Celebrate Earth Day with these Newspaper Activities

Every day is Earth Day for people who care about the environment. But for one day each year, people all over the world join forces to call attention to the beauty of the Earth and the ways in which we can protect it.

Here are a number of activities to help you call attention to this special day.  These activities are from KRP’s Ultimate Holiday Activity Guide distributed by the NIE Institute.

1. Talk about environmental problems in your community. Have students find a newspaper story about one of those problems. Ask them how they would solve the problem, then have them write a letter to the editor of the newspaper expressing their thoughts.

2. Have students look through the newspaper’s advertisements for products that are promoted as environmentally friendly or safe for the environment. What conclusions can they draw from their findings? Encourage discussion.

3. Ask students to pick one product advertised in the newspaper and discuss the effects that product might have on the environment.

4. Instruct students to look through the newspaper for items that can be recycled. Ask them to list the items and find out if each can be recycled in your community. Conclude by having students come up with their own ways to recycle the newspaper (use as wrapping paper, line the bird cage, etc.). Encourage them to be creative.

A Curriculum Guide to Teach Environmental Education 

Click here to download the guide

Here is a 53 page guide you can download from the EGBAR Foundation titled “THE EGBAR Clean-Up Challenge.”  This curriculum was developed to help educators effectively and easily integrate environmental education into their classroom teaching. This curriculum guide covers a variety of environmental issues such as: sources of pollution, hazardous wastes, recycling, energy, renewable and non-renewable resources, global warming, and environmental laws. Each lesson is designed with a student objective, grade level recommendation, list of materials, discussion of teaching strategies for the lesson, and an opportunity to extend the lesson through additional activities. For each lesson there is an accompanying student activity sheet. The activity sheet is ready for you to copy and can be used as an independent assignment or cooperative learning activity.

6th Grade Students from Larimore, N.D.

Wednesday, April 16, the 6th grade students from Larimore, N.D. visited the Grand Forks Herald downtown office. They are pictured in the Herald community room.

This same group visited the Grand Forks Herald production plant last May as 5th graders. Here is a picture of them at the Herald production plant last year.

Spring Holidays

From KRP’s The Ultimate Holiday Activity Guide. Here are some holidays that are observed in the spring.

The Christian observances of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter, and the Jewish Passover are important religious holidays that fall in March or April. The Eastern Orthodox Easter, called Pascha, also falls into this time period.

Spring holy days provide many opportunities for you to discuss such concepts as tolerance and respect for each other’s beliefs. Begin a discussion of tolerance by explaining to students that tolerance means to put up with practices and beliefs that are different from your own. Then ask them to find five items in the newspaper: stories, photos and comics that are examples of tolerance or intolerance. Conclude by asking them to describe the effects of the acts of tolerance or intolerance in each example.

Instruct students to find a newspaper photo that shows diversity among a group of people. Ask: What differences do you see between the people pictured? Have students discuss the level of tolerance or intolerance portrayed in the photo.

Free online Earth Day book

Check out this free online Earth Day book made available by author Artie Knapp.

Living Green: A Turtle’s Quest for a Cleaner Planet - tired of seeing the land he loves cluttered with trash, Thurman the turtle decides it’s time to take action.

A shortlist finalist for the 2012 national Green Earth Book Award.

Click on the link below to access the book: 



Safe Kids Day is Saturday, April 12

If you are looking for a fun family activity, check out Safe Kids Day this Saturday at Red River High School in Grand Forks.

Safety Topics will include: Water, Poison, Wheeled Sports, Child Passenger Safety, Home, Fire, Sports, Falls, ATV, Power Tools, Gun, Pedestrian, Distracted Driving, Railroad, Farm and more!

Texas Roadhouse will have meals available for $5.


10:30 – Red River Valley Gymnastics will be performing followed by a presentation on sports safety

11:30 – Fire Fighter Presentation by the GF AFB Fire Department

12:30 – Bike Tune Up Presentation by the Ski & Bike Shop

1:00 – Life Savers Award Presentation

Come out and support Safe Kids Grand Forks!

High School Newspaper Staff from Roseau, Minn.

Thursday, March 27  we had a visit from Mrs. Olsen’s high school newspaper staff from Roseau, Minn. The students receive the Grand Forks Herald each day during the school year through our Newspapers in Education Program. Mrs. Olsen uses the newspaper as a teaching tool. On the tour, the students learned how the newspaper is produced each day from start to finish. They also had the chance to visit with employees in various departments of the Herald.  Thanks for visiting us.  We enjoyed your interest and enthusiasm for our work!

Don’t miss the Art Wise Elementary Art Show!

You are invited to the Art Wise Elementary Art Show at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks April 8-10.  Hours are 4pm – 8pm each day. There will be artwork on display from every K-5 student in our area. There will also be art activities, live stage performances, face painting, make and take art stations, demonstrating artists and concessions. Free admission – bring the whole family!  For more information visit www.artwise4kids.com

Happy Snow Day! A look at a snowflake’s six sides

Here’s a look at a snowflake’s six sides from Bill Marvel at The Dallas Morning News and McClatchy Tribune.  

By Bill Marvel, The Dallas Morning News

Next time it snows, take a minute from sledding or skating or snowball fights to look closely at snowflakes. A dark piece of cloth, such as a wool mitten,and a magnifying glass will help.

Almost all snowflakes look like stars with six points,or flowers with six petals. But why six? Why not eight or five or for that matter, 20?

Four hundred years ago, a scientist named Johannes Kepler thought he knew the answer, and he wrote to a friend about it. Each snowflake, Kepler wrote, starts with a round droplet of frozen water. So far, so good. If you arrange pennies on a table and pack them as closely as possible, you will find that each penny touches exactly six other pennies. No more, no less. Thus, Kepler said,if you pack round droplets of ice closely together, each will be surrounded by exactly six other round droplets.

In the same way, he announced,each snowflake begins with a six-sided cluster of ice droplets,and it grows from there. Sort of like a bee honeycomb. Good guess, but Kepler was wrong.

Scientists discovered the real reason several centuries later. Snowflakes are six-sided because of the way atoms stick together. Each molecule of water is made up of one big oxygen atom and two little hydrogen atoms. Think of two little cherries stuck to a big apple, like ears.

The hydrogen atoms will stick to the oxygen atom, but they will not stick to another hydrogen atom.

As the temperature falls below freezing, water molecules in the air start sticking to one another, forming ice. Like people shaking hands, each oxygen atom grabs one of the hydrogen atoms of another molecule.That molecule, in turn,grabs the hydrogen atom of yet another molecule,until six of the molecules link together in a tiny six-sided crystal called a hexagon.

As that ice crystal falls through the air,it bumps against other molecules of water that stick to the corners of the hexagon and freeze. Pretty soon, the original crystal starts to grow six long arms. Meanwhile, the arms start to grow branches. Repeat the process often enough — say,about 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 times —and you get a snowflake just big enough to see.You could look at snowflakes all day during the thickest blizzard and never find two that perfectly match. You could look for the rest of your life ,in fact. That’s because, like people,each snowflake encounters different conditions as it goes through life — different air currents, different temperatures,different moisture — and so it forms differently. Like people, no two snowflakes are exactly alike.