Earth Day Activities (and 12 COOL Earth Facts) for Students

It's almost Earth Day, so I asked some friends if they had any Earth Day activities (like the coordinate graphing activity from Hayley Cain that is linked at the bottom of this post). No matter what your stand is on global warming or recycling or any other environmental issue, our planet is pretty freaking awesome! For example, right at this very moment we are speeding through space 15 times faster than the fastest jet ever made. How crazy is that?! This is the kind of stuff about our beautiful planet Earth I like to think about and that I wanted to highlight in this post.

This is my Dad's pin from the original Earth Day in 1970. 

He and my Mom grew up outside Philadelphia and were in their early 20s in 1970. The other edge of the pin reads "Earth Week Comm of Phila" so it seems Earth Day may have been a whole week back then. When I was a kid, we'd go down to a local park to get a free tree each Earth Day. 

I recently made a pennant for Earth Day and decided to focus on completely amazing things about our beautiful planet. Below are some of the facts that I came across that reminded me how awesome it is here:

Hyperion, a massive redwood tree in California, is estimated to be 380 feet tall. The location of this tree is being kept a secret.

The smallest animal found is a frog measuring just 7 millimeters long.

An orca can swim 100 miles in one day.

Methuselah, a bristlecomb pine tree in California, is estimated to be 5,000 years old. 

A tiny Monarch butterfly can fly 50 miles per day.

A bee can visit 5,000 flowers in one day.

The atmosphere at the top of Mount Everest is just 7% oxygen. There is 21% oxygen in the atmosphere at sea level. (Once oxygen levels drop to 20%, people start falling asleep, hence the reason casinos pump in oxygen).

In 1982, the temperature in Antarctica was measured at -228.6 degrees Fahrenheit.

Bamboo grows over 90 centimeters per day. You can almost watch it grow.

Earth zooms through space at 67,000 miles per hour.

Lake Vanda in Antarctica is 10x saltier than the Atlantic Ocean.

18,250 new species are found each year on planet Earth.

There are so many cool things about Earth that can so easily get completely overshadowed by all the bad news we all constantly hear. I wanted to remind kids how great our planet is. In the activity, I incorporated these facts (and others) into simple word problems and fun drawings to color.

Earth Day Pennant
Happy Earth Day! 

All National Parks will be free in celebration of Earth Day. There is also this great list of Earth Day activities for each state

And if you are a teacher and are looking for an activity to do with your students (and to break up state testing), below are some ideas to celebrate Earth day in your classroom.

Earth Day Classroom Ideas

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