Thursday, June 20, 2024
Teaching Ideas for an Environment Day

Teaching Ideas for an Environment Day

by Mark Warner
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Ages: 5-11
Contributor: Sam Collins

Try some of these teaching and activity ideas during an Environment day (or an environment topic over a longer period).

Don’t forget that World Environment Day takes place on 5th June every year.

If you have any suggestions of your own, add a comment below. We would love to hear your ideas!

English:

The Climate Change Pack

  • Write a short story about saving the environment.
  • Create posters or leaflets to raise awareness about an environmental issue that you are interested in or have been studying.
  • Have a look at this webpage from Olio, which has ideas for making your school more eco-friendly. Choose one action that could be implemented in your school and write a persuasive letter to the head teacher about it,
  • Create a short script based on a recycling theme and perform it in class.
  • Research and write a biography of a famous environmentalist, such as Greta Thunberg, Jane Goodall or Sir David Attenborough.

  • Create a newspaper article focussing on a local or global environmental news story.
  • Create a vocabulary bank with words to describe an eco-friendly world. Use them in a descriptive paragraph.
  • Write and illustrate an eco-themed picture book for younger children.
  • Create a word search or crossword puzzle with environmental vocabulary.
  • Write acrostic poems using the words “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.”

Maths:

  • Empty the bin at the end of the day and measure the mass and volume of waste generated. Calculate the amount of waste the class produces in a week or over a school year. What percentage of it is recyclable?
  • Download the School’s Water Audit Pack from Anglian Water and calculate how much water is used in your school. Other local water companies provide similar resources.
  • Use these ideas to explore your school’s energy usage.
  • Calculate the savings by using reusable containers or bottles instead of disposable ones. For example, if a refillable bottle costs £5, a litre of tap water costs 0.1p, and a litre of bottled water costs 50p, how long will it take to recoup the cost of the refillable bottle?
  • Collect data about environmental issues, such as how children get to school, and present it in a suitable form.
  • Design an eco-friendly garden and work out the amount of materials (such as fencing, compost, etc.) required to create it.
  • Create a timeline showing how long it takes different materials to decompose. This page has a great example.

Science:

  • Provide the children with some clean waste products. Discuss and sort into different categories, for example, recyclable and non-recyclable.
  • Explore the life cycles of plants by planting seeds and recording observations.
  • Try one of these investigations from Kids Against Plastic.
  • Try to Keep the Lights on and reach Net Zero in this game from EDF Energy.
  • Design a nature scavenger hunt to learn about local flora and fauna.
  • Use our Environment Pack to investigate which common materials can be recycled.
  • Compare different places in your school’s grounds and surrounding areas. What lives and grows there? What can you do to help the natural environment in those places?
  • Learn about climate change and global warming through research or speak to a guest speaker. This video has some helpful information.

  • Investigate the water cycle, evaporation and condensation, and the importance of water conservation. Our Water Cycle Pack has plenty of useful resources.

Computing:

  • Research and design a presentation about endangered species or ecosystems.
  • Create a quiz or game using online tools like Kahoot or Scratch to help learn about the environment.
  • Create an animation that raises awareness of an environmental issue. Here is one example:

  • Develop and program a waste sorting game to improve understanding of recycling and proper waste disposal.
  • Collaborate with pen pals or other schools online to discuss environmental issues and how you could work to improve the environment together.
  • Create digital art or infographics to convey messages about environmental care.
  • Explore the British Museum’s ‘Arctic; culture and climate’ exhibition using this virtual tour. Make notes as you explore.

Design Technology:

  • Follow these instructions to make an eco-friendly bag using old newspapers. You could also make some beeswax wraps with adult support.
  • Conduct an audit of the different types of packaging used in your home and school. Redesign the packaging for some of these products with eco-friendly materials.
  • Design a device or machine that is powered by renewable energy, such as solar or wind.
  • Construct bird feeders, birdhouses, or insect hotels to encourage wildlife in your school grounds.
  • Design and build a miniature recycling centre with signs and labels to help people sort different materials.
  • Make a compost bin using these ideas and tips.
  • Make a model of a wind turbine.
  • Plan and create a 3D model of an eco-friendly classroom or building. What different features will it have?
  • Design and create some upcycled furniture using reusable materials.

Art:

  • Work together to create a mural or collage with an environmental focus.
  • Design recycled fashion items such as jewellery or accessories.
  • Draw or paint portraits of endangered species.
  • Explore and experiment with nature-inspired art techniques like leaf or bark rubbings.
  • Create animal masks or puppets from eco-friendly or reusable materials.
  • Use natural materials such as flowers, leaves, or twigs to create transient art. Andy Goldsworthy’s site has some examples for inspiration.

Music:

  • Write and perform an environmental-themed song. Here are some examples:

  • Listen to the soundtrack for an environmental / nature documentary. How might changing the soundtrack affect the video? Here is one example:

  • Explore and create music using recycled instruments or everyday objects.
  • Investigate the sounds of nature and create soundscapes or compositions incorporating these. Nature Soundscapes has a number of videos to explore on Youtube.

Geography:

  • Investigate the effects of climate change around the world. NASA has some examples that show some of these.
  • Find out how land use has changed over time. Our World in Data has some helpful graphs to explore.
  • Discuss how tourism affects the environment. Create a travel brochure to promote eco-tourism in a chosen destination. This page has some examples.
  • Produce a report about an environmental conservation program (e.g. the Great Green Wall). What did it achieve?
  • Learn about areas of the world that are environmentally fragile zones, e.g. rainforests or coral reefs. Find out what people are doing to help these places.

History:

Physical Education:

  • Organise a clean-up activity in your local area. What tools and resources will you need to clean the area safely and effectively?
  • Teach and practice orienteering skills in the school grounds or the surrounding areas. The British Schools Orienteering Association has plenty of ideas and tips.
  • Play an outdoor scavenger hunt with an environmental theme.
  • Create an obstacle course that emulates an animal’s natural habitat.
  • Create an active play or presentation that promotes environmentally friendly transport options like walking or cycling.

Languages:

  • Choose a selection of words based on an environmental theme and translate them into different languages.
  • Create bilingual posters or informational resources about the environment.
  • Plan, write and perform a short role-play scene about the environment in a different language.
  • Find represent examples of environmental onomatopoeia in other languages. For example, ‘Svisch’ is the sound of the wind blowing in Swedish.

PSHE:

  • Plan a meeting or club to discuss environmental concerns and how you might be able to work together to help.
  • Create a class or school eco-code to discuss some ‘rules’ that might help to improve your local environment.
  • Find out about different careers and job roles dedicated to conserving and protecting the environment. Learn about the daily tasks and responsibilities that people have.
  • Spent some time in nature. How does this affect our mental health?

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