Every year, Earth Day is celebrated on April 22nd. Books are such a fantastic way to teach and introduce little learners to new subjects. I’m sharing with you today, The Best Earth Day Read-Alouds.
Earth Day is such an important topic to learn about. There are so many fun activities that can be done alongside all of the books below. I’ve divided them up by books about the earth, recycling, trees, water, gardening – composting and beess.
THIS ACTIVITY WORKS WELL WITH
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The Earth and Earth Day
Earth Day Every Day by Lisa Bullard
On Earth Day, we find ways to help the Earth. Trina plants trees with her class. She forms an Earth Day club with her friends. What can you do to make every day Earth Day? Do your part to be a planet protector!
Earth Day–Hooray! by Stuart J. Murphy
Earth Day is on the way, and Ryan, Luke, and Carly have a plan. If they manage to collect and recycle 5,000 aluminum cans, they can make enough money to buy some beautiful flowers for nearby Gilroy Park. CAN they do it? Counting the cans gives Ryan, Luke, and Carly—along with readers—a lesson in place value. And facts about recycling throughout the story will help readers understand how important it is to take care of the earth.
Earth Day Birthday! by Maureen Wright
In this fun read-aloud, it’s April 22, and Lion and his friends want to plant trees, recycle bottles, and have fun on Earth Day. But not Monkey. He wants to celebrate his birthday. Can he convince the other animals that it really is his birthday? Students with birthday’s on holidays will especially relate to Monkey in this story.
My Friend Earth by Patricia MacLachlan
This is a beautiful book that has many die-cut pages that help celebrates everything Earth does for us, all the while reminding us to be a good friend in return.
Trash and Recycling
Why Should I Recycle? by Jen Green
What if everybody threw away old bottles and newspapers, littering the world with glass and plastic and tin cans that should be recycled and made into new products? Mr. Jones is a teacher who sets a good example for kids by separating his trash for recycling. When he takes them on a class trip to a recycling plant they learn the value of recycling.
Recycling Is Fun by Charles Ghigna
Children learn that sorting recycling and giving new life to old things is not only good for the environment. It is a whole lot of fun, too!
What Does It Mean to Be Green? by Rana DiOrio
In this book, a young boy and girl discover amazing facts (like how our food travels an average of 1,500 miles to be on our plate!) and explore all the different ways they―and we―can help protect the Earth’s most precious resources to save the planet and live “green” lifestyles.
One Little Bag: An Amazing Journey by Henry Cole
This is a wordless book. I always love these books because you can fill in the narrative. This is not an “Earth Day” book perse but is a great read to understand the concept of reusing.
From a tall tree growing in the forest–to the checkout counter at the grocery store–one little bag finds its way into the hands of a young boy. And so begins an incredible journey of one little bag that is used and reused and reused again.
What A Waste by Jess French
This book is not so much a read-aloud but I didn’t want to leave it out because it’s a great book. It is a lively kid’s educational book with fabulous illustrations and fun facts about the world broken into easy-to-digest bite-sized bits. Each page can be looked at in short bursts or longer reads for more detail when talking about specific topics.
Here’s a free Earth Day Word Search for your students to do to review a lot of the vocabulary they have learned throughout these books.
Curious George Plants a Tree by H. A. Rey
When George finds out that the science museum is planning a “Green Day” dedicated to recycling and planting trees, he is curious and wants to help out! But then George begins to recycle things around town that aren’t quite ready for the recycling bin, and he gets into a jam. Thankfully, George isn’t the only one who wants to help—the whole community can’t wait to lend a hand!
Trees Make Perfect Pets by Paul Czajak
Abigail is determined to get the perfect pet.
So she 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, though, especially when Fido starts to grow. Will Abigail be able to keep her perfect pet?
Zonia’s Rain Forest by Juana Martinez-Neal
Zonia’s home is the Amazon rain forest, where it is always green and full of life. Every morning, the rain forest calls to Zonia, and every morning, she answers. She visits the sloth family, greets the giant anteater, and runs with the speedy jaguar. But one morning, the rain forest calls to her in a troubled voice. How will Zonia answer? How will we all answer?
The Magic and Mystery Of Trees by Jen Green
This book is not so much a read-aloud but I didn’t want to leave it out. In this book, kids will discover how trees communicate and warn each other of predators, how they nurture their networks, record the past, and anticipate the future to ensure their survival. There’s so much more to trees than meets the eye.
There are some particularly good pages near the end of the book that would be great to share in regards to Earth Day. From the trees and the plant, the water cycle, trees that are at risk, and helping trees.
We Are Water Protectors by Carole Lindstrom
This book is inspired by the many Indigenous-led movements across North America, We Are Water Protectors issues an urgent rallying cry to safeguard the Earth’s water from harm and corruption.
Rocket Says Clean Up! by Nathan Bryon
Rocket is off to the islands to visit her grandparents. Her family loves nothing better than to beach comb and surf together…but the beach is clogged with trash! When she finds a turtle tangled in a net, Rocket decides that something must be done! Like a mini Greta Thunberg, our young activist’s enthusiasm brings everyone together…to clean up the beach and prevent plastics from spoiling nature.
The Mess That We Made by Michelle Lord
The Mess That We Made explores the environmental impact of trash and plastic on the ocean and marine life, and it inspires kids to do their part to combat pollution. The first half of the book portrays the growing magnitude of the issue, and the second half rallies children and adults to make the necessary changes to save our oceans.
Gardening – Composting – Bees
Anywhere Garden by Phyllis Root
You might think a farm means fields, tractors, and a barnyard full of animals. But you can plant a farm anywhere you like! A box or a bucket, a boot or a pan — almost anything can be turned into a home for green, growing things. Windows, balconies, and front steps all make wonderful spots to start.
Compost Stew By Mary McKenna Siddals
This book is a fun A to Z recipe of all kinds of different items that can be put into a compost pile.
If Bees Disappeared by Lily Williams
What would happen if bees disappeared? Though bees are small, their importance is BIG. Today there are over 250,000 species of bees but all of them are in danger. Because of disease, pesticide exposure, lack of foraging habitats, and poor nutrition, entire honey bee hives are dying. This book explains how they are being harmed and ways that we can help.
Give Bees A Chance by Bethany Barton
Give Bees a Chance is for anyone who doesn’t quite appreciate how extra special and important bees are to the world, and even to humankind! Besides making yummy honey, they help plants grow fruits and vegetables. And most bees wouldn’t hurt a fly (unless it was in self-defense!).
If you’re looking for a fun way to review Earth Day vocabulary after reading a bunch of these books, we have our Earth Day bingo. You can check it out here.
I hope your students enjoy some of The Best Earth Day Read-Alouds. Do you have any other’s that you would add to our list?
See you next time!
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