Gifts from the Earth

Diagram the natural resources that make up everyday products.


To identify the natural source for the materials in common products


  • Paper
  • Writing utensils


20 minutes


Show the kids a “gift from the Earth”—for example, a pencil or crayon—and ask them what that item is made from (wood, wax). Ask them where wood and wax come from (trees, fossil fuels). Repeat with any other objects you have handy (a book, cardboard, glass, honey, an item of clothing, etc.). Point out that the sources of the materials used to make items that people want are natural resources. Now ask the kids to draw an item of their own and diagram the natural resources that went into producing the item. For example: pencil – wood – trees – air, soil, water, and sun. Once the kids have finished, ask them to share their “gifts from the Earth.” Point out what might be missing from the diagrams (e.g., air, sun, water, soil).

Discussion Questions:

  1. What would happen if we lost these natural resources?
  2. Are any of these being lost as a result of human activity?
  3. What do we need to do to ensure that sufficient resources will be around for future generations?

As a follow-up, the kids can make signs for the objects in classrooms or other common spaces that illustrate the resources from which the objects were made.

This lesson plan is an activity from the Environmental Activities for Youth Clubs and Camps, a resource developed by the Peace Corps Office of Overseas Programming and Training (OPATS). It was contributed by Peace Corps/Armenia.

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