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Thank You, Earth

Poems and pictures portray our gratitude for Earth's natural resources.

  • Grade 3
    Grade 4
    Grade 5
  • 60 to 90 Minutes
  • Directions

    1. What natural wonders of Earth make our planet unique? Ask students to choose one topic that is of interest to them, such as water, mountains, or endangered species. Invite students to research information on how these natural wonders can be preserved now for the future.
    2. Once research is complete, students outline a scene that reflects the beauty of nature and findings from their research with Crayola® Ultra-Clean Markers on white construction paper.
    3. Ask students to cover their work area with recycled newspaper. Dip Crayola Colored Drawing Chalk into white Crayola Washable Paint to add color and texture to the scene. Add details with Crayola Washable Watercolors and Watercolor Brushes. The wet paint will create a dewy effect that is perfect for waterfalls and morning meadows when it touches the marker outlines. Dry.
    4. Add finishing touches to the art with markers, as desired.
    5. On white paper, students compose a colorful poem to accompany their artwork thanking Earth for its natural gifts. Poetry should describe the beauty represented in the painting, and convey the urgency for preservation of resources in a convincing way. Display art and poetry in a public place to share student messages with others.
  • Standards

    LA: Read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, at the high end of the grade level text complexity band independently and proficiently.

    LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher led) with diverse partners on grade level topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

    LA: Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.

    LA: Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking clearly at an understandable pace.

    SCI: Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information about the types of habitats in which organisms live, and ask questions based on that information.

    SCI: Use models to evaluate how environmental changes in a habitat affect the number and types of organisms that live there; some remain, move in, move out, and/or die.

    SCI: Use data about the characteristics of organisms and habitats to design an artificial habitat in which the organisms can survive.

    SS: Compare ways in which people from different cultures think about and deal with their physical environment and social conditions.

    SS: Identify and use various sources for reconstructing the past, such as documents, letters, diaries, maps, textbooks, photos, and others.

    VA: Intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of experiences and ideas.

    VA: Employ organizational structures and analyze what makes them effective or not effective in the communication of ideas.

    VA: Integrate visual, spatial, and temporal concepts with content to communicate intended meaning in artworks.

  • Adaptations

    Possible classroom resources include: The EARTH Book by Todd Parr; Can We Save Them? Endangered Species of North America by David Dobson; Eyewitness: Endangered Animals by Ben Hoare; Earth's Resources (Investigate) by Sue Barraclough

    Invite a natural resource specialist to visit with the class and discuss local environmental issues. What concerns have been identified? What is being done to improve identified issues? After the visit, students post learning to a class blog.

    Interview a parent or grandparent that remembers the community when it was less developed. Prior to conducting interviews, students compose a list of questions for the people being interviewed. Encourage students to take digital photographs of community areas being discussed to document how they look today. Use archived community documents and photos to illustrate how the area looked years ago. Students work in small groups to compare and contrast changes.

    Students collaborate to create a proposal for an Earth Day celebration for their school. Arrange a meeting with the school administrators to seek approval for the proposal. Invite community members to participate in the celebration, thus bringing Earth Day issues into focus in your community.


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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