April 22 is Earth Day … a day when we clean up our parks, plant trees and flowers, and recycle cans and plastic bottles …. when we talk about how important it is to take care of our Earth.
These are all great ideas but….. far too often they are one-time activities and soon forgotten. Let’s focus instead on how to teach our children to be “Stewards of the Earth”, in hopes that this will become a life-long habit!!
What exactly is a “Steward of the Earth”? What does it teach our children?
A “Steward of the Earth” is someone who manages the Earth’s resources and puts it back to its original beauty so future generations can also enjoy it. Through exploring, understanding, and preserving nature, children learn skills, knowledge and attitudes that will help them grow to be contributing members of their community – caring about each other, their community, and the world.
‘The Seasons of a Tree’ can be used to demonstrate:
- how the different developmental domains can use the same underlying activity but focus on specific identified skills, knowledge or attitudes
- how a nature-based activity nurtures the idea of becoming a “Steward of the Earth”
Basic Activity: Seasons of a Tree
This activity is basically free, easy to do, easily accessible, and limitless in how many
other activities can be developed around the basic activity, depending upon your supplies
- Find a tree that is accessible all year for you and the children
- Children must be able to use all of their senses to examine and explore the tree
Observe the same tree once a week, through all of the seasons
The complete ‘Seasons of a Tree’ can be accessed here: Seasons of a Tree
For more ideas on how to help children become ‘stewards of the earth, check out the Stewards of the Earth and Earth Wise Units of Study at http://earlylearningsuccess.net/shop/; and Earth Smart Resource at Teachers Pay Teachers, https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Earth-Smart-Environmental-Activities-that-Support-Earth-Day-3067251