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May 27

On this day in 1907, Rachel Carson was born.

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On this day in 1907, Rachel Carson was born.

Grades 3 – 12
Calendar Activity Type Author & Text





Rachel Carson, born on May 27, 1907, loved nature and had a lifelong desire to protect the environment. She was aware of the dangers of DDT and other chemicals and tried to educate the public through articles, pamphlets, and books. Her book Silent Spring warned about the poisons that were everywhere and heightened environmental awareness in people throughout the world.




Introduce your students to Rachel Carson by having a discussion about how chemicals can affect the environment. Show students a picture of a bald eagle and ask them if they have ever heard of DDT. DDT was a pesticide responsible for the decline of eagles in North America from more than half a million in 1872 to only 417 breeding pairs in 1973. At this point, either read a book about Rachel Carson to your class or have them find information about her on the websites listed below. After learning about Rachel Carson, invite students to choose one of these follow-up activities:



  • Rachel Carson.org

    This website is "devoted to the life and legacy of Rachel Carson." It includes her biography, many primary documents, and excellent links.

  • An American Success Story for the New Millennium

    After learning how DDT affected the eagle population, read about the U.S. laws that now protect eagles. Information about the recovery of bald eagles is also provided on this U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service site.

  • Nature: Eagles

    Learn about the decline of eagles and their recovery on this PBS Nature website. Visitors can view beautiful photographs and meet various members of the eagle family.

  • Silent Spring by Rachel Carson

    This page provides context and excerpts from Silent Spring. Rachel Carson's classic text has been called one of the most important works of the 20th century.


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Grades   3 – 5  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Reading and Writing About Pollution to Understand Cause and Effect

Students get to write a whale of a tale when they complete a graphic organizer sequencing the journey of a mountain fish to a polluted waterway.


Grades   6 – 8  |  Lesson Plan  |  Unit

Let It Grow: An Inquiry-Based Organic Gardening Research Project

Students learn about organic gardening by developing their own research questions, conducting research, gardening at their school, creating signs about their plants, and presenting their research to the class.


Grades   K – 2  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

How Does My Garden Grow? Writing in Science Field Journals

Students plant a garden and study its growth using the inquiry process of questioning and exploring. As they research and study, students record their observations in a field journal.


Grades   K – 2  |  Lesson Plan  |  Standard Lesson

Digging Up Details on Worms: Using the Language of Science in an Inquiry Study

This lesson, in which students research worms in order to create a classroom habitat, incorporates reading and writing across content areas as well as math and science activities.