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June 1998 - Issue No. #31 (p.17)

Green Projects for a Green Classroom

by Anne Berry (Georgetown University, Washington DC) and
Nina Ito (California State University at Long Beach).

Many English textbooks now include a chapter or two on environmental issues such as recycling, air pollution or endangered species. To expand these (or to create a teaching unit not in the text) is not that difficult. Content-based lessons on environmental themes are important to teach whether you can spare only a few hours per semester or have the luxury of devoting a number of weeks to these topics.

Many environmental activities can be used in the language classroom. Possible ideas:

  1. Environmental Cartoons - Have students describe and discuss cartoons or comic strips on environmental themes as a warm-up at the beginning of the class.

  2. Green Products - Cut out or photocopy pictures of various "green" products from environmental catalogues, then have your students guess what they're used for. Afterwards, have students create their own "green" products.

  3. Environmental Jigsaw Activities - Use newspaper articles with environmental themes to create jigsaw communication activities. Make two groups of students, give each half the article, then have them work together to bridge the information gap.

  4. Eco-Bulletin Board - Collect posters from a variety of environmental organizations to make a bulletin board display about environmental issues.

  5. Environmental Scavenger Hunt - Give your students worksheets, then send them on an environmental "scavenger hunt" to find information about ecological topics posted on the bulletin board, or on posters you put up around the school or classroom.

Here, we've included environmental activities we use in our own teaching, some useful resources (books, organizations, web sites) and a list of "green teaching ideas" to help make your school more environmentally-friendly.

Click on the following links:

Green Teaching Ideas

Teaching Prefixes to Raise Environmental Awareness

Environmental Bingo

Anne Berry
Georgetown University, 481 Intercultural Center, Washington DC, 20057 USA, 90840 USA
Tel: 202-687-5869 / E mail:

Nina Ito
American Language Institute, California State University at Long Beach, USA
1250 Bellflower Blvd., Long Beach, CA 90840 USA, Tel: 562-985-1802
E mail:


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