Take Part in a Beachsweep
When manmade waste such as plastics, rubber and Styrofoam are not disposed of properly, it is often washed off the land and into rivers, lakes and streams. These items pose a risk for aquatic life as creatures may become caught in the garbage or could mistake it for food causing them to choke. You and your students can help our oceans by joining an environmental group on a local beachsweep. This event educates volunteers firsthand about pollution in our oceans while at the same time providing people with an opportunity to make a difference.
If you don’t live close to a beach, you could always organize your own group to cleanup around your neighbourhood. All it takes is a garbage bag, some plastic gloves and a little of your time.
Design Your Own Reusable Bag
Most of the garbage that ends up in the oceans and harms wildlife is plastic. By designing with your students their own environmentally themed reusable cloth bag you can reduce the release of plastics while at the same time motivating and educating kids on ocean conservation. All you need is a regular cloth bag and a little creativity!
Celebrate World Oceans Day!
Proposed by the Canadian government in 1992, June 8th is now celebrated internationally as World Oceans Day. This day is celebrated across Canada with interactive and educational exhibits, face painting, craft corners and many more ocean inspired activities. See what events are offered in your community.
Other environmentally significant days to consider include:
- February 22: World Wetlands Day
- March 22: World Water Day
Last Saturday in March: Earth Hour
April 22: World Earth Day
May 22: International Day for Biodiversity
June 5: World Environmental Day
September 15: National Tree Planting Day (Canada)
September 18: World Water Monitoring Day
Last Sunday in September: World Rivers Day
First Monday of October: World Habitat Day
October 4: World Animal Day
Organize a Fundraiser
Give your students the opportunity to make a difference while at the same time having some fun. Work with the kids to organize a bake sale, run a car wash or set up a lemonade stand. Then allow them to take the money raised and donate it to an environmental organization of their choice. Have the students research environmental organizations and explain to the class why they want to help out the one they chose. Then, hold a vote to decide which charity to donate to. Researching which organization to assist will get your students thinking about the environmental issues they are most passionate about.
Show a Movie
Find a kid friendly movie about the oceans, pollution or any other environmental issue. Pop some popcorn and watch the film with them. After the movie is over have a discussion about the issues discussed. You’ll be amazed by the ideas students will come up with to combat environmental issues.
Some popular movie choices include:
- March of the Penguins
- Arctic Tale
- The Lorax
Explore Your Own Backyard
Hands-on exploration of aquatic organisms doesn’t have to involve a trip to the bottom of the ocean. Many species can be found right in your neighbourhood. Kids will love the opportunity to take their own homemade aquascopes out to a pond, lake or stream and investigate the ecological processes that are going on under the surface. To create your own aquascope click here.
Take a Trip to an Aquarium
Aquariums offer the luxury of viewing elusive ocean creatures up close and personal. Many aquariums offer guided class trips with hands-on opportunities to engage children. Some aquariums even partake in day trips to schools bringing with them live animals, props and activities to excite and educate children on a variety of ocean creatures.