Be Kind to Our Planet
International Mother Earth Day is on 22 April
by Philippa Rae
Suitable for Whole School (Pri)
To consider the importance of developing individual eco-habits that will make a difference to the world.
Preparation and materials
- You will need a few bits of rubbish to place on the floor before the assembly begins.
- Have available some images of adverse effects on our environment and the means to display them during the assembly. Examples could include:
- a duck entangled in six-pack rings, available at: https://tinyurl.com/1xvc4wah
- a pile of plastic bottles on a beach, available at: https://tinyurl.com/f7o0802j
- dropped litter, available at: https://tinyurl.com/y735dho2
- piles of rubbish, available at: https://tinyurl.com/ybfc3fa5
- If possible, have available several items that have been recycled into something else. Alternatively, show some images of items that have been creatively recycled. Examples include:
- sweatshirts made from plastic bottles, available at: https://tinyurl.com/ybn93gbu
- a range of recycled items, available at: https://tinyurl.com/ybq7dua6
- Optional: you may wish to play birdsong at the start and end of the assembly, in which case you will also need the means to do this. A YouTube video ‘Bird sounds: one hour nature sounds music’ is available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJldwNFpar0
- More information about International Mother Earth Day is available at: http://www.un.org/en/events/motherearthday/
- When the children are seated, gesture to the rubbish on the floor and say something like, ‘Goodness me, what has happened here this morning?’
- Ask the children what they think about the dropped rubbish.
Listen to a range of responses.
Ask for some volunteers to put the rubbish in the bin.
- Point out that when people drop rubbish, it makes things look messy and unclean.
Ask the children if they can think of any other effect that dropped rubbish might have.
- Explain that rubbish can hurt animals such as wildlife and pets.
- Chewing gum can get matted in their fur or feathers, which can make it harder for them to move around.
- Animals might eat something that could make them ill, or they might mistake an object for a shelter and cut themselves on a glass bottle.
- Animals can get tangled up in some types of rubbish. For example, six-pack rings can get caught round their necks.
Show the image of a duck entangled in six-pack rings.
- Point out that some items that we use regularly - like plastic cups or bottles - can take as long as 500 years to rot away if they are just left on the ground.
Show the image of a pile of plastic bottles on a beach.
If everybody dropped rubbish, it could damage our health by causing pollution and disease.
Show the images of dropped litter and piles of rubbish.
Point out that plastic items like bottles and cups should be recycled or reused.
- When we pick up litter, our surroundings look much better, but there are many other ways in which we could help the world.
Explain that many resources are being used up needlessly. Although it’s good to throw away rubbish so that it doesn’t bother anyone, it’s even better to reduce the amount of rubbish that we create in the first place or to repurpose items that we have finished with.
- Ask the children what they think recycling is. The children will probably speak about glass, metal and cardboard recycling. Point out that these things are great, but there are other ways to recycle, too.
You can create some amazing things by recycling objects that are no longer needed.
Show the image of sweatshirts made from plastic bottles.
For example, the picture shows sweatshirts that have been made out of plastic bottles.
- Explain that although we can’t all recycle as creatively as this, there are many other ways in which we can recycle.
- If you don’t let the water tap run while you are cleaning your teeth, you will be saving water.
- If you take unwanted toys to a charity shop to resell, this makes money for a good cause and gives someone else happiness while saving the Earth’s resources.
- Don’t waste paper! We use paper for many of our activities, such as drawing and writing. Paper comes from wood, so we have to cut down trees to make it.
- If you unwrap presents carefully, you could use the wrapping paper again.
- Get eco-creative! You can do this in various ways.
Show the image of a range of recycled items.
- Point out that it’s really important to care for our surroundings and the environment in which we live. Not only does it immediately improve the environment, but it helps in the long term - and we can have fun while we do it!
Time for reflection
Christians and many other world faiths believe that God gave everyone our planet to share and enjoy.
We can all do things that will help to keep Earth in good condition for future generations. We may feel like the things that we do to help are small, but all the small things added together make a huge difference to the world.
Earth is a precious gift, and we only have this planet.
Thank you for giving us our planet and all the wonderful living things in it.
Please remind us how important it is for us to take care of it so that future generations can continue to enjoy it.
The YouTube video ‘Bird sounds: one hour nature sounds music’, available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qJldwNFpar0