April 22 is Earth Day as proclaimed by the United Nations in 2009. Here’s an English Language Arts activity you can incorporate into your lessons that will raise awareness of some of the issues important to humankind and especially to Michael Jackson as expressed in his “Earth Song“. Focusing on lyrics fits in nicely with Poetry Month that many observe in April.
Print and provide copy of lyrics to Earth Day – Michael Jackson for each student.
Play “Earth Song” that you have downloaded in a format you can play in your classroom.
Invite the students to read along as they listen.
Then instruct students to add correct punctuation to the handout of lyrics. Turn and compare editing with a partner. Discuss and resolve different marks of punctuation.
Project the lyrics on white board and invite students one by one to come forward and add punctuation one line at a time.
Consider using different color markers for different marks of punctuation.
Next, project a copy of the poem punctuated your way. Discuss any differences and how the marks of punctuation influence meaning.
If time permits and technology is available play the video that accompanies the song on this Michael Jackson website. How does their response to the song change when they see the images in the video?
You could close the Earth Day lesson asking students to respond to the closing question with a resounding “YES!” and commit in writing to one thing they will do to show they give a “darn” about the earth.