

  1. Pick up trash and explain the importance of keeping our environment clean and healthy.  Start on your own school playground or a local park. Click here to read about Cherry Hill Alternative High School students’ clean up of a historic cemetery.

  1. Looking for something a little more advanced? These resources from the Environmental Protection Agency can help high school students implement a school-wide waste reduction plan.

What is your school doing to celebrate Earth Day? Share your ideas in the comments.

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Topics: earth day, environmental action