Earth Day

Lesson plan overview

This intermediate lesson plan focuses on Earth Day. Students will learn essential environmental vocabulary, watch a video about the origins of Earth Day, and practice first and second conditionals. You can combine it with other environmental topics, or with the worksheets: “Phrasal verbs: the environment” and “Phrasal verbs: natural disasters”.

Speaking: The lesson starts with a discussion on the topic of Earth Day. Students share what they know about it, and talk about environmental issues. Then students are given 4 photos with different environmental initiatives (park cleanup, recycling, composting, and planting a tree) and they are asked to discuss the photos.

Vocabulary: Students create expressions to talk about the environment (carbon footprint, renewable resources, climate activism, endangered species) by completing 12 sentences with the correct word. After that, students discuss the sentences given.

Speaking: Students work in pairs or small groups and brainstorm ways to reduce our carbon footprint. Then they are asked to write down 5 questions with the expressions they have just learned, and interview each other about their environmental habits and beliefs.

Listening: Students watch a video: “Gaylord Nelson and the Origins of Earth Day” and complete 2 tasks. Grammar: Students learn about the first and the second conditionals, and complete 8 sentences with their own ideas. Vocabulary review: To review the vocabulary from this lesson, students complete a word formation task.
Finally, students are given an essay topic to work on as homework.
You can use the conversation cards to revise the target vocabulary and discuss the topic further.

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Teacher’s lesson plan

Student’s worksheet

Student’s interactive PDF

Conversation cards PDF

Pre-class activities

To send the pre-class activities to your students, copy the link below.

Vocabulary matching


The first time you watch the video, pay special attention to the correct pronunciation of the following words:

Speaking of wasted plastic, buy a reusable water bottle.
Save money on energy bills by washing your clothes in cold water and hanging them out on the line to dry.
Believe it or not, electricity is still being used even when the charger isn’t plugged into your phone.
E-waste contains mercury and other toxins and is a growing environmental problem.
And lastly, recycle, recycle, recycle.

Comprehension questions

In-class activities

Teacher’s lesson plan
Student’s worksheet

Conversation cards PDF

Student’s interactive PDF

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