Honoring Earth Day: Ideas for Students Who are Blind or Visually Impaired

Ideas for hands-on activities and resources to celebrate Earth Day with children who are blind or visually impaired

Updated April 2024

Earth Day is celebrated on April 22nd. Below are some activities and resources designed to promote awareness of environmental concerns and provide ideas for active participation and involvement. 

History of Earth Day for Kids by National Geographic

The first Earth Day was celebrated in 1970, when a United States senator from Wisconsin organized a national demonstration to raise awareness about environmental issues. Rallies took place across the country and, by the end of the year, the U.S. government had created the Environmental Protection Agency. By 1990, Earth Day was an event celebrated by more than 140 countries around the globe.

Photo of planet earth

Nature Appreciation

These exercises may be used in the classroom to sensitize students to their natural surroundings and experience nature from a sensory perspective.

  • Write open-ended questions on index cards designed to elicit memories and preferences about nature (What is your favorite animal, flower, bird? Would you rather go to the forest or the beach? Why?) Place the cards in a hat. Allow each student to pick a card and respond to the question.
  • Pass apine cones natural object (pine cone, sea shell, etc.) around the circle. Each student mentions a characteristic of the object based on touch/smell/possibly hearing. 
  • Take a nature walk:  Stop to smell, touch and listen.  

Environmental Awareness and Response

Eco-Friendly Practices for the Classroom:

  • Conduct Science or other classes outdoorsrecycled cans
  • Use reusable water bottles (No one time use plastics)
  • Have children collect their own garbage in cloth bags for 1 day and then combine the trash of all students
  • Brainstorm ideas for cutting back on paper in classroom
  • Allow children to choose an environmental project to research and present
  • Hold a trash-a-thon
  • Make recycled paper (that can be written on)

Audio Resources                                       

NPR: Drought Threatens Navajo’s Crops, Culture (All Things Considered Audio Broadcast)

Grades 4-12

Examines the impact of climate change

on the traditional farming economy as well

as the culture of the Navajo people in New Mexico.

Droughts in the southwestern United States

and global warming are causing rapid

change in the culture of the Navajo nation:

“All Things Considered” audio broadcast.

YouTube Videos

Here are a few videos for Earth Day on YouTube.

Lesson about Earth Day for Elementary Students

Quick 1-minute video about Earth Day History appropriate for older students:


Rachel Carson, Pioneer of Ecology

by Kathleen V. Kudlinski  Rachel Carson book cover
48 pages, Ages 7-11

Available from Seedlings in contracted braille

Dream The Forest Wild: How Children Saved a Rainforest

by Sue Memhard with Jim Crisp

Story may be read to children and then discussed.  Book is designed to be illustrated by students and sold to raise money for the rainforest or school. Art project could be modified for students who are blind or visually impaired.   

Children of the Earth Resource

A website geared to teaching children about our environment through lessons and activities.

More Earth Day Activities

Earth day crafts

Messy and Muddy: A Guide to Outdoor Play for Children with Vision Impairment

Nature Walk

Honoring Earth Day Collage