Earth Day is just around the corner and it’s the perfect time to show your students some films about the environment and why it’s important for us to take care of our planet. There are a plethora of good Earth Day movies out there that can teach your students about environmental stewardship, so let’s take a look at some of the best ones.
Short on time? Grab ready-to-go Earth Day activities and movie guides!
Good Earth Day Movies to Show at School
A Plastic Ocean (2016)
In this eye-opening documentary, students will learn about the impact of humans on the environment. They will explore the issue of disposable plastic products and the resulting environmental and health challenges.
Fern Gully: The Last Rainforest (1992)
This beloved animated film tells the story of Crysta, a fairy who lives in the magical rainforest. When humans begin to destroy their home, Crysta and her friends must work together to save their world from destruction. Your students will learn how human activities can have a negative impact on wildlife and their habitats.
My Octopus Teacher (2020)
This Oscar-winning documentary follows the relationship between a filmmaker and an octopus in the South African kelp forest. It will captivate your students, as they observe the octopus’ life cycle and her daily struggles and triumphs in the kelp forest ecosystem.
One Strange Rock (2018)
This documentary television series produced by National Geographic explores the unique and interconnected nature of Earth’s natural systems. Each episode focuses on a different aspect of the planet, from its formation and geology to the importance of the oceans and the impact of humans on the environment.
Planet Earth (2006)
“Planet Earth” is a breathtaking docuseries that takes viewers on a journey around the world to explore some of the most stunning and diverse landscapes on our planet. From the depths of the ocean to the highest mountains, each episode showcases the incredible beauty and complexity of life on Earth. With stunning cinematography and fascinating insights into animal behavior, “Planet Earth” is a must-watch for nature lovers everywhere.
The Biggest Little Farm (2018)
This film follows a family as they leave their big city life and create a biodiverse, self-sustaining farm. Students will learn about the importance of biodiversity in ecosystems while becoming emotionally invested in the lives of the people and animals on this special farm.
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind (2019)
This film is based on the true story of 14-year-old William Kamkwamba and his journey to end the drought plaguing his community by bringing wind power to his town in Malawi. Students will see William use the engineering design process to create a solution to a real-world problem and the role perseverance plays in the process.
The Lorax (2012)
Based on Dr. Seuss’ classic children’s book, this animated movie follows a young boy as he tries to find a tree that was taken from his town by an evil businessman who had destroyed all of its forests in his quest for profit. This movie is great for teaching kids about deforestation and why it’s important to preserve our natural resources. It also has some fun songs and lovable characters that will keep your students entertained!
The Pollinators (2019)
This film explores the commercial honey bee industry, the connection between pollinators and our food supply, and the many threats facing honeybees and native pollinators throughout the country. Students will be inspired to do their part to “save the bees!”
This animated movie follows a robot named Wall-E who is on a mission to clean up the trash left behind by humans after they evacuate an overpopulated, polluted Earth. It’s a fun way for students to learn about conservation and recycling without feeling like they’re being lectured on the importance of these practices. Plus, this movie is suitable for younger audiences as well, making it great for all ages!
You’ve found your awesome Earth Day movie… now what?
If you’re looking for a way to make movie-watching more engaging and educational for your students, then consider pairing your Earth Day film with a movie guide! Not only do they help students stay focused and on-task, but they also provide opportunities for critical thinking and analysis. You can grab a pre-made movie guide for a variety of good Earth Day movies from my TPT store.
Each Earth Day movie guide includes:
- Printable, Google, and Easel versions of the student activities and worksheets
- Discussion questions to set the tone for learning and uncover student misconceptions
- 15-20 comprehension questions to keep students focused on STEM concepts throughout the film
- Activities for further learning and exploration of robotics concepts after the movie
- An answer key
Go grab an Earth Day movie guide and check lesson planning off your to-do list!