Protect Our Precious Planet
World Environment Day 5th June
When we talk about ‘important world events’, it probably doesn’t get more important than World Environment Day…
yet you might never have heard of it.
Held annually on 5th June, since 1973, World Environment Day is a global initiative led by the United Nations (UN) to promote environmental awareness and inspire action to protect our precious planet.
The focus for 2023 is creating solutions to plastic pollution (particularly single use plastic) under the campaign #BeatPlasticPollution.
Here at EuHu, we’ve got you covered. Take a look at some of our activity ideas/suggestions to encourage your pupils to appreciate their environment and raise the profile of conservation and sustainability.
1. Nature Collage: Go on a nature walk around school to observe the environment. You could ask the children to spot any signs of Spring/Summer whilst doing this. Encourage the children to collect natural materials (ensuring that you talk to them about safety with this) and then allow them to create a collage with the materials collected. Discuss the idea that recycling and reusing things is a good way to help the environment.
2. Planting Seeds: Teach about the life cycle of plants. This is also perfect for supporting the Plants objectives in Science for Years 1, 2 and 3.
3. Recycling Relay Race: Sports Day season is upon us so why not use that as a perfect opportunity to do some cross-curricular learning about the environment. You could set up a recycling relay race by dividing your class into two teams and giving them different coloured bins (e.g. black for general waste, green for kitchen/plant waste, brown for plastic/foil/tins, blue for paper). The children need to sort the ‘rubbish’ into the correct bins as quickly as possible.
Tip: You could ask the children to put handfuls of grass into the ‘green’ bin.
4. Be a ‘Plastic Protector’: Find other uses for plastic bottles. For example, why not create a tornado in one?
5. Nature Walk/Scavenger Hunt: Organise a nature walk around school or the local area and create a scavenger hunt list with items that pupils have to find, such as leaves, flowers and rocks. Talk to the children about the importance of the ecosystem and about collecting natural items from the environment safely i.e. don’t pull leaves off the trees etc.
6. Create Eco-Friendly Art: Encourage your pupils to create environmentally-themed artwork using eco-friendly materials or purely from plastic. Check out our WOW lesson from Emily Gopaul KS1 Can rubbish be art? for some great ideas on this.
7. Have a Debate: Organise debates on environmental topics, such as single- use plastics, renewable energy, or deforestation. Encourage your pupils to think critically about environmental issues, whilst also developing their persuasive speaking and listening skills.
8. Become a Marketeer: Encourage your children to get creative and ask them to re-brand the ‘Reduce Reuse Recycle’ Logo. You could maybe hold a school competition with a prize for the winner. Get some judges for it – maybe members of the wider school community so you are forging valuable links within your local area.
Extra (Whole School) Ideas
✔ School Assembly: Start the day in the right way and have a whole school assembly focusing on World Environmental Day.
✔ Clean Up Campaign/Litter Picking: Organise a whole school clean-up campaign to pick up litter around the school grounds. Involve all members of the school community, as well as parents and members of the local community (e.g. if your school is a faith school, you could ask members of the church/mosque/synagogue etc.)
Why not volunteer to clear the gardens of elderly residents near the school? Make a note of how much single-use plastic you collect whilst doing this!
✔ Guest Speaker: If possible, invite an environmental expert or a local activist to speak to your pupils about environmental issues and solutions. Beforehand, the children could devise their own questions to ask the guest speaker.
If you would like to make your own positive change to help the planet, you could sign up to Ecosia and make this your new search engine. Every time you search, this plants trees around the world. To date, they have planted nearly 175 million! This is the perfect way to get involved in activism from the comfort of your keyboard! Find out more about it here.
Let EuHu Help You
As well as the fantastic Emily Gopaul’s Art WOW lesson ‘Can rubbish be art? already mentioned, you could also take a look at Nicky Waller’s Science WOW lessons: Y1 Plants What are the different parts of a tree?, Y3 Plants What do flowers do? and
Y3 Rocks What is Soil Made From?, as well as Anthony Barlow’s Geography WOW lesson: Investigating Water and Human Impacts, for lessons linked to the environment.
Together, we can make a difference!