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Environment Lesson Ideas

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on April 3, 2009 at 8:51:38 pm



List keywords as a class or in groups to create attractive word clouds (example below).



Poster Design:

Elementary Option 1

How are you going to help the environment or create a peaceful environment at school or at home? What small things could you do that would contribute to the larger cause? Think about energy use, paper use, social harmony, waste, etc. Make some promises of what you will do to help. Use ComicLife and insert your photo, a title, a speech bubble and/or a text box stating your promises. Think about your design, font and colour choices. Your poster needs to be attractive. All posters will be put on display in the school foyer and compiled into a class book which will be placed in the library as well as on the internet using Issuu.


Elementary Option 2

Create an interactive poster on Glogster. Your ‘poster’ will be embedded onto the school website.


Middle/High School

Choose an environmental issue you wish to raise awareness about. Create your poster on A3 sized paper using only graphics. You may use art materials to create it, or use programs such as Photoshop and Illustrator. You may also combine the two if you wish. When designing, consider your layout, images and visual literacy. Your poster must possess a statement. This activity could be connected to Social Studies and Geography.

Have a look at some International Posters for Peace, Social Justice and the Environment 1965-2005 for some good examples (go to their ‘Posters’ drop down menu).


Also have a look at The Miniature Earth to see what it would be like if the planet’s population was reduced to 100.




Sketchup: Design what you believe would be an efficient and eco-friendly home for a large group of people. How could the traditional home or apartment be enhanced?

Have a look at this great resource about Environmental Artists through Google Earth (Thanks to The Teaching Palette).



Create a Children’s Book:

You work for the ABC book company as a writer and illustrator. Your book company wants you to create various texts that promote environmental awareness and social harmony for young children. First, you need to choose an environmental aspect to promote. This may involve issues such as energy, waste, cooperation, kindness, etc. Next, choose an audience. What age group will you target? Will it be for early readers? Older elementary children or high school? This will influence the design of your book. It is recommended that you gather examples of books for your age group from the library to examine. A more successful book for children would be to incorporate some type of story as a vehicle for your environmental message. Will you use fiction? Poetry? Rhyme? Will it be an informative factual piece as in a children's magazine? A short-story with illustrations? A graphic novel or comic? Will it contain any text at all? Your book must be between 8-10 pages. This does not include the cover, etc. Your book must include illustrations done by hand. It must be attractive and interesting to your audience. If you wish, you may also create illustrations within Photoshop and/or Illustrator. It is recommended you plan your book. You may use any medium you wish (pencil, paint, collage etc). You may wish to consider sharing your planned book with a target group to gather comments. When complete, all books will be placed in the school library for circulation and will be compiled into one document and placed on Issuu. EXTENSION: students could also create their book using Adobe InDesign.



Video Activities:

A. Create a 30 second commercial advocating an environmental concern or a factoid. Pay attention to camera work and editing.

Here's some tips (Thanks to the Carrot Revolution):

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B. In small groups, create a short video clip stating simple ways students at school can help create a positive learning environment. These videos will then be stitched together into a complete whole and shared on YouTube.

C. Create a short video clip stating simple ways students can help the environment at school or at home. These videos will then be stitched together into a complete whole and shared on YouTube.

D. Create a short informative video similar to Karl Fisch's “Did you know 2.0” (original and updated versions below). You may use movie-editing software or simply convert a Keynote into Quicktime.

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E. Search and gather photos from Flickr (Creative Commons only) regarding the environment. Better yet, take your own! Using Animoto, insert your photos with simple titles/text (example below). You may choose to make your slideshow positive by highlighting the good that is happening regarding the environment or the destructive, negative aspects occurring. ALTERNATIVE: Using keywords, take screenshots and import them instead.

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Here's a student example (Thanks to The Carrot Revolution):

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F. Create a short dramatic scene using film that would raise environmental awareness. You need to storyboard, film, edit and add a soundtrack.



Product Design:

Invent an imaginary product that would solve an environmental issue (i.e. A garbage eater). You will need to provide sketches of your design. You may use technology to assist you with this if you wish. If time permits, you may also create a model of your product. Next, create an ad for this product that contains a picture, explains it's purpose, how it works and why it is needed. Your advertisement may be presented through a glossy magazine ad, a newspaper ad, a mini billboard, a poster or a 30-60 second TV infomercial. You must consider visual literacy and the use of language to sell your product.



Recycled Art:

Create a sculpture using recycled or found materials, or create a piece of land art.


14 Eco-Conscientious Artists and Designers  (from The Art Teacher's Guide to the Internet)



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