This year, have your students create their “Happy Birthday to the Earth” cards as postcards, with a collage on the front, and their birthday wishes and messages on the back.
Materials Needed: Poster board or heavy construction paper; Scissors; Glue; Markers; Crayons; Pastels; Magazines; Leaves; Flowers; Feathers; Twigs.
These cards can be as simple or elaborate as each child likes:
* Drawings, using crayons, markers, or pastels
* Cut and pasted magazine collages, using photos of nature - animals, plants, water, sky, or people
* Tactile collages of found objects collected during a nature walk - leaves, twigs, pebbles, feathers, flowers Children can present their cards to the class as part of the party celebration. Be sure to put all cards out for display, so all students, teachers, and parents have a chance to read them!
Adaptation: Create a giant card from the whole class! Do it as a mosaic or “quilt” of images and wishes.
Here are some birthday wishes from past years:
“I wish everyone would take their shoes off for a day because I’m sure the Earth gets tired of being stomped on.”
“I wish Mother Earth had more vegetables and rainbows.”
“I want you to make friends with the sun, and don’t get too close to him.”
“Happy Birthday Earth! I hope you get better.”
“I wish I could give the Earth its endangered species back.”
Some ideas for coming up with wishes for the Earth:
What would you want for your birthday if you were the Earth?
What would you miss most in nature if it were gone forever?
What are some challenges the Earth faces?
What could you give the Earth to help it with these challenges?
The Earth’s Birthday Party is the perfect opportunity to involve your entire community in celebrating the Earth, while honoring children and their accomplishments! Here are some ways to get the word out to others:
* Be sure to tell anyone you invite about the party activities, especially the butterfly release!
* Send invitations to the local newspaper reporter who covers schools and education issues. Follow-up with a phone call, and invite the reporter to attend the party, and to bring along a photographer from the paper.
* Send invitations to the assignment editors at your local television stations. Follow-up with a phone call, inviting a reporter to attend the party.
* Does your school have its own newspaper? Remember to put an announcement about the party in your own paper, for staff and parents to read about. Invitations don’t always make it home!