Environment Education

with Chris Summerville

The Child Health Site

Green Activities for the Environmental Classroom
Teachers' Introduction

This section contains photocopiable activities that can be used independently or to complement the topics in my textbook, 'Looking Back, Moving Forward: An Environmental Course for the Next Generation', published by Macmillan Language House, Japan.
Although these activities were originally created for use in the Japanese ESL classroom, many of them are also suitable for English speakers in Grade 4 - 8 in any subject classroom the teacher deems appropriate. Please note that four of the activities will need to be adapted to fit the country/currency as they are Japan specific.
The time spent on each activity will vary from 45 minutes to over an hour depending on how the activity is conducted and the students' English level. All of the activities require working with a partner or in a group of five or six members. A few activities require a short homework and will thus have to be conducted over two class periods.

Chapter 1:  Match the Label and Shopping Detective Activities                              (Teacher's Notes
Chapter 2:  Fair Trade Shopping (a)   Fair Trade Shopping (b)                               (Teacher's Notes)
               Eco-Ad Activity                                                                        (Teacher's Notes)
Chapter 3:  Restaurant Menu Activity                                                             (Teacher's Notes)
              Factory Farm Activity                                                                  (Teacher's Notes)
Chapter 4:  Click and Give Charity Internet Activity                                           (Teacher's Notes)
Chapter 6:  Green Map Activity                                                                    (Teacher's Notes)
Chapter 7:  Threatened Habitat Activity                                                           (Teacher's Notes)
Chapter 8:  Ecological Footprint Activity                                                         (Teacher's Notes)
Chapter 9:  Eco-Tour Activity (a) Eco-Tour Activity (b)                                        (Teacher's Notes)
Chapter 10: Sports and the Environment Activity                                                (Teacher's Notes)
Chapter 11: 'Earth Days' Activity  'Look Around You' Activity                                (Teacher's Notes)
Chapter 12: Think Globally, Act Personally Activity                                            (Teacher's Notes)

This article presents a student-led global issues discussion course for advanced EFL or high school students. Students spend two class periods in small groups discussing a topic selected by the teacher from a list of possible topics students expressed interest in during the first class. (If the teacher wishes to focus only on Environmental Issues, the students could be asked to nominate the possible topics solely from this category). The students, however, are unaware of which topics were selected and, in the first week's discussion, only the discussion leader knows what the new theme will be. The main requirement for the course is for each discussion leader to hand in a 'topic discussion packet' containing their lecture(s), discussion questions, the note-taker's notes, students' research findings and an essay reflecting on the discussion contents and their roles as discussion leaders. This article concludes by suggesting that removing the teacher from authoritarian roles and having the discussion led by student peers can enable class members to share their opinions more openly without fear of 'being wrong' and discussions can be conducted in a more candid and animated way.

Environmental Activities for Junior and High School Students

This section contains a variety of both indoor and outdoor activities that can be conducted with students from Grade 7 up. I have included an outline of how to conduct each activity along with some personal insights and suggestions about how teachers can adapt some of the activities based on my own personal experiences.  ENJOY!

1. Web of Life Activity (I also like to title this 'Web of Connections')
2. Prey and Predator Activity
3. C-O Exchange Cycle Activity