Every year on April 22nd, people from all over the country gather to help clean, educate, and protect our beloved Earth. Although this should be happening every day, Earth Day is still a very special day of celebration and a perfect day to help educate our students on the impact they can have on the earth, even at a young age. And what better way to do that than by reading! I’ve collected some of my favorite Earth Day picture books to share. Come check them out!
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Earth Day Picture Book #1
Dear Earth… From Your Friends in Room 5 is an adorable story written in short letters back and forth from Earth and students in room 5. The students in room 5 want to celebrate Earth Day and begin by writing to Earth and asking how they can help. Earth responds with simple ways students can impact its health. The story goes back and forth discussing easy and actionable things students can do to truly help make a difference.
This book is short and sweet. It helps highlight actionable steps any student can take to make an impact on our beautiful earth. The book would also make a great introduction to writing friendly letters. After reading, your class could write their own letters to Earth and maybe Earth might even respond. 😉
Picture Book #2
Earth! My First 4.54 Billion Years is a fun and simple book narrated by planet Earth himself (or herself). Earth tells the story of his family and how he was born. From the beginning with Pangea (the mega continent) through the beginning of life and the extinction of dinosaurs, Earth gives lots of detail about his life’s journey. In the story, students get to learn basic facts about our Earth and how it has grown to the planet we know today.
This book is very basic and would be great for more early elementary grades. With the book being narrative nonfiction, students can listen and practice extracting important details, finding the main idea, and other important nonfiction skills!
Looking for more than just Earth Day picture books to help teach about Earth Day? Check out this engaging & digital Earth Day unit – perfect for 2nd – 4th grade!
Inside you’ll find 10 different activities, all supporting celebrating Earth Day! From nonfiction and fiction comprehension passages to context clues activities and Earth Day math word problems – this unit has tons to choose from to help your students learn and celebrate!
Grab the unit HERE!
Earth Day Picture Book #3
The Seeking Tree is a heartfelt picture book from the perspective of the trees. It begins thousands of years ago when native people roamed the earth in search of food and berries. The trees filled the forests and covered the earth. Wanting companionship, the trees ask ‘Will you sit with us?’ As time goes on, more and more people appear and civilizations change from wooden houses to modern-day cities with interstates and cars. With humans being so busy with school and jobs, the trees again find themselves asking, “Will you sit with us?”.
The story ends on a very sad note with trees becoming almost extinct. Futuristic technology has taken over and trees are no longer wanted, let alone needed. This could be our future. Reading this story gives a scary glimpse into our possible future if we don’t stop and help save the trees. After reading, discuss with students how this book made them feel. What could they do to help impact change in our world to help save trees?
Picture Book #4
The Boy Who Grew A Forest helps us answer the question, “What difference can one person make?” This is based on the true story of Jadav Payeng, who helped rebuild what is now known today as the Molai forest in India. The picture book begins with Jadav as a young boy witnessing his beloved town being washed away by the raging river. Plants were dying and animals were losing their homes. He had to do something.
With determination and 20 bamboo saplings, he worked day and night to regrow the forest. He spent day and night watering and caring for the saplings that quickly grew. Over time, animals found their way back to the forest. Jadav worked endlessly to plant and replant, protect the animals, and provide sanctuary to the forest. After reading, can your students answer the question, ‘What difference can one person make?”
Earth Day service projects are a great way to get your students involved and help make an impact. Check out my favorite Earth Day project and try it yourself!
Earth Day Picture Book #5
Black Beach is a wonderful story about the history of Earth Day. This narrative nonfiction story follows a young girl named Sam whose favorite place is the beach in Santa Barbara. But one day her school teacher told them about a horrible accident that took place out on the oil rigs. One had broken and was spilling oil out into the harbor. The town worked hard to clean it up, but that wasn’t enough.
Sam and her classmates bottled up oil to send to politicians to help spread awareness of the horrific event. Soon, they caught the attention of one politician named Gaylord Nelson. Gaylord worked with a group of reporters and activists to help create a day of awareness for helping keep our earth safe and clean. The story is perfect for any grade level and helps to truly show the difference a small group of people can make! This is truly one of my favorite Earth Day picture books!
Picture Book #6
Trees Make Perfect Pets is truly an adorable story of a young girl’s determination to find the perfect pet. Abigail chooses Fido. He keeps her cool from the sun, stays where she tells him, and even gives her air to breathe. That’s because Fido is a tree! But not everyone thinks having a tree as a pet is a good idea… especially when Fido starts to grow.
Abigail wasn’t happy when her father made her move Fido outside where he belonged. Would he be lonely? But Abigail soon found out that Fido wasn’t just her best friend, but everyone’s! Trees truly are everyone’s best friend. I love this story and it would make a great persuasive writing activity. Have your students pick out another helpful environmental item and write a persuasive story about how and why that is their ‘favorite pet’. Would they pick bees? Or maybe flowers?
I hope you found some new and fun Earth Day picture books to add to your classroom! If you’d like to save this post for later, please pin the image below!