It’s the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day and we’re celebrating our big blue planet. This week, we’ll have three special activities for H.O.M.E.School students and their families. 

This week, we will learn how much of the Earth’s water is freshwater, how we as humans use it, and some ways we can conserve and protect the Great Lakes. We’ll also think about the challenges many families face when they’re unable to get access to clean, safe drinking water.

Time/Materials

These activities will take up to 30 minutes per day. 

You’ll need:

  • Computer
  • Optional: printer and writing utensil

Ready? Head to the Classroom!

Watch the video below to learn about freshwater and the Great Lakes.

Share the Learning

Discuss with you kid(s): Do you think there is a lot of water on planet Earth? What is the difference between saltwater and freshwater? How do you use freshwater? Why are the Great Lakes important to you? What do you think you could do to help preserve the Great Lakes?

Activities

Complete the Know Your H20 Challenge, where you and your household will log water consumption throughout one day. Then discuss how we use water, and what it means to not have water.

Next, tackle the How Plastic Free Can You Be? challenge. As a household, track how much single-use plastic you use in a day, and decide what is necessary and what isn’t.

Finally, make A Promise to Planet Earth! Talk about things you could do to help our planet and our water. Your ideas could be anything big or small: from reducing your use of single-use plastics, to turning off the water while brushing your teeth, to advocating for change by calling your elected officials regularly for issues that are important to you.

Deep Dive

Want to learn more? Check out these resources!

  • Learn more about World Water Day and how to protect our precious water resources from SCARCE – a local organization that supports teachers and individuals in protecting our planet.
  • Learn about water conservation practices:
    • Visit the Environmental Protection Agency’s Water Sense for Kids page to learn some easy, everyday ways to save water.
    • Then take our Know Your H2O Quiz to see if you know how to conserve and protect Great Lakes water.
    • Graph your water use logs before and after water conservation practices with our “Water, Water Everywhere” lesson from our Great Lakes in My World K-8 curriculum (Grades 4 & up).
  • Review this “Watery World” activity from Atlantic Cup’s Kids Portal to learn more about the freshwater and saltwater on Earth.
  • Learn more about plastic pollution in our waterways and think about how humans impact our environment
    • “Beaches Over Time” has a poem, timeline and activity for learning about pollution on our beaches (for grade Kindergarten and up).
    • Plastic pollution is a problem in our lakes and oceans. Learn more about types of plastic, how it impacts wildlife and how effective different solutions are in 5 Gyre’s “What Happens to Trash” lesson plan for grades 6 and up.

Find more Great Lakes lessons at H.O.M.E.School.