Here is about a weeks worth of fun Earth Day lesson plans and activities for elementary students around first grade. Kids will learn Earth Day vocabulary, and to read, write, and spell 35 Earth Day words. These printable save planet earth word puzzles and games will make learning fun, engaging, and almost effortless.
They include Earth Day crossword puzzles, an Earth Day spelling game, an Earth Day word search, and more.
Learning to Read Earth Day Words
Begin each day reading a children’s book about taking care of the earth with your student.
How We Do It
My 6 year old loves it when I read to her. Her own reading improves all the time, but she doesn’t have a ton of patience for reading too much herself. She’s ok to read for a few pages or a few minutes, but then she’s had enough.
So I try to balance that sometimes by telling her we are going to read a story together. That means she is to read all the easy words I know she knows, and I will read the rest.
I also get her to read words that I know are repeated often in the story. This gives her a lot of practice to get used to those new words.
Earth Day Words to Learn to Read
There are 35 Earth Day words to focus on for the week. Reading a new book each day will allow for a lot of opportunities to learn to read these words. The Earth Day words are:
Easy Beginner Earth Day Crossword Puzzles
I created 5 easy Earth Day crossword puzzles. These beginner crossword puzzles were designed for children who might not be ready for regular crossword puzzles yet.
For a young child at the beginning stage of spelling, normal crossword puzzles can seem:
- too intimidating to even want to attempt
- the clues are often too difficult
- the boxes to write in are too small
- too many words to try and figure out how to spell
These kid-friendly save planet earth word puzzles are different!
There is one puzzle for each day of the school week. Each day kids will be working with 7 of the 35 Earth Day words.
The clues are meant to not be too difficult. In some cases there is more than one clue for a word, with clues getting progressively easier.
As well, there is no “Down” and “Across”, but rather the text of the clues are colored the same color as the box around the answer.
The goal of these puzzles is for kids to work on learning the meanings of Earth Day vocabulary words and to learn to spell them in a fun way.
The save the earth crossword puzzles are free and printable, and the pdf comes with an answer key.
Teacher / Parent Preparation
A teacher or parent needs only a few short minutes of preparation before the child begins their crossword puzzle.
To help beginner spellers learning to sound out words, prepare the letters the child will need in their puzzle.
There’s 7 words per puzzle, so you should have 7 piles of letters.
I designed the crossword puzzles to be the perfect size to be used with scrabble letters. So if you have a Scrabble game at home you might want to borrow the letters for this.
Of course you can use any type of letters you have on hand as long as they’re not too big, even writing them on a paper and cutting them out will work fine.
As an option, you could put a crayon or marker that matches the words color beside each pile of letters to help the student identify which pile of letters is meant for each word.
How It Works
Give your child an Earth Day crossword puzzle for that day. There are 5 puzzles so there’s a different puzzle for 5 different days.
The child will read a clue and try to come up with an answer. If they are unsure, there’s usually more than one clue to help them come up with the answer.
Sounding Out Earth Day Words
Beginner spellers will probably not know how to spell an answer. No frustration here, as they get to take the pile of letters for the word and try to rearrange the letters in the right order as they sound out the word.
They just need to do their best and place their letters in the spaces of the puzzle. Of course, with occasional silent letters and other odd spelling rules they might not get it perfect, but that’s ok.
When they are finished, you can go over any words that they might need help in, possibly throwing in a few mini phonics lessons.
Learning to Write Earth Day Vocabulary
So now having completed their crossword puzzle with the scrabble letters, it’s time to write the letters in. This gives extra practice going over the spelling of each word in their mind as they neatly write it out.
As an option for extra writing practice, you could choose to have your student write each of the words twice. The first time they can write it in pencil. That way if there’s any mistakes or anything it’s easier to correct. Later you can have them write over top of the pencil in black marker.
My daughter didn’t mind this extra step at all as I told her we were going to play a game with it and the black marker made the game card look prettier.
Earth Day Spelling Game
Each of the completed crossword puzzles will be a finished game card that can be played with again and again.
If you have a laminator, you could optionally laminate the cards to help protect and make each card more durable to play with.
There are 2 versions you can choose from. You can choose to use the cards with the words in the child’s writing. Alternatively, I have included the crossword puzzles with the words in typed version in case you prefer that version for your game.
Inspired by the Game Scrabble Jr.
Have you ever played Scrabble Jr. with your kids? My daughter loves to play it. When I first looked at the game in the store, I bought it thinking that it would be a fun way for her to practice some spelling.
I couldn’t see inside the box, but I mistakenly envisioned at least several game cards to play with. Unfortunately I later found only one and the teacher side in me was disappointed. I’ve always had in mind to create some more game cards to play with, and now I finally have.
How To Play
The rules of the game, inspired by Scrabble Jr., but not lol:
- 2+ players
- Each player chooses a card to play with.
- Each player begins with 7 letters.
- Players take turns, and on their turn they can place any 2 letters on their game card. The letters of each turn needs to be part of a single word. On each turn, they can work on any word on their card without needing to have completed a word before beginning another.
- If a word only needs 1 letter to be completed, then they will just use 1 letter for their turn.
- After each turn, they pick up new letters to replace the ones they’ve used. They should have 7 letters.
- If a player doesn’t have the letters needed, then their turn is exchanging any 2 of their letters for another 2 from the pile. They could also make the decision to completely change their letters, and that will be their turn.
- The object of the game is to be the first player to complete your card.
Earth Day Word Search
To finish with even more spelling practice, here’s an easy Earth Day word search puzzle for early elementary aged kids. It features the same 35 words.
To make it easier for beginner searchers, the hidden words only go horizontally and vertically. There are no diagonal or backwards words.
After kids find and circle all of the words, the remaining letters will spell a secret Earth day message.
This free printable Earth day activity can be downloaded free below. The pdf includes answers.
And there you have it! A week full of learning to read, write and spell Earth Day vocabulary for kids.
Earth Day Lesson Plans
To summarize, this Earth Day lesson plan has at least 6 days worth of Language Arts learning activities. Here is the basic outline:
Days 1 – 5
- read an Earth Day book
- Earth Day crossword puzzle
- Earth Day spelling game
- read an Earth Day book
- Earth Day word search
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