Earth Week is like the moldy container of leftovers at the back of the fridge. I always mean to get around to dealing with it. My intentions are good, but inevitably it ends up forgotten and neglected. Not this year, though! Just like my family’s menu, I have to have a plan to really make things happen. So this time I’m making a plan for all of us who tend to forget holidays like this. It’s going to be a fun week of learning about caring for and protecting the environment.
The Plan for the Week
Any good holiday unit is going to have a few specific features. A Bible story, music, scripture memorization, some sort of read aloud, and fun activities. If you’ve used my Valentine’s Day or Christmas units you know I love to include these and each has a specific benefit for kids. I’ve packed the Earth Week unit with the same kinds of fun as my other holiday units!
Memorizing passages is important for brain growth and health. As Christian’s, memorizing scripture holds it’s own importance. The Bible clearly tells us this by saying, “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path” Psalm 199: 105. What good is a lamp if we don’t have it handy when it is needed? Memorizing scripture allows us to carry it in our hearts so it’s there whenever we need it!
Earth Week Passage
This week we will be memorizing Psalm 24:1, “The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to him.” As we focus on protecting the environment from a Christian perspective, it makes sense to memorize a verse that points out that the earth is God’s. Just like anything or anyone else that belongs to God, we should be focused on caring for it. As a free gift for my subscribers, I have created an Earth Week scripture and activity pack. Be sure to subscribe by clicking the picture below to get it for yourself!
Okay, it should probably be obvious which Bible story we’re going to focus on this week. Read through the story of creation as a family. After each day’s reading, ask your kids, “What can we learn from this” and, “Why is protecting the environment part of our job as Christians”. Help them to see how what God shows us in the Bible directly informs our actions as Christians.
You can use this unit with everyone from preschool through high school. Some of the songs are geared more toward the younger crowd. That’s okay, though. There are still a few songs geared more toward older kids and teens.
We’ve got 4 songs for this week. Each focuses on God’s creation in some way. Why? Protecting the environment as a Christian boils down to knowing the majesty of God’s creation. We have to understand that we should be good stewards of what he gave us through creation. Note that the focus is on praising God for His gift of creation. We are not worshiping the creation itself.
Indescribable: Praise God for the majesty of His creation
Who Is The King of the Jungle: Remember that God rules over all of his creation, earth, sky, and humans.
God of Wonders: Praise God for the majesty of His creation and salvation
Creation Song: Learn what happened during each day of creation
Every holiday needs a good story to go with it and The Lorax, by Dr. Seuss, is a perfect fit for Earth Week! Now, I know what some of you parents of tweens and teens are thinking. Your kids are too old for read alouds, right? Wrong! This article from Common Sense Media will show you some great reasons to keep reading out loud to your kids, even when they hit the teen years! As you read the story, try the following:
- With very young children (preschool and early elementary), split the story up over 2-3 days and then repeat it if you have time. Talk about the characters as you read. Why are they doing the things they do? This is a great opportunity to bring up the concepts of greed and selfishness.
- If your kids are a bit older, focus the conversation on choices that the characters make and what their other choices could/should have been. Upper elementary and middle school are also a great chance to delve into ideas like fairness and justice. Talk about justice vs. vengeance (which is a great segue into scripture covering these topics).
- Are your kids teens? They’re getting awfully close to voting age. Now is a great chance to talk about political issues like environmental regulations, political perspectives and influence in stories and media. You can focus your reading on analyzing the influence Dr. Seuss tried to have with The Lorax and how that compares to their own beliefs.
For your convenience (and to calm my need to sort and organize things), I’ve broken the activities down into categories. There are activities based on the printable pack I made, community service, and scientific exploration.
This pack is SO much fun! I’ve included secret code puzzles, word searches, and brainstorming pages for a writing assignment. Each has two options geared toward different ability levels. Plus there are a few fun coloring pages, and the plan for memorizing our scripture verse for the week! Be sure to join my community of fearless moms to get a copy of this for yourself by clicking the picture below!
- Create a Recycling Calendar and Map: The more we recycle, the less stuff that ends up in landfills. A simple way to serve your neighbors while protecting the environment is to create a calendar of when your local waste management corporation does recycling pick-ups. On the other side of the page, include a map of local recycling centers.
- Park/Neighborhood Clean-Up: Take an afternoon and go clean up a local park or the streets in your neighborhood. While you’re there, be sure to sort out what can be recycled!
- Help Save the Bees: Bees are an integral part of the pollination process that keeps crops thriving (and humans eating). By planting seeds for lavender and mint (and many other plants) you will have a wonderfully fragrant garden and help save the bees.
- Nature Scavenger Hunt: Go for a walk with your kids. Make a list of things you want to find like a bird, a blooming flower, and a butterfly. Talk about how each thing that you see serves an important role in our ecosystem and how we can care for it.
- Build a Solar Oven: Okay guys, we’re going full blown science fair project with this one. Building a solar oven will be a great demonstration about how useful alternative energy sources are and how they can help with protecting the environment. If you’re feeling the need for a little guidance on how to build a solar oven, check out the instructions I found here and here.
Protecting the Environment Can Be Fun
Let’s spend a week helping our kids see that protecting the environment is not only important, it can be fun! Learn about why it’s our job as Christians to care for God’s creation. Then, go out and apply what you’ve learned. This is the perfect unit for taking what you learn together and putting it into action! Oh, and don’t forget to get your copy of my Earth Week Scripture and Activity Pack by singing up below!
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