Earth Day is April 22nd and it is a great opportunity for upper elementary students to evaluate the impact that we have on the planet and what the future implications of that impact could be. When I was looking for videos I found a lot of smaltzy, sing-songy videos aimed at lower elementary about recyling, reducing, reusing, planting, etc. But in this blog I want to highlight the five that I found for upper elementary students that I think are the most useful for explaining and laying out the consequences of not looking after our planet, as well as things families can do that could have a positive effect.
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The theme for Earth Day 2019 is “Protect Our Species” and this video does a nice job in words and pictures of showing endangered species. There is no audio commentary, just music and subtitles. It’s a great introduction to understanding that Earth Day is bigger than the three ‘r’s, and about the diversity of life that call Earth home.
Aptly titled, ‘Annoying Orange’ is an animated, loud, in-your-face explanation of Earth Day. As long-lashed, eyeliner-to-die-for Earth explains, “I’m cold where I was hot, I’m hot where I was cold, and the polar ice caps are so thin, I look like I have a comb-over”. Sure to appeal to our YouTube generation.
Climate Change 101 from Bill Nye the Science Guy from National Geographic puts a respectable face onto Earth Day. Watch him explain in clear and concise language how climate change has occurred and what that means for us. A great contrast to ‘Annoying Orange’ and showing them back to back makes kids sit up and take notice.
This was my first time viewing ‘Crash Course Kids’ and I was suitably impressed. Presented in a no frills, no nonsense way, this ‘Climate Change’ video had just the right amount of animation to keep kids entertained and informed in a non-cutesy way. I will definitely be checking out other shows in the series.
So what’s the solution? Is there a solution? Is our carbon impact so big that it is too late? This video from the United Kingdom was a brief news article but is presented in such a way with easy to read charts that it makes a great conversation starter for your students as they think about what efforts need to be made by us today and by their generation going forward.
If you have any great links to videos, please drop them in the comments section below!