Earth Day

1 EARTH DAY SKIT: “How Earth Day Began” This skit can be performed at an Earth Day assembly for an entire school or a single class Scene 1: At Home A student returns home from school. While eating dinner, she discusses her day with her parents. The end of April is approaching and her school [insert your school name] is preparing for its Earth Week festivities. Teachers and students have been talking about the week’s event and she can’t wait – excitement is in the air!

She tells her parents that Earth Week events begin tomorrow and that she will participate in a day of tree planting; bring a litterless lunch, and even wear something green! After helping her parents clean up after dinner, she heads off to bed. As she falls asleep she thinks of all that she has learned about Earth Day so far. Student: Hi Dad! Dad: You’re home a bit later than usual, how was your day? Student: Oh Dad, today was sooo exciting. Mrs. Ali taught us all about the history of Earth Day and she spoke about all the fun activities that we’re going to do for Earth Day.

Dad: Really? Student: Yep! Our school is planning to have a week of festivities to celebrate how much we care about our earth. I’m so excited I can hardly wait! Dad: Let’s sit down and have some dinner. Your Mom and I prepared your favourite dish! Copyright© Reproduction permitted only with written permission of Earth Day Canada. All Rights Reserved. 2 Mom: And while we eat you can tell us all about the activities. They sit around the dinner table. Mom: So, what’s the plan for tomorrow? Are you going around the community and picking up garbage?

Student: Nope, that’s Friday, along with an assembly and guest speaker. Tomorrow we are planting trees, bringing in litterless lunches and wearing green. Does anyone know wear my green overalls are? Dad: We’ll have a look for them; we’ll make sure that you are as ‘green’ as can be. Student: I’m so eager to plant trees; I’ve never done that before. This is my first Earth Day celebration…all my friends are so thrilled. The class that plants the most trees wins a prize, we’re going to win for sure!

Mom: I bet you will, now help us clean up the dinner table and off to bed you go! Student: (pleadingly) Do I have to? Mom: Yes, dear. They clean up the table. Student: (She heads to her bed, already laid out in the middle of the stage) Good night! Parents (in unison): Copyright© Reproduction permitted only with written permission of Earth Day Canada. All Rights Reserved. 3 Sweet dreams! Parents exit. Narrator: As she falls asleep, she thinks only of tomorrow’s festivities.

Curtains Close Scene 2: Her Dream_______________________________________________ The purpose of this scene is to provide students with a background of the history of Earth Day, to make them aware of the environmental degradation occurring then and now, and finally, ways in which students can act to help make our Earth healthier. Wisconsin Governor Gaylord Nelson (speaking to the history of Earth Day) will be in the middle of the stage, surrounded by the three groups (each representing a type of environmental degradation).

Each group will be on stage at the same time as the governor. He will stand behind a podium discussing the creation/development/successes of Earth Day. As the governor speaks about each type of environmental degradation, the corresponding group will act out their part accordingly. Curtains Open Narrator: It’s 2005 and Wisconsin Governor Gaylord Nelson is making a speech about Earth Day. Governor: (in 1970s attire) Good afternoon and thank you for attending today’s event. How many of you are aware of the history of Earth Day? Pause] Well, here’s a bit of history that you might be interested in. In 1963, I began to worry about our planet, it was becoming more and more degraded, pollution was evident and plants and other species were disappearing. I began to talk with lawmakers in the US and to the president at the time, President Kennedy, about going around the country and telling people about these environmental concerns. However, while he did go around the country speaking of these concerns, this did not get the attention of enough of the country and

Copyright© Reproduction permitted only with written permission of Earth Day Canada. All Rights Reserved. 4 environmental degradation continued. I worried that the affects would be detrimental to the health of our environment……. Pause…first group proceeds with their segment First Group: Air pollution group Without speaking, this group (wearing white and symbolizing air) will stand together in a group of 5 or more while 2 other students dressed in red will burst through the ‘wall’ of white representing holes in the ozone.

The red will represent chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), halons, carbon tetrachloride, and methyl chloroform (option: have students in red hold or paste a sign on themselves that reads: ”CFCs”). Move to second group Second Group: Deforestation group Without speaking, this group of 5 (wearing green) will have their hands in the air, standing tall and swaying (resembling trees). After a few seconds most will eventually fall to the ground representing trees being cut down and the spoiling of natural wilderness.

Move to third group Third Group: Water group Without speaking, this group of 5 (wearing blue) will all lay on the ground symbolizing a river, watershed. Pollution (those wearing brown) will come up from behind and will lie down beside them representing pollutants entering the water stream and remaining there for long periods of time. Back to the Governor’s speech Governor: In 1969, I was still very concerned so I came up with another idea. I decided to have one special day to teach everyone about all the things that had to change in our environment to make it healthier.

That day was EARTH DAY. The first Earth Day was held on April 22, 1970, with the help of Harvard University Student Denis Hayes and it was a major success. Since then, Earth Day celebrations have spread all over the country, and especially in Canada. Today, more than 6 million Canadians join 500 million people in over 180 countries in staging events and projects to address local environmental issues. Nearly every Copyright© Reproduction permitted only with written permission of Earth Day Canada. All Rights Reserved. school child in Canada takes part in an Earth Day activity. [pause] So, you want to know how to make every day Earth Day? Make a promise to the Earth to stop environmental degradation by: Spreading the message to your family and friends that idling their vehicles causes air pollution. Try taking public transportation! First group (Air pollution group) walks of the stage…. You can adopt a “zero waste” frame of mind at school, home, in your everyday-lives. All you have to do is remember the 3 R’s – reduce, reuse, recycle. Also, how about planting some trees?

Second Group (Deforestation group) walks of the stage… Also, let everyone know that dumping garbage, household cleaners, pesticides, or oil down a storm sewer drain is harmful to the watercourse. Paint a yellow fish on storm drains in your area to remind your community that what goes down the drains ends up in our water systems… Third Group (Water) walks of the stage… That’s not all you can do! I challenge you and your class to think of more ways to help our planet. It only takes a small group of people to make big changes in the world. I wish you all a wonderful Earth Day!

Curtains Close Scene 3: Back in students room ____________________________________ Mum: Wake up, its time for school. How did you sleep? Student: I had a great sleep mom, I dreamt all about Earth Day. Thanks for getting my clothes ready, Dad! Copyright© Reproduction permitted only with written permission of Earth Day Canada. All Rights Reserved. 6 I have to run, I don’t want to be late for tree planting! All: Bye! Student exits off stage with her litterless lunch, dressed in green with a big smile on her face! THE END Copyright© Reproduction permitted only with written permission of Earth Day Canada. All Rights Reserved.

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