Are you searching for fantastic picture books that can be used as read alouds for Earth Day and beyond? Are you teaching a Waste and Our World Science Unit and need to teach students about concepts such as reusing, environmentalism, and natural resources? Then teacher bestie, this list is for you!
1) Magic Trash – A Story of Tyree Guyton and His Art by J. H. Shapiro
When talking about read alouds for Earth Day, there is one clear winner in my book, Magic Trash – A Story of Tyree Guyton and His Art. I love this book so much because Tyree repurposes all of the garbage around his neighbourhood into art.
It is an amazing read aloud for teaching repurposing, upcycling, and perseverance. In fact, I love it so much that I created a FREE Interactive Read Aloud Unit to accompany the book. Click HERE to have it sent straight to your inbox.
2) Thank You Earth – A Love Story To Our Planet by April Pulley
This book is filled with stunning photographs. It is a fantastic earth day read aloud because you can use it as a launching point for a fun activity! Ask each student to choose their ONE favourite photograph from the book and write a paragraph about why they are thankful for that ONE thing on our earth. They may choose a bird’s beak, hoodoos, etc. There is also an author’s note at the end of the book which can be used as a nonfiction text for students.
3) We Are Water Protectors by Carole Lindstrom
This #ownvoices picture book is filled with beautiful figurative language and definitely belongs on your short list of read alouds for Earth Day. Students will learn about the Indigenous people who oppose pipelines and why. The illustrations are absolutely stunning and students will be inspired to help create change.
4) Here Comes The Garbage Barge by Jonah Winter
This Earth Day read aloud happens to be on my FAVOURITE online read aloud platform, StorylineOnline. This website has actors and actresses who read popular picture books. The quality of the read alouds is top notch and I can’t recommend it enough!
Playing a read aloud from this website is one of my favourite activities when I need 3 minutes to decompress after a particularly stressful recess supervision or when my coffee is almost cold.
This story really does a fantastic job of highlighting the fact that our trash doesn’t just disappear! It is super eye-opening and one of the best read alouds for Earth Day.
5) Penguins Don’t Wear Sweaters by Marikka Tamura
This story details what happened when humans knit sweaters to try to protect penguins from an oil spill. A fun follow-up activity is to brainstorm as a class a list of ideas that might have been more effective than knitting sweaters for the penguins. You might just be blown away by some of the ideas that your students have!
So there you have it, 5 amazing read alouds for Earth Day!
PS. Are you looking for more awesome picture book lists? Check out THIS blog post where I list the best diverse picture books for back to school.