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Earth Day challenge: Create a story map to highlight sustainability’s importance

With Earth Day around the corner, we challenge you and your students to create a story map that highlights the importance of sustainability in your life. Find out how you can get started!

Earth Day is celebrated annually on April 22nd. This year, let’s mark this special day with an exploration of the importance of sustainability. Begin with asking your students why it’s important to consider the impact our daily routines have on the planet. Simple tasks such as handwashing, shopping and driving are done every day, and they have a deep effect on the natural environment.  Allow the students time to discuss in groups and to write down their thoughts.


The next step is to create a story map that highlights the importance of sustainability. Slides can include images and videos that show simple changes to daily routines that will help to decrease our footprint on the earth. Each story map should include the following slides:

  1. What is sustainability?
  2. Why is it important?
  3. Daily tasks that leave a footprint on the earth (2-4 slides)
  4. Ways to decrease our impact on our planet (2-4 slides)
  5. Conclusion that includes an action item

Use the following tutorials to get you started:

Share your story map with us, and we’ll highlight it in a future blog post.

Check out the following story maps that explore the theme of sustainability:

Explore the maps in the We are Living in The Age of Humans to see an atlas of human influences, as well as the cities that are helping to re-shape the way our species interacts with the planet.

About the Author

Angela Alexander is a K-12 Education Specialist in the Esri Canada Education and Research group. She has over 15 years of experience working with educators across Canada. Angela focuses on producing geographic information system (GIS) and curriculum-specific resources, and conducting and creating custom workshops for educators. She manages the GIS Ambassador Program and is the Technical Chair for the annual Skills Ontario GIS competition. Angela also writes monthly posts for the Esri Canada Education and Research blog, highlighting K-12 educators and partners, new ArcGIS resources and GIS-related events.

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