Picture book read alouds are a great way to teach students about Earth Day. These books will help students understand why it is so important that we take care of our world. They will inspire and encourage them to take action! Here are my favorite Earth Day picture books!
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Earth Day Picture Books
The Curious Garden by Peter Brown
The Curious Garden is one of my favorite books! Liam lives in a gray, dreary city. One day, he stumbles on a small, abandoned garden on an old railway. With a lot of hard work and patience, Liam turns the railway into an oasis that changes the whole city. This book is based on the High Line in Manhattan, which is a really neat place to visit!
I created a free interactive read-aloud for The Curious Garden for you! Just enter your info below to grab this Earth Day freebie:
On Meadowview Street by Henry Cole
When Caroline’s family moves to Meadowview Street, she is surprised to find that there is no meadow or view. In her yard, she finds one small flower. She decides to save it (and not let her father cut it with the lawnmower!). Then one more pops up. Eventually, she creates a meadow of her own, full of plants and animals. An important reminder that we share the Earth and we need to make room for every person, plant and animal to thrive. On Meadowview Street is a great Earth Day picture book to share!
We Are Water Protectors by Carole Lindstrom
This book was inspired by indigenous led movements across North America. It issues an urgent rallying cry to protect Earth’s waters from harm. They lyrical words and beautiful illustrations will definitely inspire your students. I share more about We Are Water Protectors in my collection of 2020 Picture Book Favorites.
The Big Beach Clean Up by Charlotte Offsay
In The Big Beach Clean Up, Cora is excited about the sandcastle contest! But it is cancelled, due to litter on the beach. Cora and Mama get to work, but soon realize they’ll need more than 4 hands to clean the whole beach. They recruit friends and neighbors to help them clean up. This book is a great reminder that we need to take care of the Earth so that we can continue to use it. And that kids can make a difference! The book includes back matter with ways that students can help the Earth.
Becoming a Good Creature by Sy Montgomery
Becoming a Good Creature exhibits the lessons we can learn from animals – friendship, compassion and how to be a better creature. Many animals are often misunderstood, but we have more in common with them than we realize. We need to take care of the Earth for them too!
Thank You, Earth by April Pulley Sayre
This book is a thank you note to the Earth. Our world provides us with so much, but it is often overlooked or taken for granted. This simple story encourages readers to remember Earth in our everyday actions. It helps us appreciate what we have. The back matter in Thank You, Earth gives readers examples of ways that they can help “thank the Earth.”
New Earth Day Picture Books!
Zonia’s Rain Forest by Juana Martinez-Neal
Zonia’s Rain Forest is a beautiful story of a young girl who spends her days running through the beautiful forest. This book offers a great connection to nature and highlights the importance of our rain forests. A tremendous and educational back matter is provided in this book. Be sure to read more about this one in my National Indigenous People’s Day blog post.
Outside In by Deborah Underwood
Outside In explores our relationship with nature. How we forget about the outside world, when we spend so much time indoors. Yet, the outside provides us with so many things that we need – water, food, etc. The watercolor illustrations really bring this book to life!
After reading any of these books, have a class discussion about Earth Day. Together, brainstorm ways that they can help take care of our planet and why it is so important. What are some simple steps they can take to make a difference?
What are some of your favorite Earth Day picture books to share with your class?
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