Lesson Plans

To help get your students involved in the environmental movement you can incorporate environmental education into your classroom by using a lesson plan from Earth Day Network’s collection of more than 300 environmentally themed lesson plans at www.earthday.org/network. Sample lesson plans for grades K-3, grades 5-8, and grades 9-12  have been provided for you below. Click on the title of the lesson to access the PDF file containing the lesson plan.

  1. Grades K-5

    • The Bigger Meaning of Recycling: Green Play Structures.

      This lesson is designed to show students the bigger meaning of recycling by focusing on what is created from the process.

    • The Truth about Plastic Bags

      This lesson will inform students about the scope of the worldwide plastic bag problem, and provide them with ways to reduce plastic bag generation and waste.

    • Before We Drove Cars We Rode Animals

      In this lesson students will examine the history of animal-based transportation and discover why many cultures increasingly rely on machines for transportation and contrast modern methods of transportation with those of the past to examine the pros and cons how transportation has developed in the modern world.

  2. Grades 5-8

    • The Six Infamous Pollutants

      Students will work in groups to research and “get to know” the six major air pollutants. Students present information in creative ways to make an invisible and intangible entity (air pollution) a bit more visible and real to them through a “Meet the Pollutants” Press Conference.

    • Carrying Water

      In this lesson, students will audit their personal daily water usage, and will participate in a class discussion about water use and conservation. Through an introduction to the Kenyan village of Kapsasian, group mathematical problem solving, and class discussions, they will have a better understanding of the problems faced by those with lack of access to water.

    • Filtering Water

      This lesson will introduce students to the concepts of water pollution and access to clean water through class discussion and a water filtration experiment.

  3. Grades 9-12

    • Air Pollution 101

      Students will gain background knowledge of the basic sources of air pollution, along with the overview of how air pollution affects our health and our environment.

    • Corn: Food or Fuel?

      This lesson will expose the students to the controversies surrounding the use of corn as a fuel source and will allow them to participate in an academic debate analyzing the pros and cons of using corn as a fuel source.

    • Major Types of Air Pollution and Their Global Distribution

      Students will study types of air pollutants and use maps to explore how they are distributed throughout the world. After engaging in a class discussion, students will research several causes behind different types of air pollutants.

For additional lesson plans and resources please visit the Educator’s Network at http://www.earthday.org/network