Use this lesson with older primary learners at CEFR Level A2 and above to raise awareness of environmental issues.

A girl putting a plastic bottle in a recycling bag
Rachael Ro


In this lesson, learners will be introduced to vocabulary to describe environmental issues. First, they will watch a story about different environmental issues, then they will listen to a song about ways of helping the environment. In the second part of the lesson, they will create and carry out a class survey about ‘green’ habits. They will report on the results and discuss what they can do to help the environment.

Teachers will need to be able to access online resources for this lesson (the story and song). Online exercises accompany this lesson; alternatively, teachers can print and copy worksheets. 

Learning outcomes

  • Use words related to the environment 
  • Watch a story about the environment and understand key information
  • Say what people can do to help the environment
  • Ask and answer questions using the present simple tense about habits
  • Write sentences using the present simple tense about habits

Age and level

9-12 (A2+)


80-95 minutes (or two shorter lessons)


The lesson plan can be downloaded in PDF format below. In addition, you will need:

Introduce the topic (5 mins)
  • (Optional) Display a picture of Earth or draw one on the board. Ask learners to say what it is.
  • Tell learners to imagine a museum called ‘Planet Earth’. What do they think they would learn about at the museum? Write some suggestions on the board. 
    Examples: life in different habitats (e.g. oceans / forests); history of life on Earth; looking after the environment; climate change
Story: Planet Earth (20-30 mins)
  • Tell learners they are going to watch a story called ‘Planet Earth’, in which some schoolchildren visit the ‘Planet Earth’ museum. Ask learners to watch the story and find out what they learn about at the museum.  
  • Play the story:
  • After the story, ask learners to tell you the four different zones that the schoolchildren visited: forests, oceans, the Arctic and rivers. Ask if they can remember anything about the zones. 
  • Option 1 (using online resource): Complete Preparation activity online: You can do this online as a whole class, or learners can work in pairs / groups using devices. 
  • Option 2 (using printed resource): Hand out the student worksheet: 
  • Option 2: Ask learners to complete exercise 1 (What’s the word?). Check answers as a class. 
  • Options 1 and 2: Play the story again. Stop after the narrator talks about why we need forests. Check learners understand the importance of forests (for animals, plants and oxygen). Now play the next scene which talks about the environmental problems facing forests. Then stop and elicit or teach ‘deforestation’ and check learners understand the problem. 
  • Options 1 and 2: Continue replaying the story, zone by zone, checking each time learners have understood both the importance of the zone and the environmental problems facing each zone. 
  • Option 1 (using online resource): Play the game under the story. You can do this online as a whole class, or learners can work in pairs / groups using devices.
  • Option 2 (using printed resources): Ask learners to complete exercise 2 (Fill it in!) and exercise 3 (Make it right!) of the worksheet. Monitor and help as necessary. Check answers. 
    Answers: Ex.2: 1 animals, 2 Trees, 3 oceans, 4 sun, 5 Arctic, 6 ice, 7 rain, 8 plants; Ex.3: a forests, b paper, c rubbish, d eat, e warmer, f land, g factories, h water
  • Options 1 and 2: Finally, play the last part of the story again and ask learners to answer the question the narrator asks: ‘Wouldn’t you like to live here?’ 
    Note: The script of the story is available here:
Song: It's up to me and you (15-20 mins)
  • Ask learners what people can do to help with the environmental issues they saw in the story. Some ideas were prompted in the story (e.g. the story talks about throwing away paper, so one way would be to recycle paper). Some learners may have further ideas. Write some ideas on the board. 
  • Tell learners that they will listen to a song. As they listen, they should see which of their ideas are in the song. 
  • Play the song:
  • After the song, ask learners to say which of their ideas were in the song. Were there any ideas in the song which they didn’t think of? 
  • Option 1 (using online resource): Complete Preparation activity and Game online: You can do this online as a whole class, or learners can work in pairs / groups using devices. 
  • Option 2 (using printed resource): Hand out the student worksheet:
  • Option 2: Ask learners to complete exercise 1 (What’s the word?) and exercise 2 (Match them up!) of the worksheet. Check answers. If you like, ask learners to repeat the completed phrases for pronunciation practice. 
    Brush your teeth but turn off the tap.
    Take a shower, don’t have a bath. 
    Walk or ride your bike to school. 
    Recycle paper, that’s the rule. 
    Unplug the TV, switch off the lights. 
    Go out with friends, don’t surf all night.
    Give old clothes to charity.
    Join a green group, plant a tree. 
  • Options 1 and 2: Now play the song again and encourage your learners to do the actions and sing along! If your learners enjoy the song, you could try singing in different ways, for example half the class sings the first part of the line (e.g. ‘Brush your teeth’) and the other half sings the second part (e.g. ‘but turn off the tap’) or vice versa.
    Note: The song lyrics are available here:
Class survey (30 mins)
  • Ask learners what they do at home to help the environment. Get a few suggestions. 
  • Now put learners into pairs. Explain that they are going to write a survey i.e. they are going to write some questions to ask their classmates. 
  • Explain that each pair should write 5 yes / no questions. The questions will find out how ‘green’ everyone is. The questions can be about the topics that were in the song, or their own ideas. Elicit or give some examples, e.g. Do you walk to school? Do you switch off the tap when you brush your teeth? Do you recycle...? Etc. 
  • Students write their questions in pairs. Make sure they leave space next to each question to record answers. Monitor and help as necessary. 
  • When learners are ready, ask them to survey their classmates. If you have a smaller group of learners, they can walk around and ask each other; if you have a larger group of learners, they can ask classmates around them.
  • As learners ask each other their questions, they should tally how many learners say ‘yes’ and how many say ‘no’ to each question. 
  • After they’ve finished, ask them to draw a bar chart for each question showing how many learners said ‘yes’ and ‘no’. Demonstrate how to draw a bar chart on the board first. 
  • If they have time, learners can colour in the chart and write sentences about the results, e.g.: Five people in the class walk to school. Six people in the class don’t walk to school.
  • Display the work around the room. Let learners go round and see the results. Are they as ‘green’ as they thought they were? Encourage them to make some resolutions to improve!
End of lesson activity (5-20 mins)
  • If they enjoyed the song, learners can listen to it again and sing along.
  • OR play a game to review vocabulary from the lesson. For example, put learners into teams then give some definitions of words, e.g. You turn this to get water. The team which guesses the word first (tap) wins a point. 
  • OR ask learners to write three things that they will do to help the environment in future. They can use any of the ideas from this lesson or others. Elicit examples and write them on the board:
    I’m going to use less paper. 
    I’m going to use a water bottle. 
    I’m going to give books to charity. 
Lesson plan223.12 KB
Language Level


Submitted by PK Hutchinson on Wed, 06/17/2020 - 12:48

Thank you 

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