Rhyme, Define, Recycle—Activities for Earth Day!

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In honor of Earth Day, which is celebrated on April 22nd each year, I created a book companion activity–Rhyme, Define, Recycle!  It is a book companion activity for the story Michael Recycle by Ellie Bethel.   Are you familiar with this book? The story tells the adventures of a young superhero whose power allows him to teach people about recycling.  He helps them turn their hazy, garbage-filled town into a clean and beautiful place to live.  This humorous story is written in rhyme and teaches a wonderful lesson about the importance of being environmentally aware.The accompanying activity consists of a rhyming and definition match-up game as well as game card with tips to teach kids about recycling!

Then we did some REAL recycling projects!  We used an egg carton to make LITTER BUGS and egg shells to make EGG HEADS—it was messy but fun!   Read on to see our creations!!   And if you’re not sure what to do with the eggs you have just cracked—DON’T let them go to waste!  Here are two delicious recipe posts that I previously wrote—both are yummy ways to use those eggs!!   You can find them HERE and HERE!! 

 

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The first set of card-(36 in all)- are a matching/rhyming game.  All words are taken from the book.  This is a great way to address phonological awareness and rhyming skills. Give each player 5 cards. Place the rest in a pile. Take turns finding rhyming matches until all cards have been used.  Also included are “recycling tips” cards—use  for taking an extra turn or losing a turn.

The second set of 18 cards are vocabulary words from the story.  Use these to match up the words with the correct definition. Recycling tips cards are also included for this activity.

 

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Don’t be a LITTER BUG!   (But it’s always fun to make one!)

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This activity will teach your kiddos how to recycle in a creative way!

You will need an empty egg carton (I prefer the cardboard ones instead of the foam ones since paint sticks to them a little better.

Use whatever craft supplies you might have laying around the house, the classroom, etc.  Remember the object is to recycle and use existing materials.

I took out my jars of tempura paint, colored straws, pipe cleaners, wiggly eyes, yarn, tissue paper and pom-poms.  You could also use dried foods like pasta shapes, dry beans, etc.

 

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I cut out each of the egg cups from the carton, then let the kids pick the paint colors and go to town painting the carton cup and themselves!

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If time permits, let the carton pieces dry.  You can add the embellishments while it’s still wet, but it may get a little messy.

Some students chose to add yarn for hair……

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…or spider legs.

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Others chose tissue paper that we made into wings.

 

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And pipe cleaners made good legs too!

 

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When we were done, we compared and described the different litter bugs we created.  We took turns trying to guess which litter bug the other students were describing. And we  promised to be good to the Earth by remembering to recycle and NOT be a litter bug!

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But there’s more!!  An egg carton was not the only thing we recycled….we then found a good use for the egg shells as well!  We made EGG HEADS and planted grass inside each.  If all goes as planned, our EGG HEADS will grow “hair” on top of their funny little faces!

 

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I cracked the eggs close to the top portion of the shell so that we would be able to utilize the majority of the egg shell.

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Be sure to rinse the inside of the shell with water.

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I filled one container with grass seed and one with potting soil.  We used a plastic spoon to fill the shells.

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But first we gave some personality to our little egg heads.  Use a Sharpie marker to let the kids design their own face.

 

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Fill the shell with potting soil, close to the top but leaving a little space to sprinkle extra soil.

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Then sprinkle the soil evenly with  a few pinches of grass seed.

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Lastly, cover the top with an even layer of soil—enough to cover up the seeds.

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Have your students sequence the steps in making their egg heads.  Talk about the shape of the eggs and brainstorm other things that are shaped like an ovalExplain to them the importance of good soil, water and sunlight to make plants grow.  Name other types of seeds that can be planted in the ground.

Be sure to water your EGG HEADS occasionally and keep them near sunlight.  You should see grass begin to germinate within 7-10 days!   Once the grass has started to grow,  you can plant it in the school yard or have your student bring it home to plant in their own yard.  They will have done their part to help make the Earth a little greener!!

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