Celebrate Earth Day with Free 3rd & 4th Grade Lessons Available for Download

The world is a wide and wacky place, and what better time to introduce students to some of its wonders than Earth Day! IXL Training Specialist Kelly Oh has created four lesson plans, which use IXL’s science content, along with other resources, to teach third and fourth graders about weather, climate, and animal traits and adaptations. The lesson plans, as well as related worksheets and rubrics, are all available for download here.

As your students work through these four lessons, they’ll learn the difference between weather and climate and how climate can affect an animal’s traits and adaptations. Through the course of these lessons, students will get to design their own imaginary animals, built with traits or adaptations for specific climates.

Day 1

On the first day, you’ll introduce students to the concepts of weather and climate. By reading suggested texts and completing the accompanying Climate Study Sheet, students will discuss different aspects of climate. They can also practice these concepts through relevant IXL skills.

Day 2

On the second day, you’ll cover the term “traits” with students. Students will illustrate an imaginary animal on the provided worksheet, making sure to design and explain the traits that enable it to survive in an Arctic environment. Students will also use IXL skills to develop their understanding of traits.

Day 3

The third day focuses on adaptations. Students will use IXL skills to practice their knowledge by identifying adaptations and how they differ from traits. Following that, students will further explore adaptations through online text and video resources.

Day 4

On the last day, students will use their Arctic animal as a reference while brainstorming adaptations that a new animal would need to survive in a rainforest climate. Students will create and illustrate a modified rainforest animal on the provided worksheet. To close, students will have the opportunity to share their animal designs with the class!

The full lesson plans and related materials are available for download below:

Earth Day Lesson Plan

Day 1 Climate Study Sheet

Day 2 Build an Animal (Arctic) Sheet

Day 2 Animal-Building Rubric (Arctic)

Day 4 Build an Animal (Rainforest) Sheet

Day 4 Animal-Building Rubric (Rainforest)