Try this activity, watch a great video and learn lots of vocabulary on a surprising topic! Just click through the Sway presentation (< and > symbols, bottom right) and enjoy the lesson, whether you are in your living room, a café or the classroom – just remember your re-usable cup! Note the lesson continues after the video.
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!
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:
Earth Hour happens in countries all across the world.
Earth Hour is about governments and businesses doing things to protect the world.
According to Leonardo DiCaprio, we cannot reverse climate change.
In many cities, the lights are switched off from famous buildings.
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.
Language level: Pre-Intermediate (A2) upwards
Learner type: Primary and Secondary Young Learners
Time: 90 minutes
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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).
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.
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.
Here is a lesson plan based on ordinary people who have done extraordinary things for the world we live in. It’s based on a jigsaw listening, and is suitable for teenagers and adults from B1/intermediate upwards. It is an updated revision of my previous lesson plan ‘Prizewinners’, which proved very popular.
They make a mess in both town and country. Have you ever been to a beautiful place and seen rubbish everywhere? On the other hand, are they the biggest problem the environment faces? They don’t pollute the air or damage our lungs like car exhaust fumes, we can re-use them and recycle them. Whatever the truth, many places restrict their sale. This lesson is a role play debate. Should we ban their sale or not? Practice language for agreeing and disagreeing, and reaching consensus. For B1 level upwards.
A lesson plan based on a more eco-friendly and city-friendly alternative to the car: the electric bike. While looking at this exciting development, students focus on indirect questions, and do a fact-finding mingle.
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!
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:
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.
It’s a complex and politically controversial topic, and one people might shy away from dealing with in class. This lesson simplifies the basic science in a lesson rich in the language items around the topic of climate change.
Follow the link to download the lesson plan from the British Council’s teachingenglish website: