Earth Day Activities for Speech Therapy and Teletherapy
Earth Day is one of my favorite spring themes to use in speech therapy.... especially since you can actually use it all year. Earth Day activities can be adapted to so many different levels, from preschool through high school. Plus, Earth Day can be celebrated by all students throughout the world!
For younger students, speech therapy activities for Earth Day focus on simpler concepts such as planting trees and recycling. When working with older students, SLPs may focus on more advanced topics such as climate change and renewable energy.
There are tons of digital resources available to use throughout the week (or month) of Earth Day in speech therapy and special education. Whether you're a teletherapist or just a big fan of not printing and prepping, check out these activities to see which ones suit your unique setting, caseload, and student goals!
Earth Day PDF Activities
You'll love using this PDF to introduce Earth Day vocabulary and concepts. It uses real photos and simple language to review what and when Earth Day is, as well as ways that people can help the planet on a daily basis.
This interactive PDF is perfect for a teletherapy platform, iPad, or smartboard. It uses Earth Day vocabulary throughout the 6 activities, and targets articulation and language goals including verb tenses, compare and contrast, figurative language, and reading comprehension. Mixed groups? No problem when you use this resource!
Earth Day Boom Card Activities
I love a good picture search and luckily, so do my students! Every scene in this Earth Day-themed Boom Card deck is bursting with speech targets and language opportunities! Plus, students are guaranteed to be intrigued by the "magic flashlight" effect that you can overlay on each scene!
Any themed activity that builds on students' prior knowledge while introducing some new concepts makes my heart sing. Since most elementary students have some understanding of recycling, this Boom Card deck on recycling and composting does just that. It's a great activity for sorting, vocabulary, reading comprehension, and more! And don't miss this free coloring page that perfectly goes with it!
Books About Earth Day
Search the following book titles/authors wherever you access printed or digital versions of books (your local library, YouTube, websites, online stores, etc.):
The Earth Book by Todd Parr gives simple ideas for ways children can work together to keep the Earth happy and healthy.
Dear Earth.... From Your Friends in Room 5 by Erin Dealey is the story of how a class writes back and forth with the Earth.
Energy Island: How One Community Harnessed the Wind and Changed Their World by Allan Drummond is a fictional story about the science of energy conservation in a community.
The Tree Lady: The True Story of How One Tree-Loving Woman Changed a City Forever by H. Joseph Hopkins is a story about a woman that transforms her new city by bringing trees to it.
Trash Talk by Michelle Mulder uses real photographs to discuss the environmental challenge of managing garbage.
Why Should I Recycle? by Jen Green helps children understand why recycling is important by showing what our world would look like without it.
Compost Stew by Mary McKenna Siddals is an alphabet book that also teaches children about composting.
Videos About Earth Day
Jack Hartmann's "Recycle" song is a catchy music video that's geared toward younger children.
This short (about 1 minute) National Geographic video shows some breathtaking video footage of the planet.
This 1.5-minute video from National Energy Technology Laboratory has real photos and counts 8 ways that children can help the environment.
This PBS Kids video tells about Earth Day's history.
If you have an Epic subscription, this video gives details about how recycling works.
Earth Day Websites and Activities
PBS Kids has this fun park clean-up and recycling game as well as The Cat in the Hat's Super Cleaner Upper game.
This Recycle Roundup Activity from National Geographic Kids is also a hit that you can use to incorporate many language goals.
Starfall has another virtual clean-up activity that also allows students to practice sorting recyclable materials.
I love this Recycle City website from the EPA. It links to several fun and interactive Earth Day activities!
This recycling maze activity on Primary Games is great for filling the last few minutes of a session.
Coloring is another great activity to fill a few minutes at the end of a session or reinforce Earth Day vocabulary. These pictures showing litter pick-up and recycling can be colored digitally or printed.
Need a quick memory game? Check out this Earth Day game on Match The Memory.
This Earth Day puzzle from Primary Games can be adapted to multiple levels.
Earth Day Digital Stickers
Digital stickers are an easy way to take themed vocabulary and use it for whatever speech or language goals you need to target. In this activity, I use Earth Day stickers to target a students' specific goal of simple present tense verbs. You can imagine all the ways that you could use the stickers and text boxes to quickly design an activity for a certain skill.
Earth Day Articles, Passages, and Activities for OLDER Students
This PDF contains real photos and 3 passages about Earth Day, plus activities to target language for each one. Additional articulation and language activities are also included to help you serve your older students in mixed groups. What's even more versatile is that you can print the pages or use the digital version of the PDF.
This Readworks article tells about how schools are working to decrease waste and conserve energy. This article from Newsela provides specific ways that students can use fewer resources and improve their recycling habits.
For elementary students, this passage about composting includes visuals for the answer choices. Composting is a lesser known topic within the Earth Day theme, so it's fun to see students learn about something new!
As you may have seen me share before, I'm a huge fan of using project-based learning to target goals within the context of relevant themes with older students. If you'd like to devote a little more time to an Earth Day theme, helping students plan and organize a school grounds clean-up or recycling drive is a great way to target goals functionally.
Another surefire way to engage older students is funny fill-in-the-blank stories (similar to Mad Libs). This one about pollution can be found in this packet of Spring Speech Libs. which includes plenty of other fun spring-themed stories. I know they will help you in a pinch!
The Earthday.org website offers some awesome quizzes about Earth Day. A quiz is a great way to close out the Earth Day theme and allow students to reflect on what they've learned. The site has quizzes on several Earth-related topics, from whale conservation to renewable fashion.
For a quick and easy time-filler for the end of a speech therapy session, this Earth Day-themed word search on PrimaryGames.com or this one on ABCYa work great!
National Park Week also occurs the week of Earth Day, and it puts a great spin on the theme for older students. It allows you to review some familiar Earth Day concepts and apply them a little differently. Check out all of the ways to celebrate National Park Week in speech therapy!
This April, take the Earth Day theme and run with it in your speech therapy sessions! These are just a few of the many activities available to use with students of all ages that are working on different speech and language goals.