Earth Day is celebrated on 22 April. If you’re thinking about incorporating this topic into your lessons this month, we have a few ideas for you.
Students create a mind map of words and phrases connected with nature, environment, global warming, etc. They can organise them into topics, as well as nouns, verbs and adjectives.
Earth Day is a great opportunity to revise conditionals and future tenses.
Students make statements about the environment.
Real solutions with 1st conditional. Students think of real solutions to protect the environment. For example: “If we reduce waste, we will save the oceans.”
Hypothetical situations with 2nd conditional. Students think of situations and solutions that are not highly probable but would have a great impact on the environment. For example: “If everybody stopped eating meat, we would significantly reduce air pollution.”
Regrets and hypothetical situations in the past with 3rd and mixed conditionals. Students think of regrets about the environment. For example: “If we had stopped using cars a long time ago, the climate change would be so big now.”
To make it easier for the students, you could give them a set of verbs or phrases to use in their statements
Students make predictions about the environment and nature. They could be general or only referring to their immediate area.
For example: “In 20 years my neighbourhood will be all concrete with no green areas.”
Before the lesson, prepare conversation questions. Use them to discuss important issues related to the environment and nature.
Prepare a few photos that show different aspects of this topic, for example: extreme weather, renewable energy sources, deforestation, etc. Students can talk about how they relate to the environment: are they threats, solutions or evidence (signs) of global warming?
You can find ready-to-use conversation cards and photo activities in Convo Compact: Environment.
Do you have students at higher levels or run Business English courses?
A great way to incorporate environmental issues in your lesson could be an article from a business source.
We found a perfect one for you. It’s quite short and has a lot of interesting vocabulary.
What can you do with it?
Pick out some of the most interesting vocabulary. Write it on the board before the students read the article. The students look at the phrases and guess what the article is going to be about. Also, make sure to go through the meaning of the phrases.
You could also present just the business ideas first, and ask the students to discuss how they would work.
Students read the article and discuss which of these business ideas would be successful in their area and why.
Don’t forget to do some work on the vocabulary. You could ask the students to make sentences with the new phrases. They could come up with their own business ideas using some of the phrases from the article. This would be a great project activity.
Here is a great video to use on Earth Day. It is very short, has a lot of interesting vocabulary, and you can use it at levels A2 upwards.
What can you do with it?
You could do some work on vocabulary, followed by discussion questions. There’s also a great opportunity for a writing task with this video. Students write a reply to Mother Nature. You can do it in class or set it as homework.
If you want to save time, we made a full worksheet to go with this video. You can buy it here, along with other nature-related resources.
Enjoy your nature classes!