877-542-5504 877-542-5504

Issues in Environmental Education Lesson Plan

Want to Help Fellow Teachers?

Please help us grow this free resource by submitting your favorite lesson plans.

Lesson Plan #: AELP-ENV0057
Submitted by: Richard Oakes Peters, Ed. D.
Email: docdk39@hotmail.com
School/University/Affiliation: Augusta State University (GA) Date: March 27, 2000

Grade Level(s): 11, 12


  • Science/Environmental Education

Duration: Three to five weeks (15-25 50-minute school/field-based classes) Description: Students are engaged in the critical analysis of diverse issues that impact upon the quality of life space environments – nearby/close to home and distant/far-removed.

Goals: As a result of analyzing issues related to the quality of natural and built environments, students will: 1) demonstrate an understanding of the economic, scientific and/or social nature and character of circumstances, forces, and situations that impact upon quality life space environments, 2) appreciate the need to create and maintain COOPERATIVE LIVING HABITATS in which Man and Nature coexist and mutually prosper from their associations, 3) understand intellectual skill processes (e.g., critical thinking, problem solving, decision-making) necessary in order to confront and resolve perplexing issues, 4) understand ways to work cooperatively in order to achieve consensus and to act in a proactive manner – to resolve perplexing issues.


Students will:

1) select from a teacher-developed list of issues the one of particular interest to each inquiry group
2) collect issue-related data from print/non-print materials, web sites, software, mass media, and community resources
3) analyze and discuss the chosen issue and compiled data
4) apply intellectual skills development models and strategies to the analysis and discussion of the chosen issue
5) propose strategies used to protect/enhance the quality of natural and/or built environments
6) arrive at consensus regarding a preferred proactive strategy
7) create visual displays and reports that explain and promote the group consensus strategy
8) propose strategies to create and maintain COOPERATIVE LIVING HABITATS – thus ensuring quality life space environments for Man and Nature.


1) Print materials (atlases, books, magazines, newspapers, reports)
2) audiovisual presentations (films, filmstrips, slides/tapes, videos)
3) Internet web sites
4) CD-ROM software
5) news broadcasts (radio and television)
6) globes and maps
7) intellectual skills development models and strategies
8) bulletin board construction materials (oak tag and construction paper, glue/paste, scissors, rulers, stencils, thumb tacks, adhesive tape, crayons and markers, etc)
9) 8mm/16mm motion picture cameras and film
10) still photography cameras and film
11) video tape equipment and video tapes
12) audio tape recorders and audiotapes
13) community resources (people, places, things, events, processes).


It is critically important that today’s high school students, tomorrow’s decision-making citizens, be made aware of issues that have an impact upon the quality of our lifestyles – urban, suburban, rural, and that they develop the ability to analyze and remedy existing and/or potential problems in the context of social communities.

1) Students are introduced to several issues (pollution, population, habitat and species, sustainable development, human settlement, finite and renewable resources)
2) working in small inquiry groups, students research a selected issue
3) students use print/non-print materials, Internet web sites, television and radio broadcasts and programs, CD-ROM software, graphic media devices (cameras/videotape equipment), and community resources in the collection of data
4) students use critical thinking, problem solving, and decision-making models in their analysis of issues and suggested solutions
5) students discuss the solution(s) of the issue researched and create audiovisual materials that display proposed strategies.


Students demonstrate knowledge/abilities by:

1) reading about issues that impact upon natural and built environments
2) watching presentations (and taking notes) about issues that impact upon natural and built environments
3) talking about issues that impact upon natural and built environments
4) making visual displays
5) working cooperatively in small groups
6) making audiovisual/oral presentations
7) applying intellectual skills development models and strategies to critical thinking activities
8) writing essays and reports
9) correctly answering 90 per cent of objective quiz/test items
10) collecting field-based data on motion picture film, still photography film (35mm etc) and/or video tape
11) suggesting issue solutions
12) interacting with community resources.

Useful Internet Resources:

The Nature Conservancy

North American Association for Environmental Education


Environmental Protection Agency

Environmental Defense Fund

World Resources Institute

National Wildlife Federation

Conservation International

Simple Living Network

The Institute for Policy Studies