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Teaching Kids About the Earth and Its Finite Resources

Aug 2017

I had an awesome opportunity to teach 3rd-5th graders about the Earth and its natural resources -- and why they are important.

Students enrolled in the summer enrichment program at Bernard Elementary School in Washington, DC, had been learning about outer space. They learned what things are in space, NASA’s requirements to be a planet, some physics theories that pertain to space, and a lot more.

One the last day of their summer program, I had the chance to teach. I recapped what they initially learned, and then, I focused in on Earth. I taught them that a natural resource is “something that is found in nature that can be used by people.” I gave them the example of lithium and its importance to technology.

Urging Students to Become Good Stewards

We went deeper into our conversation about resources. In alignment with the vinyl industry's position of sustainability, I let them know that by the time they are their parents’ ages some resources will be depleted. I gave them the example of silver. Based on the U.S. Geological Survey, silver will be depleted in nine years if it’s continually consumed at today’s rate.

We also discussed what we can do today to be better stewards of Earth. The students had all kinds of ideas, including:

  • Recycling
  • Turning off the light when exiting a room
  • Turning off the water when brushing teeth
  • Refraining from taking long showers
  • Cleaning up liter 

From this conversation, I gave them an art project to create a planet. To complete the project, students had to think about what the most important resource is to them and focus their planet around that resource. They were to name their planet and had total creative license.

Here are some of their creations.