If you’re a kid… What are you doing for Earth Day?

Parents: If you are a parent and would like your child to learn English and learn about being sustainable, sit them down here and they will gain the following:

  • Learners find out about Earth day and how it is relevant to them.
  • Learn vocabulary related to being green.
  • Practice listening with a great song about being green.

Teachers: here is a slideshow for classroom use, a lesson plan here, and worksheets here!

Children: If you want to dance and sing along to this song while you do the exercises, please do! 🙂

Before the Song:

April 22nd is Earth Day. On this day people do things that are good for the Earth, such as plant trees or recycle plastic. What other things do you think they do? Make a list of 4 or 5 things.

While you listen to the song:

Are any of the things on your list in the song? Listen, and find out (by all means sing along and dance too!)

Language Learning:

Read these phrases. Listen to the song again. Which phrases are in the song and which are not? Put a tick or a cross.

Continue reading “If you’re a kid… What are you doing for Earth Day?”

What are you doing this Earth Hour?

What will you find here?

You will find out about Earth Hour which takes place on 24th March. You will match up expressions of strong intention which will make your speaking very persuasive if you use them, and you will come up with ideas of things to do for Earth Hour. Teachers:  a PowerPoint version for class: What are you doing this Earth Hour!

Preparation 

Starting as a symbolic lights out event in Sydney in 2007, Earth Hour is now the world’s largest grassroots movement for the environment, inspiring millions of people to take action for our planet and nature. What do you think people will do for Earth Hour and why? 

 

While you watch 

Watch the video. Are people doing the things you thought of in Preparation? Are some of them doing different things? Why are they doing them? 

Check your understanding 

After you’ve watched the video, decide if the following are true or false: 

  1. Earth Hour happens in countries all across the world. 
  2. Earth Hour is about governments and businesses doing things to protect the world. 
  3. According to Leonardo DiCaprio, we cannot reverse climate change. 
  4. In many cities, the lights are switched off from famous buildings. 

Continue reading “What are you doing this Earth Hour?”

I Like Clean Air

This lesson plan is based on the excellent campaign ‘I Like Clean Air’ in which London parents and kids  fight pollution. Students discuss air pollution, listen to a fantastic song created for the campaign, read and analyse a letter by a child requesting a change to improve air quality and learn how to write a letter asking for something to be done about an issue important to them.

clean air

Language level: Pre-Intermediate (A2) upwards

Learner type: Primary and Secondary Young Learners

Time: 90 minutes

Outcomes:

  • Language: Learners can differentiate between and use correctly complex and simple expressions for a transactional letter.
  • Skills: Learners write a letter requesting action to improve their cities air quality
  • Content: Learners explore the issue of air quality and become empowered to take action on it.

Materials:

  • PowerPoint Air Quality Lesson
  • 1 copy of the song lyrics I Like Clean Air for the teacher
  • 1 copy of I Like Clean Air worksheet per student.

Procedure:

  1. Ask students to discuss in groups what they love about their city and what they don’t love about it. Feedback to class and put ideas on the table in the PowerPoint.
  2. Tell learners that students in London produced a song about their city. Students Brainstorm 3 things they might love about London and 3 things they don’t love. Feedback to class and add ideas to the table on slide 2.
  3. Listen to the song. http://www.ilikecleanair.org.uk/clean-air-song/ What is it about?
  4. Give out the worksheet I Like Clean Air Students read it, predict what the missing words are. They listen to the song again to check.
  5. Students read the letter on the accompanying PowerPoint slide 4 and answer the following: Who is it from? Who is it to? What is it about? What is the format?
  6. Elicit from students what expressions the writer of the letter uses to ask someone to do something. Then go to slide 5 on the PowerPoint and students match up the simple and complex phrases according to function. Elicit the pros of more complex language (more precise meaning) and the cons (can be less clear).
  7. Ask what air quality issues there are in the students’ town or city. Who could they contact to do something about it? Complete the table on slide 6 and add ideas.
  8. Students write a letter to a person of their choice on an air quality issue of their choice. This can be displayed on the classroom walls for the other students to read and then hand in.

Downloadable materials:

lesson plan Air quality Lesson Plan

PowerPoint Air Quality lesson

Thank you to Shazia from I Like Clean Air for permission to use the materials on http://www.ilikecleanair.org.uk/

Writing a letter of complaint

anti chevron

All too often, course books make students write a letter of complaint using the same old contexts every time. An unsatisfactory hotel room, a faulty product or bad service in a restaurant. This time let’s breathe some fresh air into this genre of writing. And do some good for the world we live in at the same time!

Download the lesson plan: A letter of complaint

Reading Skills: Rewild the Child

Ideal for exam classes and teacher-training. This lesson practices skills common in exams like FCE, IELTs, and  Aptis; deducing meaning from context, and choosing the best heading for each paragraph.

Based around George Monbiot’s article ‘Rewild the Child’, which argues for a radical rethink in how we educate children by getting them out of the classroom and taking them outdoors.

The lesson consists of a lesson plan, the text, and a PowerPoint presentation.

 

Lesson plan: Rewild the child

PowerPoint: Rewild the childPhilip and white bird

Detox Fashion

detox fashionThey say you can tell next season’s hottest trend by looking at the colour of the rivers in Mexico and China. That’s because global fashion brands like Calvin Klein and GAP are using hazardous chemicals and dyes to make our clothes.

In this lesson students watch a fantastic mock anime film trailer in which our superheros expose the dark side of fashion. They also see how a  ‘people-powered’ campaign set up by Greenpeace is changing the fashion industry for the better.

Students also learn vocabulary for clothes and use the present continuous to describe what someone is wearing.

A lesson aimed at teenage learners. B1/intermediate level upwards.

The lesson plan: Detox Fashion is accompanied by a PowerPoint presentation: Detox Fashion.

Take action!

Take Action!

In this lesson we are encouraged to take action over an important issue; the threat of oil companies like Shell moving into the Arctic to drill for oil with potentially devastating consequences.

The outcome of the lesson is students write a short text persuading people to take action on the course of their choosing. They use language for persuasion which is the language focus of this lesson. Suitable for B1 level and above, teenagers or adults.

A radical, unapologetic eco-lesson, encouraging active citizenship. Use it at an in-company class with the oil industry at your discretion!

Click link for lesson plan document: Taking action over an important issue

Bike-sharing

It’s got to be one of the best infrastructure developments in cities. Turn up, pay for a bike, ride it to the next drop off point and your there! In terms of reducing pollution, getting fit, and making cities more pleasant places to live, it’s a win win win situation! So next time you do a lesson on travel, or city life, why not try this lesson. And tell me how it goes, I’d love feedback. Did you find the materials user-friendly, did the students find it interesting? Any suggestions? Here is the lesson:

bike sharing

School Environment Audit

In this lesson for young learners, the class make an environmental audit for the school. Children are always being told what to do by adults, and this gives them the chance to judge how well adults and their school are doing, and make recommendations for them. This lesson is suitable for young learners from 7 to 13 years old, from A2 level upwards.

Lesson plan: school environment audit

Creating energy sustainably

Here is a jigsaw reading on the topic of interesting ways to generate energy, whether it is to power a ship or a disco or charge up your mobile phone!

This lesson plan can be used with B1 level students and above, and the video of the disco that generates electricity from people dancing is a great way to show that sustainable living is FUN!

creating energy sustainably

Eco-tourism: travel by train

Did you know that taking the train instead of flying is much more environmentally friendly? Travelling by Eurostar creates ten times less carbon emissions that flying the same route! Not to mention it’s more fun and you get to see more – it’s the journey, not just the destination, after all!

Language teaching course-books rarely focus on this great way of travelling, but here is an internet lesson lesson that does just that.

seat 61 webquest

This lesson does require access to computers connected to the internet.