Children, young learners of English, are really open to the environment and the challenges that affect it. This is partly natural, they are fascinated by animals, plants and the world around them. It is also because they stand to be affected by such issues more. Children are also great language learners and spend time in the classroom. The lessons and activities here will help them learn more about the environment and more English.
This cartoon camel rapping will get children thinking about saving water. Add to that questions to focus them on routines involving water (brushing your teeth, having a shower) using present continuous, and this is ready to go with A1 level young learners. The video is posted on the excellent islcollective website, a mine of resources.
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.
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.
They 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.
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.