History of Earth Day Video for Kids
On January 28, 1969, millions of gallons of oil spilled into the ocean near California. This oil spill killed thousands of animals and created public outrage. This environmental disaster was one event that inspired the creation of Earth Day.
Finding meaningful ways to learn about holidays like Earth Day in the classroom can be challenging. I want to provide you with engaging history resources for every situation, so I’m compiling a list of excellent history videos for kids.
To make your life easier, here’s a great Earth Day video and activity. Happy teaching!
History of Earth Day Video
Earth Day may be something your students have heard of, but they may not know much about the holiday’s origins. Teach your students about the history of Earth Day by watching this video: Earth Day by PBS Kids.
This short but informative video shares the important facts behind the history of Earth Day. It discusses Earth Day’s founder, Senator Gaylord Nelson, as well as his inspiration for creating the holiday. The video also explains how Earth Day’s celebration has changed and evolved in recent years.
This video is appropriate for ages 8 and up.
History of Earth Day Activity
Want to encourage some critical thinking?
Encourage students to analyze the video using a See-Think-Wonder graphic organizer. In this activity, students are asked to make observations about the video after multiple viewings. Each observation encourages a deeper level of analysis.
This activity is great practice for analyzing primary sources.
History of Earth Day Lesson Plan
- Ask students what they know about Earth Day and its history. Make a list on the board.
- Before watching the video, give students the See-Think-Wonder graphic organizer. Explain how to use the graphic organizer to take notes.
- Instructions: Students watch the video three times (don’t worry, it’s short!). After each viewing, students fill out one section on the graphic organizer.
- For the first viewing, mute the audio. Then fill out the “See” section of their graphic organizer and discuss. Ask students to make observations about the video. They can also predict what the video is about. This is AMAZING practice for analyzing historical texts and primary sources.
- Watch the video again but with sound.
- After the second viewing, students fill out the “Think” section of the graphic organizer. Ask students what the video is about, who created the video, and why.
- Before the final viewing, encourage students to think about what else they want to know about Earth Day? What questions do they still have after watching? Fill out the “Wonder” section of the graphic organizer.
- Finally, students share what they wrote down in their “Wonder” section. Ask students to brainstorm how they can learn more.
- Optional: introduce an extension activity such as an Earth Day service project.
Download the Free See-Think-Wonder Graphic Organizer
I hope this kid-friendly History of Earth Day video keeps your students engaged on Earth Day. As you can see, this See-Think-Wonder graphic organizer is a versatile activity that can be a great tool in your classroom. For more ideas about how to use it in your history classroom, click here.
To download, simply click the button below. The graphic organizer is also available in a Google Classroom version. Happy teaching!
Looking for more seasonal history lessons? I’ve created activity ideas for most major holidays and seasons. Check them out below! You may also be interested in browsing my collection of free lesson plans.