Add Shades of Green to Your Library on World Earth Day (April 22)

How often do we tell children that their actions can make a difference? On World Earth Day this year, raise awareness around environmental issues. Here are eight awesome ways in which you can inspire your students to be more environmentally-friendly.

1. Bring plants into the library.

Are there plants in your library? If there aren’t, bring in plants that will flourish indoors. A little greenery will do wonders for the atmosphere of the library, making it more inviting. Keeping in spirit with World Earth Day celebrations, it will be fantastic if you could plant a seed in the library. As you do this, gather children around you and talk to them about the importance of plants and trees. How about narrating the inspiring stories of Wangari Mathai or the Chipko Movement? You could even invite a science teacher to initiate a discussion.

2. Read aloud a captivating story related to the environment.

Pick a book from the library that will help set the mood for World Earth Day.  You could even read selected portions of it. Hopefully, this will evoke their curiosity and motivate them to complete the book. Want to take a look at our recommended books? Click here to see it.

3. The Go Green Contest: Hold a contest that raises awareness around important environmental issues.

School-wide contests are a great way of drawing attention to any cause. For younger grades (Grades 2-5), hold a bookmark contest in which they have to make bookmarks that promote ways in which to be environmentally friendly. For older grades (Grades 6-8), organize a poster competition in which they have to make posters that promote the need to be more environmentally friendly. You could even pick more specific themes such as endangered animals, global warming, etc. Make sure the winning bookmarks and posters are displayed in the school library.

4. Invite an expert who works toward protecting the environment.

The school library should ideally be a hub for information – a place where children can ask all sorts of questions and find answers. You’ll be surprised at the number of people in your city/town whose work is aimed primarily at protecting nature. Invite an expert to your library and ask them to talk to your students about the work they do.

5. Keep a nature’s basket.

Take children from younger grades for a short nature walk. Ask them to collect any one thing that they find in nature – a seed, a leaf, bird’s feather, and so on. Keep all that they’ve collected in a basket in the library. There, your nature basket is ready. It’ll be great if you can keep a magnifying glass along with the basket, in case anyone wants to zoom into any of these objects.

6. Draw attention to the environmental books in your library.

This is a great opportunity to draw attention to the best books related to environmental themes in your library. Wipe the dust off these books and put them on display. Avoid putting books that are not likely to interest children.

7. Screen a film that will spark off discussions about nature.

Have you noticed how children are invariably drawn to books that are adapted to the screen, or vice versa? Pick a film – that also exists in the form of a book – which throws light on important environmental issues and is likely to capture the imagination of children. A film followed by a discussion is always a great idea. How about Dr Seuss’ ‘The Lorax’?

8. Pin up our latest BookSmarts question in your library and challenge students.

BookSmarts is our monthly book quiz for booklovers. This month, our question is linked to the environment and your students will have fun trying to answer it. Click here to download and print it. Oh, we can’t wait to see how your students will respond!

Do email us at hippocampus.librarian@gmail.com to let us know how your students responded to any of these activities. We would love to hear from you!

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