On Earth Day, celebrated each April 22nd in many countries, we give thanks for the Earth’s natural resources and reflect on how to sustain the planet for future generations.
Parents who grew up in the 1970s might remember seeing television public service announcements with Woodsy Owl skipping through snow-covered forests and singing “Give a Hoot, Don’t Pollute.” Younger parents might not remember the U.S. Forest Service’s ad, but they can appreciate the clever slogan. You can easily incorporate this activity into a geometry lesson and it's a great way for children to practice using a ruler.
What You Do:
- Help your child trace his hands on the light brown construction paper to make the owl's wings.
- On the same piece of light brown construction paper your child traced his hands on, draw a 2 x 6 inch rectangle, which will form the owl’s head,
- Ask your child to draw two triangles on the light colored construction paper. They should measure 2 x 2 x 1 5/8 inches. If you're going for the geometry lesson, you might explain that these owl ears are isosceles triangles because two of their sides are the same length.
- Cut out the hands, ears, and a rectangle.
- Use the scissors to round the corners of the rectangle.
- Using the dark brown paper, assist your child in drawing a rectangular branch that is 3 x 11 1/2 inches.
- Assist your child in drawing the owl’s body, a rectangle measuring 8 x 5 1/2 inches on the same piece of brown paper.
- Cut out the two rectangles.
- Help your child round out the corners of the bottom of the owl’s body.
- Using the orange construction paper, draw and cut out a foot with three 1 1/2 inch toes.
- Use the first foot as a guide for making the second foot. The most important thing is that the two feet look similar.
- Ask your child to place the two owl ears base to base on the orange paper, and help your child trace the resulting diamond shape to make the owl’s beak.
- Now he can cut out the feet and beak from the piece of orange paper.
- Using the compass, help your child draw six one-inch diameter circles on the yellow paper.
- Cut out the circles.
- Using the black marker, help your child make 1/4 inch circles in the center of each of the circles.
- Below the branch is where your child will write the slogan. To ensure neater lettering, use a ruler and faint pencil to divide the bottom into two two-inch wide spaces.
- Using faint pencil, help your child write out “Give a Hoot” on the first line, and “Don’t Pollute” on the second. Instead of o’s, have your child use the yellow circles. All of the other letters should be about an inch high.
- After your child is happy with his letters, have him fill them in using the black marker.
- Now it's time to glue the yellow o’s, and the rest of owl parts in place. Make sure to glue the feet and ears under the head and body.
- Glue only half of the orange diamond beak in place on the owl’s face, leaving the upper part free to stick out.
- Let dry, and display where people tend to litter.
Woodsy Owl is still a mascot for the U.S. Forest Service, although his slogan now is “Lend a Hand, Care for the Land.” Your child might be interested in learning about other educational characters, like Smokey the Bear, or perhaps your child will come up with an Earth Day mascot and slogan of his own.