It seems like everyday, more and more environmental issues face us. As an educator, it’s important to encourage your students to be thoughtful global citizens and be mindful of their individual impact on the environment. This year, celebrate Earth Day with your students in ways that are educational and interest them. Here are some ways you can help your students focus on the environment for Earth Day.

Watch a documentary

Depending what class you teach, you can find time to watch a documentary about a pressing environmental event for Earth Day. Find a few to choose from and then let your students vote on what they’d like to watch. There are plenty of masterfully done nature documentaries, whether about pressing environmental issues, events that have occurred, or just general informational nature documentaries. Kids love nature documentaries, especially when they’re engaging, like Planet Earth.

Volunteer

If you can find a way for your students to volunteer with a local organization that focuses on the environment, take advantage of this opportunity. Picking up trash, collecting recyclables, or planting trees is a great idea and doesn’t take much time or effort. See what’s happening in your local area and then check if it’s possible for your students to volunteer or participate in a planned event. You can even organize your own volunteer opportunity on school grounds.

Discuss current science news

There are always environmental events and issues occurring, so take the time to help your students learn about these. Provide them with outlets and resources online where they can read about something happening. You can even assign a specific project for Earth Day that allows them to choose an environmental issue that interests them and then give a short lesson to the rest of the class on the topic.

Talk about individual impact

For many students, they likely haven’t considered the impact their individual actions have on the world around them. Talk to students about the importance of recycling and properly disposing of trash. Teach them small ways they can improve the environment, such as volunteering with an organization, caring for wildlife or plants, or limiting the waste they produce. You can show them the importance of turning off lights when leaving a room, walking or biking instead of driving a car, or using less water. Most students would love to know more about ways they can make the world a better place.

Go outside

Finally, an incredibly simple way for you to help your students to celebrate Earth Day is simply taking them outside. Head to a local park or go on a short walk and just appreciate nature. Earth Day is the perfect time to develop a new appreciation for the world around you and reflect on the beauty of nature.