This is the Earth: A Short Unit Study Based on the Book

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This is the Earth pulls you in and then delivers the punch.

This book starts out so serene and beautiful. However as it goes along, This Is the Earth illustrates the terrible effect that progress has made on the planet. Don’t worry, though, it leaves us with a positive note and a great message about how each of us can do our part to take care of the Earth.

Written by Diane Z. Shore and Jessica Alexander, This is the Earth presents the idea of the three R’s (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle) in a fun and unique way. Through the use of visually stunning pictures and flowing poetry the authors take us on a journey. We see the Earth as it should be and the Earth as we’ve made it. Finally we are left with a call to action and great tips about how we can do little things to help restore the Earth.

Shore and Alexander have written several other books together. I encourage you to check out these two books as well:


A Reading of the Book

I hope you enjoy the reading of this book – This is the Earth. Once you are done watching the video keep reading for some useful tips on how to teach some of the valuable concepts presented in this book.

Learning Experiences Using This is the Earth

this is the earth a unit study

Learning Concepts

  • Take care of our planet
  • Reduce, Reuse and Recycle (3 R’s)
  • Small changes make a big difference
  • Circles and spheres

Bible Story

The creation story is always a wonderful start to a discussion about protecting the Earth. Talk to your child about all of the wonderful things that God has made and how the Earth has been entrusted to us to care for. In fact, for a great companion book to read along with this one, I recommend All Things Bright and Beautiful by Cecil Alexander

Other Bible Verses that apply

“For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” (Colossians 1:16-17)

But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds of the air, and they will tell you; or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish of the sea inform you. Which of all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this? In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.” (Job 12:7-10)

The land must not be sold permanently, because the land is mine and you are but aliens and my tenants. Throughout the country that you hold as a possession, you must provide for the redemption of the land.” (Leviticus 25:23-24)

“When you lay siege to a city for a long time, fighting against it to capture it, do not destroy its trees by putting an ax to them, because you can eat their fruit. Do not cut them down. Are the trees people, that you should besiege them?” (Deuteronomy 20:19)

Music Time

If it can be done with music and movement, then that’s how we like to learn it in my house. Here is a great song for teaching the 3 R’s to your child.

The 3 R’s Song

(To the tune of “The More We Get Together”)

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle



Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

It’s easy to do!


Cause my land is your land

And your land is my land


Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

It’s easy to do!


Mathematical Concepts

The math for this unit study is all about shapes.  For the younger kids you can practice identifying circles (like the earth) and triangles (like the recycle sign).  Older kids can practice the following formulas:

  • Circumference of a circle: c=2πd (2 times pi times the diameter)
  • Area of a circle: a=πr2 (pi times the radius squared)
  • Surface area of a sphere: A=4πr2 (Four times pi times the radius squared)
  • Volume of a sphere: V=(4/3)πr3 (Four-thirds times pi times the radius cubed)

Note: This would be a great opportunity for your kids to learn about the origin of pi.  Scientific American has a wonderful article about this.  Also, because this is an article about books after all, check out Sir Cumference and the Dragon of Pi (A Math Adventure).  This is a hilarious book that does a great job of explaining just what pi is and what it stands for.

#FunFact: The circumference of the Earth is about 24,901 miles. Its surface area is about 197 million… Click To Tweet

Writing Prompt for Older Kids

  • What would it look like if nobody took care of the Earth? (creative writing or journal writing)
  • What would you say to someone to convince them to begin recycling? (persuasive essay)


Crafting is an important part of learning for younger kids. Allison at No Time for Flashcards has a wonderful post about 10 Activities That Teach Kids About Recycling

Field Trips

Most public areas provide wonderful opportunities to practice taking care of the Earth. Visit your national park or even your local park. Talk to your kids about littering and the effects of littering on the planet. Give out a sack to each person and have a race to see who can gather the most trash.

Other Books that fit this theme

If you loved This is the Earth then you will love these books as well.

And, lest we forget about our older siblings and children..

If you have any fun and interesting books you’d like me to check out send me an email or post a comment below.

Note: This post contains affiliate links. If you would like to get any of the books mentioned to read with your child, simply click on the picture.

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