This is a very special time of the year for me. For many reasons. On Arbor Day in 1997 (which was April 25th that year), my husband and I planted a tree during our wedding ceremony in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It was a Mimosa. Mimosas are prolific. This year, Arbor Day falls on April 30th, but we always celebrate it on the 25th. Arbor Day doesn’t get the attention that it once did. It used to show up on my calendar every April, but now Earth Day (April 22) rules. That’s okay. I love the Earth, too, so we celebrate both days at my house. Nothing wrong with that. We have made many changes in our lifestyle over the past 13 years. It’s amazing how awareness can reveal areas that need improvement. We are still finding ways to reduce our environmental footprint.
Right now, I have a pile of materials to be recycled that reaches halfway up the wall in our recycling room. That doesn’t include the bottles and cans and plastic that the recycling center picks up every other week! I really need to get to the recycling center, or my family will start calling me “Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout” instead of just “Cynthia” or “Mommy”. That’s one way I will observe the day. I have a lot of electronic devices that no longer work. I need to take those to the nearest facility.
I think the most fun ways that we will celebrate are by adding the tomato and pepper plants to the garden (I think the nighttime temperatures will be 50 degrees or above by the weekend) and by helping others plant trees. We have too many trees to add another to our lawn, but we will collect the saplings to share with friends and family. So, as the Mimosa continues to reproduce, we are spreading the seeds of our trees that provide us with serenity, entertainment, and comfortable shelter.
How will you celebrate Earth Day and Arbor Day? You might want to see how you can join the Earth Day Campaign. You may also want to take the Energy Star Pledge. One thing that we have done that has made a noticeable difference on our end is that we have installed CFL bulbs in all fixtures except for the bulbs in the dining room dimmer and the refrigerator. Doing this has been a win-win for us because it has saved us a lot on our electric bills. We replaced them a package at a time as the incandescent bulbs burned out. It really didn’t cost that much extra, and the new bulbs last so much longer. You may want to get your classrooms involved in the various ways to observe these two special days. You can do that through our resources, too.
KET celebrates Earth Day! We have many wonderful programs that you can use in your classroom to commemorate the power and beauty of Mother Nature. Here are just a few of the fantastic resources available to you and your students.
KET’s Electronic Field Trip to the Watershed takes students to urban and rural settings across Kentucky to see how water from rain and snow is collected and funneled into common waterways—and how human activities affect the quality of water everywhere.
The PD component, Raindrops to Rivers, uses authentic video of Kentucky classrooms to showcase high quality instruction on watersheds and nonpoint source pollution. Also included are links to Kentucky Core Content and Program of Studies, lesson materials, and additional resources.
KET ED On Demand:
- Green Careers are a high-demand job track for students from a wide range of academic disciplines and with a wide variety of interests. This series provides information about the educational requirements for entering the various fields. Young people are encouraged to take advantage of internships and part-time jobs to get hands-on experience while pursuing their studies. By becoming stewards of our environment, young people who choose a green career can help solve the some of the greatest problems of our time while finding work that matches their personal interests and values. Grades 5-12.
- Forest Family Forever (with Ed Asner) is a beautiful blend of live footage and animation that tells the story of a 1,000-year-old grandfather tree who teaches his sapling grandson about the wonders of a variety of rainforests and what kids can do to save them. This 15-minute video is designed to be used in elementary classrooms.
- KET STEM Learning Objects are some excellent resources that you can use anytime, including some that fit perfectly with Earth Day. Grades K-12.
- North American Biomes series for grades 4-8, provides a comparative study of North American biomes, examining each biome’s diverse plant and animal communities and their interrelationships. The series begins with an overview of the criteria that distinguish one biome from another and helps students understand plant and animal adaptations.
Kentucky’s National Parks has a webpage about why we should preserve our parks. Of course, I have mentioned many times in the past that there is a terrific Teacher’s Lodge on the site with amazing accommodations. You will enjoy your stay.
Don’t forget that the entire Planet Earth series is now available on KET EncycloMedia, as well as many other learning assets.
Earth Days: American Experience – Director Robert Stone traces the origins of the modern environmental movement through the eyes of nine Americans who propelled the movement from its beginnings in the 1950s. [cc] American Experience
- KET: Monday, April 19 at 9:00 pm EDT
- KET2: Tuesday, April 20 at 1:00 am EDT
- KET2: Wednesday, April 21 at 3:00 am EDT
- KET2: Wednesday, April 21 at 9:00 pm EDT
- KET2: Friday, April 23 at 2:00 am EDT
- KET2: Saturday, April 24 at 3:00 am EDT
So get out there an enjoy the freshness of the Spring air and all of the goodness that the earth has to offer. Plant a seed and watch it grow. It’s therapeutic.