Our Natural Resources 3rd Grade

How and why should people show respect for the Earth?


  • Students will determine ways that we are kind and unkind to the earth by listing ideas on a class chart.
  • Students will identify five ways we can help preserve our earth's resources by participating in the conservation charades game.
  • Students will complete a class project planning sheet using the five steps of effective problem solving.

Materials Needed

  • And Still The Turtle Watched -by Sheila MacGill-Callalhan
  • One new toothbrush
  • Tooth paste
  • Faucet with running water
  • Bucket or large container to hold water
  • Measuring cup
  • 5 Conservation Charades Cards
  • Chart paper
  • Paper and pencil for each student

Activating Learning

Brainstorm with students what they know about the Algonquian Indians. Write the name Algonquian Indians on the white board and write what the children tell you all around it.

Previewing Vocabulary

Ask the students if anyone knows what the word Manitou means. If no one knows or everyone has "guessed" incorrectly, explain that a Manitou is a supernatural spirit or force of nature in the Algonquian religion. You may need to go over the meaning of supernatural as well.

Teaching the Lesson

1. Before beginning the book, focus the students' attention by telling them to listen closely to how the people in the book treat the earth. Read And Still The Turtle Watched.

2. Discuss the book by creating a class list. On the board make two columns: Kind choices and Unkind choices. Fill in the columns with responses that the students share.


We need one volunteer, one timer, and one person to measure

1-The timer times for one minute as the volunteer puts toothpaste on the brush and brushes his/her teeth . Leave the water running for the entire minute. It should be running into the bucket to prevent it from going down the drain. The person assigned to measure then measures how many cups of water were used in that minute.

2-Repeat this experiment except this time leave the water running only when the volunteer is using it.

3-Compare the amount of water used in the two different trials and discuss this as a class.

Use this experiment to point out to the students that there are simple things that we can do, such as turning off the water when we brush our teeth, to help preserve our earth's resources.

Conservation Charades

  1. Break the class into five groups.
  2. Place the card face down and allow each group to choose a charade card (recycle pop cans, turn off water, pick up litter, plant a tree, car pool).
  3. Give the groups time to plan what they are going to do to act out the conservation tip on their card for the class.
  4. Groups then take turns acting out their cards in front of the class until classmates from other groups are able to guess.
  5. When all groups have had a turn, discuss the conservation tip on each card and how they help save our resources.

Class Project

  1. Suggest to the children that we do something as a class to help preserve our earth's resources. Ideas for the project may include: recycling pop cans or newspapers, cleaning up litter on the school ground or at a local park, saving money to buy trees to plant, launching a campaign to save water . . . The possibilities are vast!
  2. Display the chart paper with the five problem solving steps. Use this model to guide the students through each step of planning the class project. Have the students write down the steps on a piece of paper and fill in each area with ideas generated by the class.
  3. This project can be on-going. It may be long term, but it will be worth it. It is important to allow the class to decide what they will do so they feel a sense of ownership. You may wish to talk about consensus during the planning of this project! Remember to follow through with the project, don't let it flop!
Mother Earth - Children Love to Sing & Dance Kids Song with Lyrics


  • Listen to student responses as they contribute items to add to the Kind/Unkind choices list.
  • Observe student participation and responses during the Conservation Charades game.
  • Examine each student's problem solving paper to see that each section has been filled in with appropriate responses.

Summarizing 3-2-1

Students will write about:

3 situations where they have seen the Earth not being respected.

2 ways they can show respect for the Earth.

1 reason why it is important to show respect to the Earth.

Essential Standards

Social Studies:


3.H.2.1 Explain change over time through historical narratives (events, people and places).

Geography and Environmental Literacy

3.G.1.3 Exemplify how people adapt to, change and protect the environment to meet their needs

Civics and Governance

3.C&G.2.2 Exemplify how citizens contribute to the well-being of the community’s natural environment

Speaking and Listening:

Comprehension and Collaboration

3.SL.1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 3 topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly

3.SL.2 Determine the main ideas and supporting details of a text read aloud or information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally

Presentation of Knowlwdge and Ideas

3.SL.4 Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking clearly at an understandable pace


Key Ideas and Details

3.RL.2 Recount stories, including fables, folktales, and myths from diverse cultures; determine the central message, lesson, or moral and explain how it is conveyed through key details in the text