Sustainability Lessons (free)

R0.00 for 1 year with 1 year free trial

Freemium lessons are stand alone lessons from various curriculum suites, including Sustainable Intelligence, Design Studio, and Business of Social Good. Each lesson includes a detailed lesson plan, presentations, rubrics, and/or student worksheets.
We are excited to offer these free lessons to educators who are looking to foster environmental literacy, social entrepreneurship, interest in green careers, and learner innovation. This material is free to use for non-commercial educational purposes. All other uses are restricted without prior permission from the copyright holders.




Introduction to Sustainable Intelligence (foundation, intermediate, and senior phase): These lessons set the stage for learners to develop sustainable intelligence. Learners 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. Foundation phase school learners 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. Intermediate school learners discuss how the game illustrates a concept called the tragedy of the commons. Next, they watch a video and discuss the concept of sustainability. Senior phase school learners 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 Guardians for lower foundation phase learners. In this lesson, learners begin to understand the great importance of seeds and to assume the role of Seed Guardians. In the first session, learners examine a variety of seeds and identify foods that contain seeds and foods that do not contain seeds. Learners conclude the session by becoming guardians of their very own seeds. learners will make a Seed Guardian necklace that they can proudly wear, care for, and watch germinate. In the second session, learners 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, learners 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, Drop  for upper foundation and intermediate school learners. In this lesson, learners 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. Learners 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 for intermediate and senior phase school learners. In this lesson, learners 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 5Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle, rot, reflect) can help communities develop a zero-waste mindset. Finally, learners are challenged to put what they’ve learned into practice by implementing a zero-waste initiative at the school.

Personal Waste Audit is a lesson in which 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 for middle and high school students. In this lesson, learners 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. learners 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.

Campus Waste Eco-Audit Module: These four lessons guide learners through the process of conducting an environmental audit focused on waste and using the information to create measurable change on their campus. Learners investigate how waste is generated at the school, work in groups to survey how much traditional waste is generated on campus, and assess the amounts of various types of recyclables, compost, and e-waste generated at the school. Learners then analyse the data they’ve gathered, reflect on its importance, and begin considering ideas for improving waste management on campus. Next, learners synthesise their data and ideas, and strategise in small groups to plan how to recommend progressive changes to more effectively manage waste resources on campus. Lastly, learners learn how to communicate their campus waste management recommendations to administrators, the student body, and beyond. They learn strategies for presenting data in interesting, relevant, and visually appealing ways, such as through infographics and execute their plans by writing letters to administrators, creating a showcase presentation of their findings, writing and performing in public service announcements, and implementing concrete learners action plans.

Fail Forward to prepare learners design teams pitch their design solution ideas to the class and gather feedback. learners 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.

Integrative Process for senior phase school Career and Technical Education programs. In this lesson, learners learn that in addition to systems thinking and life-cycle analysis, another important aspect of successful green building projects is an integrative process. This strategy prioritises connections and communication among professionals and stakeholders throughout the entire life cycle of a project. The idea is that the more the people on the team understand the perspectives of the other people on the team, the better the project will be. Then learners work as team members, experts, and stakeholders to evaluate a neighbourhood plan and propose changes to make the plan more sustainable.