Blog Archives

Mohawk’s Green Club Gets Creative!

Mohawk Elementary’s Green Club recently made some useful games and bookmarks out of material that might have been thrown out.  Tic-Tac-Toe boards were created out of plastic bottle caps and magazine photos.  They made book marks out of pages of books that were in bad shape.  How fun to have a book mark made out of a favorite book!

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Posted in Clubs, Green Club Ideas

E.A.R.T.H. Award

Name Marcia Roberts
Title of Activity E.A.R.T.H. Award
Name of School Carmel Middle School
Time Needed: 1 hour
Materials Needed: Anything you can find! We had a policy that nothing could be purchased. Everything we used had to be items we already had or would recycle. The kids used a wooden base, part of a pvc pipe, a tattered nerf ball, bits of ribbon, and more.
Description of Activity: Earth_Award-2The E.A.R.T.H. Award stands for “Everyday Actions Result in Thoughtful Habits” and will be given to staff who engage in green practices. The green club created a traveling trophy, working together to come up with the design. It is our hope to have all staff members focused on conserving energy, being mindful of resources, and to be good stewards of our environment. These adults come in contact with our students daily and we hope that this award can get kids thinking about what they can do as well.
Posted in Green Club Ideas

T-Shirt Bags

Name Marcia Roberts
Title of Activity T-Shirt Bags
Name of School Cherry Tree Elementary
Time Needed: 30 minutes
Materials Needed: Scissors
Sewing Machines
Have each child bring in a t-shirt of theirs.
Description of Activity: F66X3KKFUPUP10F.MEDIUMStudents will cut out the neck and arms from the t-shirt. Then turn the shirt inside out. With the sewing machine, sew the bottom of the t-shirt. Turn the shirt to the right side. The bag is complete! We have found kids really enjoy using the sewing machine as so few have before. This activity really emplasizes the concept of reusing or repurposing something rather than buying something new.
Posted in Green Club Ideas

Making Paper Beads


Title of Activity Making Paper Beads
Materials Needed:  Magazines, construction paper or wallpaper; glue, small dowel rods or skewers
Description of Activity: This is a very easy and fun activity for kids to do.  Click on the link to find out how!

Posted in Green Club Ideas

Recycled Bottle Tree

Name Tara Renner
Title of Activity Recycled Bottle Tree
Name of School Orchard Park Elementary
Time Needed: Several hours
Materials Needed: 6 foot long 2×4
tree base
cordless drill
cordless screwdriver
glue gun
craft paint
craft paint brushes
large paint brush
staple gun and staples
dowel rods
plastic bags for cleanup
Description of Activity: OPE_bottle_treeFor this project you will need to collect many (several dozen) recycled plastic drinking bottles. How many you collect will determine the size of your tree. For interest, use different sized bottles, from 16 ounce to 2 litre. The bottles should be clean and dry and they must have their caps. You will also need a base for your tree. We used an old Christmas tree stand, the kind with the screw-in pieces in the base. For the trunk we used a 2×4 piece of plywood, about 6 feet tall. For tree “limbs”, we used some repurporsed wooded dowels that had been previously used in a cabinet. These were about 2 to 3 feet long each. We also used scissors to cut up the bottles. To begin, we cut up the bottles into beautiful shapes. To do this, remove the caps, but save them. Cut off the bottoms of the bottles, just removing the bottom rounded part. These can be saved if you wish them to be used to hold paint later. Next, begin cutting the bottles from this cut edge, down towards the ca p end. You want to make several cuts, so that you end up with a petal shape, like a flower. To achieve a floral shape, make the cuts swirly or try to make them rounded, not just straight up and down. Another fun shape to make is to start on an angle and go all the way around, so you end up with a long swirl. This is a pretty effect. Finally, attach the cap back on and paint the bottle. For best effect, paint the bottle all one color, both in and outside. While the paint is wet, sprinkle it with some glitter. We shook the glitter on over some plastic bags, so that cleanup would be easier. Let dry. Next, attach your trunk to your base securely.For branches, drill holes into the truck as needed and place the dowels into the holes. Glue in if needed. Once the bottles are dry, remove a cap one at a time, and staple or drill it into the base. Screw on the bottle. Done! Now, attach another bottle as close to the first as possible. Try to keep attaching bottles closely to the others . Vary the shapes and sizes. We stuck with 5 colors for ours. You will probably need more bottles than you think! When you are done, paint the base. We used green and it looked great. Good luck!
Posted in Green Club Ideas

Felt Gift Bags

Name Marcia Roberts
Title of Activity Felt Gift Bags
Name of School Cherry Tree Elementary
Time Needed: 5 minutes per child
Materials Needed: Piece of felt or fleece
sewing machine
cording or yarn
cereal boxes or the like
Description of Activity: felt_bagFold the felt in half and sew the two sides together, leaving the top open. Turn the bag inside out. The cord can be used to tie the bag shut. Cut out holiday shapes from the boxes and use for gift tags. Tissue boxes are often nicely decorated already.  Decorate the brown side of the box. Tell the students that this bag can be used again and again for gifts.You can also show other creative ways to wrap/give gifts–using the comics, decorative tins, or send them on a scavenger hunt.
Posted in Green Club Ideas

Plastic Bag Chain

Name Marcia Roberts
Title of Activity Plastic Bag Chain
Name of School Cherry Tree Elementary
Time Needed: 1 hour to make the chain and extra time to hang it up
Materials Needed: 300 plastic bags (have students bring them in)
paper clips
fishing line
facts about plastic bags
Description of Activity: plastic_bag_chainThe average American uses over 300 plastic grocery bags per year. In an effort to show how many this really is, create a plastic bag chain. Simply tie the handles of the bags together and watch the chain grow! We suspended the chain from the ceiling using fishing line and paper clips that were stuck under the ceiling tiles. CHECK WITH YOUR PRINCIPAL HOW FAR THE CHAIN NEEDS TO BE FROM THE CEILING. THERE IS A FIRE CODE REGARDING THIS. We also hung a piece of paper in a plastic sleeve on the chain with a plastic bag fact on it every 20 feet to educate people. It was amazing to have people stop us while we put up the chain to ask “What is this for?” and have the opportunity to talk to them about using mesh bags, reusing bags or not using a bag at all.
Posted in Green Club Ideas

Swap Shop

Name Marcia Roberts
Title of Activity Swap Shop
Name of School Cherry Tree Elementary
Time Needed: 20 minutes
Materials Needed: Ask every member of your club to bring in items they no longer want or use. This could include games, books, jewelry, toys, etc.
Description of Activity: CTE_swap_shopPlace all items on a table and allow children to view what has been brought in. Emphasize to the students that the activity is about giving something to someone who would use it when you no longer do. It is NOT about getting something. This helps students understand that there might not be something they want and that is ok. Draw names out of a hat to see who gets to go first. Take all leftover items to Goodwill or an equivalent agency. Encourage students to do a reuse it swap with friends–they can exchange books, puzzles, games, etc.
Posted in Green Club Ideas

What Happens in an Oil Spill

Name Ann
Title of Activity What happens in an oil spill
Name of School Cherry Tree Elementary
Time Needed: 20 min
Materials Needed:
  • large clear plastic box or bowl of water 
  • tablespoon or so of cooking oil 
  • large spoon or beater 
  • a few rocks 
  • (some fur or dog hair can also be used) 
  • feathers for everyone
  • paper towels
  • toothbrushes
  • soap
Description of Activity: Set up the clear container of water at eye level for the kids. Have a few rocks in the water.

Pour a small amount of oil into the water. Watch it spread by itself, then mix it with the beater to simulate the waves.

Examine where the oil is.
Show how the rocks in the bottom don’t have much oil, but get oily when they comes out of the water. Maybe this happens to animals. You can show this also with animal fur or hair if you have some.

Dip some feathers into the oil and compare to dry feather. (You can let the kids dip a feather in)

Have the kids try to clean off the feathers and get them back to normal. Not easily done. This shows how animals are effected and how hard it is even for people to help clean the animals.

Posted in Green Club Ideas

Snowman Tin Can Pencil Holder

Name Ann
Title of Activity Snowman Tin Can Pencil Holder
Name of School Cherry Tree Elementary
Time Needed: 30 min
Materials Needed:
  • Clean, empty soup-type cansblack electrical or duct tape
  • white yarn cut into 6-12 inch pieces
  • orange felt
  • black felt
  • craft eyes or buttons
  • glue
  • scissors
  • something to pour glue onto
Description of Activity: This is a cute holiday or winter activity.Adults may want to cover the top open edge of the can with the black tape before the kids start the project. It should cover the metal edge and about 1 inch of the outside top of the can to represent the snowman’s hat.

The kids take strips of yarn, dip them in glue, then wrap them around the can below the black tape. You can also put the glue on the can first, then put the yarn on that. Both ways work.

Once the can is covered with yarn, add snowman features like eyes, nose and a mouth.
When it’s dry, it can be used as a pencil holder or a cute gift holder.

Projects like this are great to show kids how to reuse items.

Posted in Green Club Ideas

Green Clubs

Getting students engaged in green practices is the key to a healthy future for our community. Green Clubs in our schools are a terrific forum for students to learn how to care for the earth and to put that knowledge into practice. See below for what student green clubs in our district are doing so far this school year!