Explore Earth Day and Poetry Month: Lessons That Support the AASL Standards Framework for Learners

Did you know that Earth Day is a global celebration? Every year, on April 22, the world pays closer attention to the impact we have on Earth. The air we breath, the water we drink, and the land that supplies our food need our help. Invite learners to observe their world with a poet’s lens. Try the following lesson ideas that support the Explore Shared Foundation from the AASL Standards.


AASL Standards Framework for Learners: V.A.3. Learners develop and satisfy personal curiosity by engaging in inquiry-based processes for personal growth.

  1. Read Daniel Finds a Poem by Micha Archer. Ask learners the following questions as you read:
    • “Where do you find poetry? Where can we expect Daniel to find a poem?”
    • “What do you notice about the illustrations and descriptions?”
    • “How would you describe your favorite illustration?”
    • “What are your favorite descriptions?”
    • “How would you define poetry?”
    • “What did you notice about Daniel’s poem?”
  2. Go outside and make observations.


AASL Standards Framework for Learners: V.B.1. Learners construct new knowledge by problem solving through cycles of design, implementation, and reflection.

  1. Craft poems based on observations. Research the websites below to learn more about writing poetry.
    • Read Write Think: Learners will appreciate this scaffolded printout that guides them to write a haiku poem. Read Write Think also offers interactive resources to write different types of poetry.


AASL Standards Framework for Learners: V.C.1. Learners engage with the learning community by expressing curiosity about a topic of personal interest or curricular relevance.

  1. Investigate this year’s Earth Day campaign to reduce plastic pollution. Read the toolkit and try their lessons.


AASL Standards Framework for Learners: V.D.1. Learners develop through experience and reflection by iteratively responding to challenges.

  1. Encourage learners to record how much plastic they use in one week. Ask them to think about how they can reduce plastic consumption.
  2. Create an infographic with Piktochart, an AASL Best Website for Teaching and Learning. 

Try the lessons and tweet pictures with the hashtag #AASLstandards.

More Resources

American Academy of Poets’ National Poetry Month Lessons: Find 30 poetry lesson ideas that learners will love.

Nature Bridge: Play a fun recycling game with Nature Bridge, an AASL Best Website for Teaching and Learning.


Archer, Micha. “Daniel Finds a Poem.”Penguin Random House, 7 April 2018. www.penguinrandomhouse.com

Mentioned Websites:

American Association of School Librarians Best Websites: http://www.ala.org/aasl/standards/best/websites/2016

American Museum of Natural History: https://www.amnh.org/explore/resource-collections/online-field-journals/nature-explorations

Earth Day: https://www.earthday.org/educate2018/

Nature Bridge: http://www.naturebridge.org/garbology.php

Piktochart: https://piktochart.com/

American Academy of Poets National Poetry Month: https://www.poets.org/national-poetry-month/30-ways-celebrate-national-poetry-month

Read Write Think: http://www.readwritethink.org/classroom-resources/printouts/haiku-starter-30697.html

Scholastic: http://teacher.scholastic.com/writewit/poetry/



Author: Maureen Schlosser

Author: Lessons Inspired by Picture Books for Primary Grades and Social and Emotional Learning for Picture Book Readers published by ALA Editions
Blogger: https://LibraryLessonsWithBooks.com
Skillshare Teacher: https://skl.sh/3a852D5

Categories: Blog Topics, Student Engagement/ Teaching Models

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2 replies

  1. Hi Maureen, thank you so much for sharing this. It is very timely that I found your blog, as I am looking into activities that I can do with Earth Day. I especially appreciate any books that tie into the celebration. I look forward to reading, Daniel Finds a Poem, to my class this week. We have been working on a week of Earth Day events such as,

    Wednesday April 18th ( 12:00 dismissal)
    Walk or Wheel to Work on Wednesday (would only require advertising)

    Thursday April 19th
    SCHOOL WIDE PICNIC 12:45 – 1:10

    Friday April 20th
    Garbage/ litter free Lunch
    9:00- 10:00 USE No Power
    11:00 School Wide Game ( although some classes are at swimming)
    1:00 – 3:00 Pitch IN and Clean up

    I am wondering if you have any other book collections regarding Earth day that you can recommend? I will find this one in our collection and read it during the ‘no power’ activity.

  2. Hello, Kristy!
    Thank you for sharing your school wide Earth Day celebration activities! What great ideas!

    Your “Use No Power” activity made me think of “Blackout” by John Rocco. Have you read this book? I think it would be a perfect connection for tomorrow.

    “The Earth Book” by Todd Parr is another great book. After reading the book, learners can illustrate a picture showing how they take care of Earth. They could use the same color palette and easy-to-draw characters. This would make a colorful display in your library!

    “Compost Stew: An A to Z Recipe for the Earth” by Mary McKenna Siddals is another fun book. Learners will want to compost after reading this book told in rhyme.

    Here is a link to a KQ blog about a composting project that features “Compost Stew”:

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