UN World Environment Day is observed on June 5th with lots of inspiring initiatives, educational projects and global involvement. In the long list of important dedicated days this day should be among our priorities, and it's definitely a topic we should talk about both in and out of the classroom.
If you can, take your students into nature around June 5th or any other time, but if it's difficult to manage, you can still take nature into the classroom. Here are some classroom ideas, projects and reading tips for your young learner, teen and adult classes.
Things to do on World Environment Day
In order to get started, we need to do some language work. Brainstorm words with your students (if they are lower level, use pictures and flashcards). Write the words they come up with on a board, or get them to collect them in groups and then share with the rest of the class.
- You can find images and videos on the official UN Environment Day website to help you with visualisation.
Then you can list things you can do to enjoy or improve your environment. Some of our ideas are cleaning the school yard, a local park, walking through a green space, having an outdoor picnic.
Does your school, town or region run any projects about the environment? Ask local representatives if they already have active teams. Otherwise you can also take part in global events held to raise awareness of Environment Day. We have collected some of the official events and resources.
The official website introduces this programme with these words:
'If you have a big idea to protect or restore the environment; if you have a vision for a more sustainable future; if you have a strong track record of instigating change; if you are unafraid of failure; and if you believe in a bright future for our planet, then you just might have what it takes to become a Young Champion of the Earth.
- Young Champions of the Earth
- Check out the the UN Get Involved page
- Take a picture and post it on a social media platform with the #ForNature hashtag.
- You can also check out the UN World Environment Facebook page.
- Read through this Practical Guide to learn more about this year's theme.
Read stories about the environment
We have a collection of readers which can help you experience different issues connected to the environment.
- The Big Fire - written by Rick Sampedro and illustrated by Giacomo Moretti
- Sam and the Sunflower Seeds - written by Maria Cleary and illustrated by Lorenzo Sabattini
- The Thirsty Tree - written by Adrián N. Bravi and illustrated by Valentina Russello
- Lost on the Coast written by Rick and Steve Sampedro and illustrated by Cristiano Lissoni
- The Jaguar and the Cow - written by Günter Gerngross and Herbert Puchta and illustrated by Cristiano Lissoni
Red and Blue Readers for teens and adults
- Jack's Endless Summer - written by Martyn Hobbs and illustrated by Lorenzo Sabattini
- Holly the Eco Warrior - written by Martyn Hobbs and illustrated by Lorenzo Sabattini
- Operation Osprey - written by David A. Hill and illustrated by Giovanni Da Re
- Red Water - written by Antoinette Moses and illustrated by Cinzia Battistel
- The Albatross - written by Scott Lauder and Walter McGregor and illustrated by Francesca Protopapa
- Heart of Darkness - written by Joseph Conrad, adapted by David A. Hill and illustrated by Michele Rocchetti
Here is a really inspiring project about the environment form a Turkish teacher and her young students.