Sunday, April 22, 2007

Today is National Jelly Bean Day!

How is a jelly bean made?


The jelly bean is a semi-soft candy, shaped like a bean and generally fruit flavored. Long considered a traditional Easter candy, jelly beans are also produced in seasonal colors for other holidays such as Halloween and Independence Day. Basic jelly beans (sometimes also called "pectin beans" because their gel-like centers are flavored with fruit pectin) come in nine colors—red, black, white, green, yellow, brown, orange, pink, and purple. Typically, the bean has the same flavor and color in both the candy center and the sugar shell.

As former President Ronald Reagan's favorite candy, the jelly bean experienced something of a resurgence in the 1980s, and many "designer" or "gourmet" flavors were introduced. These newer incarnations include more exotic fruit flavors like blue-berry, pear, cantaloupe, peach, and watermelon; beverage-based flavors such as root beer, champagne, mai tai, and daiquiri; and dessert or other sweet flavors such as bubble gum, marshmallow, mint, cheesecake, and cinnamon. The names of the flavors vary with the manufacturer, and the processing may be varied as well so that the particular jelly bean flavor resembles its "real world" counterpart. For example, the watermelon-flavored bean has a red candy center and a green hard shell like a real watermelon, and a mixed fruit or "tutti-frutti" bean may have a pink center and a speckled exterior to suggest its mix of flavors.

The exact origins of the jelly bean are not known, but it seems to have appeared around 1900 with other shaped candies. The jelly bean has a longer shelf life than many other confections, and its size and durability make it portable. Like other small treats, it was sold as "penny candy" through the first half of the century, including during the Depression. By segregating beans by color, retailers were able to sell jelly beans for particular holidays. In 1976, the gourmet jelly bean was invented by the Herman Goelitz Candy Co., Inc., and the candy assumed a new life as a delicacy. Jelly beans were a fixture of the Reagan White House, and they have flown on the space shuttle as well. New flavors are developed in keeping with taste trends, so the future of the humble bean in both traditional and new guises seems assured.

Raw Materials

The basic ingredients of jelly beans include sugar, corn syrup, and food starch. Relatively minor amounts of lecithin (an emulsifier), anti-foaming agents, beeswax or carnauba wax, salt, and confectioner's glaze are also added. The ingredients that give each bean its character are also relatively small in proportion and may vary depending on the flavor. These include natural and artificial flavors and colors, and, depending on the bean flavor, may include chocolate, coconut, fruit as puree or juice, peanuts, vanilla, oils, cream, or freeze-dried egg, milk, or fruit powders.


The "design" of the jelly bean was time-honored until the mid-1970s when the gourmet or designer jelly bean was developed. Although the shape remained fairly standard, gourmet-type beans are typically smaller and softer than traditional jelly beans. The colors and flavors also are more varied, and flavors that decrease in popularity are phased out, while new ones are added in keeping with other candies popular with children and other food fads and trends. Intentional in its design or not, the smaller jelly bean is touted as a low-calorie treat because jelly beans contain little or no fat, and there are about 150 calories in 2 tablespoons of small jelly beans.

Also, some manufacturers make a slightly larger jelly bean for holidays like Easter, Halloween, and Christmas. Forming jelly beans and many other candies does require design and development of the molds used in casting the shapes.

The Manufacturing

Cooking and chemistry

  • Each manufacturer's jelly bean and each new flavor/color combination begin in a chemistry laboratory, where the right balance of ingredients is mixed and developed in test batches. New designer flavors are suggested based on marketing studies, and the flavors are tested for taste and visual appeal in the laboratory. Subsequently, a new flavor will be manufactured over a trial time period and test marketed. If the flavor proves popular, it will become a new product. The chemists also develop new flavors with an eye toward the consumer's interest in natural products, and they evaluate its "nutrition facts," including ingredients and caloric content.
  • After the chemists have fine-tuned their recipe, the candy kitchen creates the syrup that forms the jelly bean center by dissolving the sugar and other ingredients in large boilers where the syrup is cooked to the proper temperature and consistency. Flavor and color for the bean center are added to the syrup, which is then piped to the starch casting area. The kitchens also mix and cook the flavor and color syrups for the panning process described below. These syrups are carefully transported to the panning room and are added in measured doses during panning.

Starch casting

  • Formation or shaping of a single jelly bean begins with a process called starch casting. Dry corn starch is a fine, white powder that retains impressions or shapes well. A machine called a mogul deposits a layer of corn starch in a plastic tray and moves the tray to a machine die, which presses dents into the corn starch. Each tray may contain several hundred to over 1,200 of these impressions or dents, each of which is the size and shape of the center of a jelly bean. The mogul moves the trays to a depositor or "filling station" where heated candy syrup is squirted into the tiny molds. From the mogul, conveyors carefully move the trays to cooling rooms in which temperature and humidity are controlled and where the liquid candy cools and sets up to form the gummy center of the jelly bean.

The panning process

  • The panning process gives the jelly beans their outer color and flavor, protective sugar shells, and shiny glaze. The trays of candy centers are dumped out. The corn starch absorbs moisture from them during the cooling process; but it is removed, dried, reprocessed, and recycled to create molds for more candies. The centers, which are all the same flavor and color, are placed in stainless steel vessels called "pans" that are globe-shaped and hollow with an opening at one "pole" of the globe. Just like globes, the pans are tilted on their axes so the candies can be placed in them easily and so workers can add other ingredients through the openings. At the bottom "pole" or axis end, the vessel is linked to a rotating power source. The pans rotate the jelly bean centers several hundred times per minute.
  • Sugar is added through the opening, which gradually builds up on the soft center to form a harder, sugar shell. Workers add colors and flavors during the panning process by pouring beakers of syrup supplied by the candy kitchen through the opening in the vessel. They can also observe the jelly bean shells as they form and become colored throughout the process. The beans are essentially finished at this point but are rather dull-looking. To give them their glossy coats, a glaze of confectioner's sugar is added while the beans are still revolving in the pans.


  • The process of making the jelly bean takes 6 to 10 days, depending on the kind of bean and the manufacturer. Packaging is the final step before sending the jelly beans to distributors. Jelly beans are placed in trays after panning and are still segregated by color or flavor. The trays of candies are taken to a large bin where they are dumped in and mixed to the desired combination of colors and flavors. The mixing bin is a large, rotating cylinder. On one side, a grid is set in the wall of the bin. Beans that are too small fall through the openings in the grid and into a receiving bin, while beans that are too large stick in the mesh and are removed later. The beans that continue rotating are therefore only the desired size and shape. They fall from the mixing bin onto a conveyor, where workers inspect them and remove any candies that look imperfect. The beans that pass inspection move on the conveyor to a packaging machine, where the candy is weighed and bagged in any of several sizes of bags either for bulk sale or purchase by individual consumers. The packaging machine can package and seal about 80,000 bags of jelly beans a day.
  • Exceptions to the sorting and mixing process occur when jelly beans (usually the gourmet type) are packaged by single flavor, or when the flavors are separated in small compartments in gift or "sampler" boxes that let the taster experience the unique flavors of designer beans. The candies are still sized and inspected, but individual flavors are then placed in funnel-like bins. The small openings fit the compartments in plastic trays in the gift boxes, and a controlled quantity of each flavor is dropped into its specific tray compartment.

    Although the candies are thoroughly mixed to try to get an equal distribution of colors, the randomness of conveying and sorting may cause some variations in the mix. The consumer who purchases the larger bag has a better chance, statistically, of getting a near-equal distribution of colors and flavors. Slight variations in size and shape account for one bag of jelly beans containing more beans than the next, even though the contents are weighed. Some manufacturers put more than the stated weight in each package, so the customer may actually get more beans than paid for in each bag.

Quality Control

Jelly beans, like any food product, must meet many regulatory requirements for safety and quality. All ingredients are supplied by vendors and inspected for correct quantities, quality, integrity of packaging, and other criteria. Equipment and materials that contact the food ingredients and product are inspected and cleaned daily or between batches as necessary. Packing materials that contact the jelly beans are formed and handled by machines that are also cleaned daily.

There are a number of product quality assurances among the manufacturing steps, starting with laboratory testing, tasting, observation of color quality, and both machine sorting and inspection to identify and oust imperfect candies.

Factory workers wear special clothing required for food handlers. Because they are working with equipment that generates high heat, has revolving parts, requires electrical supply, and imposes other safety hazards, workers are also protected by a myriad of safety requirements. Some jelly bean factories allow visitors to tour. They are kept at controlled distances from food processing both to protect the visitors and to isolate the candy from possible contamination.


The jelly bean making process generates very little waste. Sometimes the candy centers are malformed, or the molds collapse, forcing several candies to congeal. These are melted and reused or recycled to salvage the sweeteners. Some manufacturers package and sell imperfectly shaped but edible beans selected during final sorting and inspection.

The Future

New developments are most likely to include changing flavors among gourmet beans as the taste of the consumer follows the latest fashion. Other "revolutions" in jelly beans are less likely, and the future of the jelly bean as an icon among candies seems secure.

The Jelly Belly Factory Tour

Unlike other factories that only give tours on weekdays when the factory is working, Jelly Belly offers tours seven days a week, every day except major holidays.
No reservations are needed, but almost a half million people visit each year, and if you arrive early the place will be less crowded. The tour lasts forty minutes, but expect to stay sixty to ninety minutes, depending on tour frequency.

On weekdays when the factory is working, visitors view the live action from enclosed walkways above the factory floor. On weekends, holidays, and during the annual plant shutdown at the end of June, guides rely on videos showing the factory in action.

As the guides lead you above a rainbow-colored sea of trays and bins, they gush information and trivia, relating that it takes seven to ten days to make each of the 1.25 million beans finished each day. With steam baths, sugar showers and lots of rest, the process sounds more like a spa than a factory, but at the end, all the Jelly Bellies wind up in the "engrossing pan," a copper clothes dryer-like contraption, where they get four flavored syrup and sugar coats. After they're polished, a printer emblazons the Jelly Belly logo on every one.

The tour's sweetest part is at the end, when guides hand out samples, and everyone heads for the shop to buy "Belly Flops," imperfect candies sold at a discount.

Jelly Belly Facts

Jelly beans appeared in the United States during the Civil War, but the Herman Goelitz Company, a fifth-generation confectioner now called the Jelly Belly Candy Company, started making the official "Jelly Belly" candies in 1976. A California entrepreneur asked for a jelly bean with "natural" ingredients, and the Jelly Belly was born, candies distinct from all other jelly beans because of their natural-flavored centers.
  • People consume 14 billion Jelly Belly candies every year.
  • There are fifty "official" flavors at any time. New flavors debut as "Rookies."
  • The most popular flavors in the United States are buttered popcorn, very cherry, licorice, juicy pear and watermelon.
  • Ronald Reagan ordered 3.5 tons of Jelly Belly candies for his presidential inauguration, and the company invented the now-popular blueberry flavor so he could serve candies in red, white and blue.
  • The Jelly Belly factory also makes over a hundred other confections including candy corn, and they made the first gummi candies in the United States.
Can't make it to the Jelly Belly factory? Take the virtual Jelly Belly Factory tour

Today is Earth Day!

Celebrate & Accelerate
President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush
More Photos

Earth Day is a time to celebrate gains we have made and create new visions to accelerate environmental progress. Earth Day is a time to unite around new actions. Earth Day and every day is a time to act to protect our planet.

Environmental Highlights

On the anniversary of the first Earth Day in 1970, the federal government is cleaning the air, promoting land conservation, and improving water quality.

The Bush Administration is focused on achieving meaningful results – cleaner air and water, and healthier lands and wildlife habitats.

  • The nation's air is much cleaner today than it was in 1970 and progress will continue.
  • The trend of annual loss of wetlands has been reversed.
  • Restoration and redevelopment of abandoned industrial sites is accelerating.
  • President Bush is meeting his commitment to reduce the National Park Service maintenance backlog.

Learn more ...

Take Action on Your Own ...

At Home
Save energy
Use less water
More ...

In Your Classroom
For teachers and students
Learn about issues
Try some games
Do activities
More ...

While At Work
Commute smart
Use green buildings
Reduce energy use
More ...

... Or In Your Community
Find ways to volunteer with government at all levels.

Forest Service Volunteer
Volunteers are the heartbeat of the USDA Forest Service. Your talents and skills are matched with your work preference to satisfy you and fulfill the mission of the Forest Service.

Earth Team Volunteers
The Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service needs people 14 and older to help reduce soil loss, protect water supplies, and more.

Take Pride in America
Help maintain our natural, cultural and historic resources on public lands.

More volunteer opportunities


Earth Day

The original Earth Day, on the March equinox
Earth Day 2007
MARCH 20, 2007 at 8:07 PM EDT (Eastern Daylight Time)
or 12:07 UTC March 21 (Greenwich, England)

This Earth Day 2007, March 20, John McConnell and his wife Anna have been invited
to be guests of honor in
Laguna Beach, California
as the City of Laguna Beach celebrates Earth Day.
For details contact Charles Michael Murray in Laguna Beach, via (see below).
Please attend to meet John and Anna.


By John McConnell

Four billion years ago
Our lonely Earth
Set sail on cosmic seas
Guided by an unseen hand
Of nature, God or chance.

As life evolved
Through endles eco-cycles
Man was born, destined
To destroy or enrich
the Precious Ship.

And now his hand
Has seized the tiller
But his ear has not
Yet caught the Captain's
Quiet command.

The sails are down, the ship becalmed,
Its fragil life at stake.
No longer do we ride the gentle swells of
Silent seas and breathe
The fragrant air.

Broken are the rhythms
Of our cyclic plants
And other living things.

But now the Captain speaks again
Our quiet thoughts at last reveal his voice.

"Hoist the sails, Earth Man.
Set them for celestial winds.
Hold the tiler firm,
The course ahead is clear."

Be He nature, God or chance
His voice is heard
And we shall heed
The Captain's quiet command.

– Important Perennial Message from John McConnell –
We urge world leaders to speak out for a Global Minute for Peace. Efforts by world leaders to speak out for this annual event could result in new hope and a new beginning for the whole human family. The date of December 22 can be designated Global Minute for Peace Day, and celebrated worldwide every year.

"Minute for Peace -- December 22, 2007
Provides the Way to Global Peace"

*** *** ***

"Earth Day Lighthouse 2006"
*** *** ***

"Star of Wonder"
*** *** ***

"Minute for Peace," December 22, 2007

On December 22, just three days before Christmas, 1963, the first "Minute for Peace" was broadcast on radio and TV stations. This came one month after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Wire services featured the "Minute for Peace" in news stories that went around the world. The broadcast included the voice of President Kennedy addressing the United Nations with an urgent plea for peace, and asked each listener to dedicate his thoughts and action to peace.

On June 26, 1965, the twentieth anniversary of the signing of the United Nations charter, a "Minute for Peace" message featuring UN Secretary General U Thant was broadcast on all major U.S. radio networks, by United Nations radio, by networks in other countries, and by international short wave radio.

Since then, all over the globe, we who have pledged ourselves as Earth Trustees have taken a minute each December 22 to meditate and pray for peace. Again this year we ask you to join us in this effort to help bring peace.

Can a "Minute for Peace" become a minute of goodwill observed in unison around the world? Will it irresistibly move the leaders of men into paths of peace? Will the hearts and minds of people in all countries be touched by the Holy Spirit with the peace and love that bring men into the Kingdom of God? What has happened so far seemed utterly impossible at first. Who knows what may happen if we put our faith to work and use the power of the Spirit to solve the problem of the sword?

On December 22, 2007, join with Earth Trustees all over the world in dedicating your hearts during a "Minute for Peace." Let every radio and TV station fill the day with minutes of music and words that inspire peaceful actions. Help us unite as one human family in new understanding and care for this wonderful nest in the stars: Planet Earth, our home.

Let us know your plans for "Minute for Peace Day" so that we may publicize them here.

St. Francis and Earth Day
Next Life and This Life
Reflection on the Meaning of Life
Magic Bullet
POPE - Peace on Planet Earth

Happy Birthday to the Founder of Earth Day!!
John McConnell -- 92 years young!!
born March 22, 1915
On March 22, 2007, John McConnell celebrated his 92st birthday!
Happy Birthday, John McConnell!!
Please wish him a "Happy Birthday" by sending him an email.

Click here to send a Happy Birthday email to John McConnell.

Earth's Resurrection

· New List -- Websites and groups honoring the equinox
Earth Day, March 20-21 ·

People who have registered as Earth Trustees (updated for October, 2005).

- Cities proclaiming March 20 as Earth Day -
Laguna Beach CA 2007, San Francisco 2007, Berkeley, and Denver
See Below

Gavin Newsom, Mayor of the City and County of San Francisco,
proclaimed March 20, 2007 as
Earth Day.

Elizabeth Pearson-Schneider, MAYOR of the City of Laguna Beach, California,
proclaimed March 20, 2006 as
Earth Day
officially recognizing
"John McConnell's vision for the protection of planet earth."
Laguna Beach again proclaimed Earth Day on March 20 in 2007.

John W. Hickenlooper, MAYOR of the City and County of Denver, Colorado,,
proclaimed March 20, 2005 as
"Denver's Earth Day"
officially recognizing
"the first day of spring as Global EARTH DAY
and Mr. McConnell for his many contributions."

Gavin Newsom, Mayor of San Francisco,
proclaimed March 21, 2006 as
"International Earth Day in San Francisco"
honoring the first Earth Day on March 21, 1970
and the first Earth Day Proclamation
issued in 1970 by San Francisco Mayor Joseph Alioto,
"in our tradition to honor peace,
justice, and care of our Earth."

Tom Bates, Mayor of the City of Berkeley,
proclaimed March 20, 2005 as
"International Earth Day in Berkeley"
in honor of nature's true "Earth Day,"
an "occasion of global communion,"
with the "joyous worldwide ringing of bells
for universal peace and understanding,
environmental protection, and human community."

Earth Trustee Newsletter
Fourth Issue: #1-4 August 15, 2004

Global Minute for Peace Day

Third Issue: #1-3 May 6, 2004
Second Issue: #1-2 Feb 22, 2004
First Issue: #1-1 Feb 1, 2004

**Proposal for EARTH HOUR!--
a Weekly TV Program**

** Stories of Earth Trustees **

Reagan and Carter
President Bush and Jesus

Our Cosmic Quest

Sowing the Seed - 1911

Archival Collection of John McConnell's Papers and Documents, Swarthmore Library

about attending the Annual International Earth Day at the United Nations is found at

How to Celebrate Earth Day

News Note: Mr. and Mrs. McConnell attended the Peace Bell ceremony at the United Nations
in New York City on March 20 (1:49 a.m. EST), 2004.
Mr. McConnell delivered his annual Earth Day message as the chief speaker.

Earth Day is on the March Spring Equinox,
Nature's day all over the world.

Earth Day 2007 will occur MARCH 20, 2007 at 8:07 PM EDT (Eastern Daylight Time)
or 12:07 UTC (Greenwich, England).

Global Peace Blitz

The purpose of this Earth Site is to get attention for the Earth Day Idea --
the idea that can do the most for people and planet:

All individuals and institutions have a mutual responsibility to act as Trustees of Earth, seeking the choices in ecology, economics and ethics that will eliminate pollution, poverty and violence, foster peaceful progress, awaken the wonder of life, and realize the best potential for the future of the human adventure.

"The earth will continue to regenerate its life sources only as long as we and all the peoples of the world do our part to conserve its natural resources. It is a responsibility which every human being shares. Through voluntary action, each of us can join in building a productive land in harmony with nature."

President Gerald Ford
Proclaiming March 21st as Earth Day

"EARTH DAY uses one of humanity’s great discoveries, the discovery of anniversaries by which, throughout time, human beings have kept their sorrows and their joys, their victories, their revelations and their obligations alive, for re-celebration and re-dedication another year, another decade, another century, another eon. EARTH DAY reminds the people of the world of the need for continuing care which is vital to Earth’s safety. …EARTH DAY draws on astronomical phenomena in a new way; using the vernal equinox, the time when the Sun crosses the equator making night and day of equal length in all parts of theEarth. To this point in the annual calendar, EARTH DAY attaches no local or divisive set of symbols, no statement of the truth or superiority of one way of life over another. But the selection of the March equinox makes planetary observance of a shared event possible.

"The vernal equinox calls on all mankind to recognize and respect Earth’s beautiful systems of balance, between the presence of animals on land, the fish in the sea, birds in the air, mankind, water, air, and land. Most importantly there must always be awareness of the actions by people that can disturb this precious balance."

Margaret Mead
Read Margaret Mead's 1977 Earth Day Statement

What on Earth Are You Doing for Earth Day?

Whether you're looking to celebrate Earth Day in a BIG way or in a small way, the Internet is full of Earth Day activity suggestions. Hold an Earth Day Fair. Start a school recycling program. Or get your students involved in one of the terrific online projects that promote environmental awareness and conservation; you can read about a handful of those projects in this week's Education World CURRICULUM story, Internet Projects to Celebrate Earth Day!

Looking for "smaller" activities to celebrate Earth Day across the curriculum? You've come to the right place! Scan down this list of simple activities that extend the Earth Day theme into all areas of the curriculum.


Hands-on science. The only things that students will need to make a simple thermometer are water, a clear plastic bottle (e.g., an 11-ounce water bottle), food coloring, a clear plastic drinking straw, a clump of modeling clay, and rubbing alcohol. Follow the simple Make a Thermometer directions on the California Energy Commission's Science Projects page.

Make an "Earth Day Joke Book." Students can choose their favorite nature riddle to make an "Earth Day Joke Book." Each right-hand page has a riddle question in large letters. The flip side of the page has the answer and an illustration that gets at the silliness of the riddle. (The "Reader Riddles" page in each issue of Ranger Rick magazine is a good source for riddles. Other sources include Nature Riddles and Animal Riddles. Be sure to check beforehand to ensure that all the riddles are age-appropriate.)

Organizing information. Invite students to fold a sheet of paper into four equal squares. Label each square with one of the headings: Bathroom, Kitchen, Bedroom, and Laundry. In each square, students should write two energy-saving tips related to that room. They can use the clickable picture on the E-Patrol Energy Savers Web page as their resource.

Group discussion. Be sure to let your students visit the EPA's Recycle City Web site. Then divide students into small discussion groups. Invite each group to brainstorm a list of three ways that each of the following items can be reused, instead of throwing them away. (They can use the whole thing or only part of it.)

  • Cardboard box
  • Plastic milk carton
  • Glass jar
  • Wooden board
  • Plastic bag
  • Newspaper
Allow enough time for students to have a good discussion. Then pull the groups back together so they can share with each other their best ideas.

Be sure to check out some of the other Recycle City Activity Ideas.

Consumer testing/graphing. Students will need three or four identical flashlights to complete the Battery Life science experiment/consumer test from the California Energy Commission's Science Projects page. Use a different brand of batteries (e.g., Duracell, Energizer, Eveready, and Rayovac) to power each flashlight. Students should leave the flashlights on during the school day and monitor the length of time each flashlight stays lit before the batteries "die." Students should round the life of each battery brand off to the nearest hour and create a graph to show the life of each battery brand. (Note: This experiment could take days.)

Sequencing. Students can draw a step-by-step diagram to show the ten steps involved in planting a tree. The information students will need to draw their diagrams can be found on the How to Plant a Tree! pages of the Kids F.A.C.E. (Kids for a Clean Environment) Web site. Students might work in teams of 2, 5, or 10 to complete this project. They might bind their pages into book form and present other classes in the school with "How to Plant a Tree" books.

Hands-on science. Students can make their own "acid testing solution" from red cabbage using the step-by-step procedure on the Beakman's World Web site. Students can test rainwater, lemon juice, soap, and other solutions for acidity. (Less acidic solutions will turn the red cabbage solution to blue or green.)

Art. Each class in the school should select an Earth-friendly slogan for Earth Day and create a colorful slogan banner on recycled computer printout paper (the perforated variety) or on craft paper. Classes can display their banners outside their classrooms on Earth Day and teachers can take their classes on a banner tour.

ABC order. Invite students to put the list of environment terms found in the word search puzzle (in the previous activity) into ABC order. Teachers of older students might use a longer list, which students might help to brainstorm. Extend the activity by having students use the terms to create an "Earth Day Dictionary." Words from the word search puzzle: recycle, compost, garbage, litter, reuse, cleanup, environment, pollution, waste, landfill, reduce.

Science/art. Students can learn how paper is recycled by following the step-by-step procedures of the You Can Make Paper activity on the Beakman's World Web site. Once the paper is dried students can paint Earth Day messages on their recycled paper.

More art. Invite students to design their own bumper stickers with Earth Day themes.

More reading comprehension. (Grade 3 and up. Younger students might work in pairs.) Invite students to learn all about the cheetah on the Cheetah Spot Web page. There, students will read about the cheetah's appearance, speed, food, social habits, history, and the danger of its extinction. Teachers can print out a copy of the true/false questions on the student work sheet.
(Answer Key: 1. T, 2. T, 3. F, 4. F, 5. F, 6. T, 7. T, 8. F, 9. T, 10. F.)

Graphing animal speeds. On the Cheetah Spot Web page, students learn that the cheetah is the fastest animal on Earth. It can run at speeds up to 71 miles per hour. Have students create a graph that shows the top speed of the cheetah and of five other animals from the list below.

lion50 mphcoyote43 mphzebra40 mph
hyena40 mphgreyhound40 mphreindeer32 mph
giraffe32 mphgrizzly bear30 mphcat30 mph
human28 mphelephant25 mphwild turkey15 mph
squirrel12 mphpig12 mphtortoise0 mph

More ABC order. Use the Litter Detectives lesson plan from the Litter Prevention home page. Make a list of the different kinds of litter that students collected. Then invite students to put the list in alphabetical order.

Classifying, graphing, and comparing/contrasting. Make a checklist with ten columns. Head each column with a "type of trash." (See the chart below for column headings.) Then count the number of litter items students collected (in the activity above) in each category. Graph the results to show which categories accounted for the most waste. Compare your results to the figures in the chart below, which represent nationwide waste composition.

MetalXXXXXXXXXXXX 12 percent
Yard wasteXXXXXXXXXX 10 percent
Rubber/LeatherXXXXXX 6 percent
TextilesXXXXX 5 percent
MiscellaneousXXXX 4 percent
WoodXXXX 4 percent
Food wasteXXX 3 percent
GlassXX 2 percent

Language arts. Invite students to write poems about trash or litter on small brown lunch bags. Then they can use the bags to collect trash in the schoolyard or in a local park.

100 Facts About Earth. Challenge students to list 100 facts about Earth that they learned in the Earth Day Challenge. Students might work in groups and bring together their group lists to form a larger class list. (Adjust the number of facts for your grade level.)