Free Introductory Sustainability Lessons

These free lessons are stand alone lessons from the Biomimicry; Sustainability Intelligence and Business for Social Good curricula.
Each lesson has been equipped with a detailed lesson plan, teacher presentation, rubrics and learner worksheets and/or activities.

These lessons are suited perfectly at the educator seeking to nurture and include environmental literacy, social entrepreneurship and an interest in green careers into their classroom. Flexible in design, these lessons and projects are easy to use in your educational setting.

EcoRise Freemium Lessons

These free lessons are stand alone lessons from the Biomimicry; Sustainability Intelligence and Business for Social Good curricula.
Each lesson has been equipped with a detailed lesson plan, teacher presentation, rubrics and learner worksheets and/or activities.

These lessons are suited perfectly at the educator seeking to nurture and include environmental literacy, social entrepreneurship and an interest in green careers into their classroom. Flexible in design, these lessons and projects are easy to use in your educational setting.

What’s included in this module?

Teacher resources9 lessons worth of teaching material
Learner resources9 lessons worth of learning material
Breakdown3 Introductory lessons for varying ages
4 Sustainability Intelligence lessons
1 Business for Social Good lessons

Lesson Descriptions

Introduction to Sustainability Intelligence (Foundation phase; Primary school and High school)
These lessons set the stage for students to develop sustainable intelligence. Students begin by playing an interactive game that illustrates how innocent actions can turn into unsustainable practices that impact everyone and the Earth we call home. Elementary school students then watch a video and learn what the term sustainability means and begin exploring specific sustainable and unsustainable things they do at school and at home. Middle school students discuss how the game illustrates a concept called the tragedy of the commons. Next, they watch a video and discuss the concept of sustainability. High school students discuss what the term sustainability means and begin exploring two important concepts: the tragedy of the commons and the triple bottom line. In this way, they create a base of understanding from which they can begin to exercise sustainability thinking as they analyse and explore a range of topics and apply what they learn in their everyday lives.

Seed GuardiansSustainability Intelligence (Grade R)
In this lesson, students begin to understand the great importance of seeds and to assume the role of Seed Guardians. In the first session, students examine a variety of seeds and identify foods that contain seeds and foods that do not contain seeds. Students conclude the session by becoming guardians of their very own seeds. Students will make a Seed Guardian necklace that they can proudly wear, care for, and watch germinate. In the second session, students work together as a class to learn the correct way to plant seeds and create a classroom nursery by planting seeds in milk cartons, egg cartons, or other recycled containers that will serve as pots. In these hands-on activities, students witness the germination process, learn how to care for seeds and seedlings, and discuss why seeds are so important and why we must care for them.

Drip, Drip, DropSustainability Intelligence (Grade 5/6)
 In this lesson, students learn about the issue of water waste. They search for water leaks in the school building, apply scientific data-gathering procedures to document their observations, and calculate the long-term effects of any leaks they observe. Students learn the value of having scientific data as they pitch to school administrators recommendations for improvements. They also see that small water leaks like the dripping of a tap, multiplied by millions of dripping faucets, can add up to significant waste and that this waste can easily be reduced or prevented.

Zero-Waste Campaign – Sustainability Intelligence (Grade 7/8)
In this lesson, students examine how traditional thinking about waste management has created a global waste management crisis. Then they learn how a new way of thinking—zero-waste thinking—offers hope for the future. They review how the 5R’s (reduce, reuse, recycle, rot, reflect) can help communities develop a zero-waste mindset. Finally, students are challenged to put what they’ve learned into practice by implementing a zero-waste initiative at the school.

Personal Waste Audit – Sustainable Intelligence (Grade 7/8)
In this lesson students learn how much waste the average person produces and think about how their own daily waste production compares to that average. Then they spend 24 hours collecting all the (nonhazardous) wastes they personally generate. Next, students inventory and log their results and reflect on how their waste production compares to the global average. Students also make a list of the electronic items they own or have owned and consider their personal role in managing e-wastes responsibly.

Classroom Blackout: Mini Audit – Sustainability Intelligence (Grade 9/10)
In this lesson, students walk into a dark classroom, where they are encouraged to take note of all the ways in which energy usually lights and powers the room. Then they take on the role of energy consultants who have been hired to conduct an energy mini-audit in the classroom. They investigate how energy is used in the classroom and estimate the impact that energy use has in terms of carbon dioxide emissions. Then they extrapolate to estimate the impact of the entire school’s energy use, making rough calculations to determine the school’s energy carbon footprint. Students brainstorm simple actions they could take to conserve energy, take a look at some suggestions via a presentation, and put together a simple plan for immediate actions they could take to conserve energy in the classroom and beyond.

Fail Forward – Business for Social Good
This lesson aims to prepare student design teams pitch their design solution ideas to the class and gather feedback. Students learn the value of “failing forward” as they advance their ideas by collecting critiques and insights and making improvements with each round of pitching and revising.

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Module Includes

  • 9 Lessons

Zero Waste Toolkit 1-page Brochure