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World Environment Day Lesson Plan for Teachers

World Environment Day is June 5th. According to the UN, World Environment Day is the "people's day" for doing something to take care of the Earth: 'That something' can be local, national or global. It can be a solo action or involve a crowd. Everyone is free to choose. 

Credit: Torbjorn Sandbakk [Public Domain] via Unsplash

MY HERO recommends that students read the story about Greta Thunberg and the article about children who are demanding climate change action through protests and lawsuits. Students are encouraged to brainstorm ways they can have a positive impact on the environment, create an action plan and share their story with MY HERO. 



Greta Thunberg

By: MY HERO Staff

On the first day, Greta Thunberg, a climate activist with aspbergers, protested outside of Swedish Parliament alone. Now, she's leading 1.5 million students globally.

Children demand climate change action through protests and lawsuits

By: Lin Taylor, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Though children are too young to vote, they're finding ways to take action in other ways.

Discussion Questions

1. Greta Thunberg calls herself a "climate activist with aspergers." Why does she consider having aspergers an advantage in combatting climate change? 
2. Do you think Greta Thunberg is a hero? Why or why not?
3. What character traits do you think Greta demonstrated by protesting the Swedish Parliament by herself every week? 
4. Before you read the story on Greta Thunberg, did you feel you could do something about climate change? Did you change your mind after reading about how Greta was joined by 1.5 million students in marches for Earth Day?
5. Research your community and identify what organizations are doing something about climate change.
6. Name three actions you can take to help the environment. 

 

MY HERO recommends students watch the following three films about community activists who made a positive impact in their community and consider the discussion questions.



Upstanders: The Kids Who Killed an Incinerator

Produced by:Howard Schultz and Rajiv Chandrasekaran [Starbucks]

The high school students who battled a giant incinerator — and won. (Running time-5:42 minutes)

My Toxic Reality

Produced by:Tom Dusenbery

Hilton Kelley is tired of seeing his community ravaged by pollution from oil refineries. He and his fellow citizens demand change. (Running time - 4:19 minutes)

Olivia's Birds and the Oil Spill

Produced by:Lynne Cherry

Young Olivia loves birds, and created over 500 paintings of her feathered friends to raise funds for Audubon's bird rescue. (Running Time - 6:45 minutes)

Discussion Questions

1. Hilton Kelley, Destiny and Olivia are examples of how an individual can make a positive difference. What motivated these three environmental heroes to become a leader in their communities?

2. Research issues in your community. What can you and your peers do? Share your story.

3. Share the story of environmental heroes in your community with MY HERO. 

MY HERO recommends watching the film Slater Meets her Hero: Jean-Michel Cousteau with a young Slater Jewell-Kemker. Then learn more about Slater's life as a professional filmmaker and her project, Youth Unstoppable, a film she began filming when she was 15 about youth around the world standing up for a green sustainable future.  Are there environmental heroes in your community working towards a sustainable future? Share their story with MY HERO. 



Slater Meets her Hero: Jean-Michel Cousteau

Produced by:Wendy Milette & Jeanne Meyers

Slater visits Catalina Island to learn from her environmental hero Jean-Michel Cousteau. (17:30 running time)

Slater Unstoppable

Produced by:MY HERO

Director Slater Jewell Kemker shares her journey with MY HERO. (Running Time - 1:47)

Youth Unstoppable
Credit: Youth Unstoppable

Students watch the following film, Protecting Blue Whales and Blue Skies, to learn how government, non-profits and private industry partnered together to solve the problem of commercial ships causing air pollution and whale strikes in the Santa Barbara Channel. Then students consider the discussion questions.



Protecting Blue Whales and Blue Skies

Michael Hanrahan

A collaboration of government agencies, non-profits, and private industry come together. (running time 7:08 min)

Discussion Questions

1.  Why did the voluntary speed reduction program work in the Santa Barbara Channel? Do you know of any other joint programs aimed to improve the environment?

2. Do you have pollution issues in your community? What ways can you be involved in a solution?

3. Who are environmental heroes in your community? Share their story with MY HERO.  

 

Learning Outcomes

Students will determine ways to lessen pollution and recognize that although they are youth, they can make a difference by working together and inspiring others. Students are encouraged to reflect on their own community to identify environmental heroes and organizations, and to find ways to make a positive difference in the environment. 

 

 

Laura Nietzer

The World Environment Day lesson plan was created by MY HERO Teacher and Learning Circle Director Laura Nietzer.

 

Teachers: Visit MY HERO for additional multimedia curated resources for World Environment Day.

World Environment Day Multimedia Organizer.

Featured Environmental Films

Featured Earthkeeper Stories

Featured Art About Earthkeepers

Featured Earthkeeper Audio Stories  (Great for ESL)

 

Learn about a New Hero Every Day of the Year: Use the MY HERO Calendar in the Classroom


Students can share their Hero Essays, Films and Art through our Create Program



Organizer created on 5/7/2019 4:11:13 PM by Laura Nietzer

Last edited 8/10/2019 7:53:48 AM by Laura Nietzer

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