Earth Day 2012, where we consider our impact upon the planet and variously decide (a) to do something about it (b) gee that’s terrible but what can one person do? (c) It was like that when we got here – is almost upon us, falling due as it does on April 22nd of this year.
Predictably, there’s a wealth of teaching resources available to exploit with your students – here are some of the ones I’ve come across:
The Earth Day network website – http://www.earthday.org/ has a wealth of information, of particular interest to educators might be the “Green Schools” initiative (how to make your school greener) and the “Ecological footprint calculator” – though the number of countries the calculator works for is limited. Their educators network has downloadable lesson plans (native speaker K-12) on most environmentally related topics.
The Great Green Web Game is probably suitable for younger learners (who won’t worry about the relative lack of sophistication) of intermediate level and above. Learners answer questions to progress around the game board. (Spotted on CristinaSkyBox).
Another younger learner resource comes via funschool which has various “Earth Day” related resources – though the language element present here is rather limited – check them out before using them in class!
Linda Starr & Gary Hopkins have collated a great range of resources for educators at Education World – these are aimed more at native speaker learners, so might need some adaptation for English Langauge learners, but there’s a lot of interesting looking stuff there that would be suitable across age ranges – and very suitable for anyone into CLiL.
A fantastic option for adults, particularly in the business sector is the Environmental CEO game: CEO2. In this one you take on the role of the CEO of a major corporation, working in either the insurance, automotive, chemical or power industries. You’re presented with certain targets, balancing the needs and wants of a number of stakeholders and given a range of decisions to make in order to achieve these. A certain amount of text, reading and analysis is required, I’d suggest B2 level learners and above should be fine with it. (again – thanks to CristinaSkyBox for the spot)
National Geographic have a beta version of their education site up and running at the moment – including a teaching resources section that looks promising. I found the navigation took a little getting used to, but the content seems spot on. Again, aimed at native speakers, so probably more useful at higher levels than lower levels and probably better with teenagers rather than the younger learners.
“The Best Earth Day Sites” is Larry Ferlazzo’s collection of Earth Day resources – a list he started work on in 2009 and which he updates annually. There’s a lot there, all of which is accessible for English language learners.
Michelle Henry’s Earth Day resources is another great collection of lesson plans, interactive games, webquests and printables relating both to Earth Day and also to wider environmental issues.
The “Go Green!” section at Teach Children ESL has fantastic downloadable pdf flashcards, worksheets and activities, including an “Earth Day Poster” lesson plan which might be nice to use in the build up to Earth Day.
If you have, or if you know of, any related resources you think should be included in this list – why not leave a comment and let me know?