Earth Day: Paperless Pleasure in Nature

I just did a mega successful Earth Day activity with my students. I’ve seen much too much paper and styrofoam Earth Day activities being shared on educational websites and that’s just not right. Try this one out for size!

To create this lesson, I was inspired by two activities:
1) the cloud frame you have all seen on Pinterest, where students make a frame that has different types of clouds around it and they can use outdoors to identify different types of clouds
2) yarn weaving

I thought long and hard to come up with a fun activity for my students to get closer to nature. My pal Mardelle is super outdoorsy and is always in the back of my mind as soon as I pick up a stick or a leaf. My idea of outdoorsy is hanging out on my deck with some snacks. So this was out of my comfort zone for sure.

My fabulous student teacher and my excellent Educational Assistant both helped tie and hot glue a stick frame for each student.

After we brainstormed about what we find in nature, each student helped me finish off the frames by wrapping some stretchy elastic cord all around the frame. We talked about how we have different sizes of items in nature and how we need something to help hold all our items in our frame.

Here is a photo of all the supplies we used.

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Is that stretchy elastic cord made out of gold? No? Well it cost just as much as gold at Michael’s. Ugh.

I helped the students knot as each end. While I did so, they wrote their name on half of a paint chip. I hole punched the paint chip and used a small amount of wire to wrap it onto the bottom of the frame.

Afterwards, we were ready to capture nature!

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The students did such a great job and found some items I never thought they would. They look beautiful hanging in the hallway. I can’t keep a plant alive, but these will be up for a while because I don’t have to water them.

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I’m not quite sure how the popsicle stick got in there, but oh well!

Edit: I was just looking around some sites for some new Mother’s Day gift ideas and came across another version of these Nature Frames at this site! It’s pretty cool they did it in a triangle shape rather than a square.

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