Lively Lessons: Just One Thing

Francie Snyder_circleThis Lively Lesson contributed by Francie Snyder. Francie is an Educator of the Gifted in Manatee County, Florida.  She has been using Discovery Education for nearly 10 years and has been a DEN STAR since 2010 and a member of the Leadership Council since 2012.

As the month of April closes, we leave you with resources and strategies to inspire students to make choices every day to help and not hurt the environment.

Throughout the month, we explored Coastal Habitats, studied how students can make a difference by Reducing, Reusing, and Recycling, did a deep dive into Ocean Conservation, and celebrated Earth Day.

In this Lively Lesson, students explore simple changes they can make in their daily lives to help sustain the world in which we live.


SOS: Jigsaw

Jigsaw is a teaching strategy that relies on different but related content to encourage student groups to assemble new knowledge cooperatively. Break class into groups of two or three students, assigning each group a video segment from the suggested resources. Students should record three to five pieces of information on how we can help protect our environment.

Bamboo_circleSOS Talking Sticks

Talking Sticks is a teaching strategy that provides students with an equitable structure for group discussion. After groups have finished exploring their resources, gather the whole class to participate in a group discussion. Students use a talking stick and take turns sharing what they learned or to ask questions related to protecting our environment. You can use the following language stems to guide this discussion:

  • “I think/believe that…”
  • “In my opinion…”
  • “As I read/listened/watched, I was thinking…”
  • “This makes sense to me because…”
  • “This doesn’t make sense to me because…”
  • “One question I have about this topic is…”
  • “I wonder…”

When the discussion concludes, ask students to write a personal pledge describing what they will do as individuals to protect the Earth. Check out these ideas for pledge ideas on Pinterest.


One More Generation (OMG)

Grades K-12

Communicates the mission of One More Generation, a group operated by a pair of siblings who seek to raise awareness about wildlife conservation. The segment illustrates how young people can organize and enforce positive change.

Reading Rainbow: Giving Thanks: A Native American Good MorningReading_Rainbow_circle

Grades K-2

Host LeVar Burton shares stories of our natural resources, including Giving Thanks: A Native American Good Morning by Chief Jake Swamp. A group of New York City school children explain why protecting the Earth and its gifts is so important.

Enviro-Tacklebox: Tackle TrashRecycle_Bin_circle

Grades 3-5

Follow our student reporters as they examine environmental issues brought about by the growing amounts of waste that our society generates. Viewers are introduced to noted garbologist Dr. William Rathje and the renowned Banana Slug Band. In “Tackle Trash,” the students look closely at their personal buying habits and explore the benefits and decisions associated with societal waste.

Pollution Solutionsc_beach_pollution

Grades 3-8

Offers solutions for the damage humans are doing to Earth through pollution. Recycling, reusing, and reducing consumption and waste are steps toward a healthier environment.

Racing ExtinctionRacing_Extinction_circle

Grades 6-12

A team of artists and activists expose the hidden world of extinction and endangered species with never-before-seen images that will change the way we see the world.

Projecting_Change_circleProjecting Change

Grades 6-12

Presents the culmination of the awe-inspiring mobile film projection project created by the Racing Extinction filmmakers. The face of the United Nations building in New York City is illuminated with images of Earth’s extinction crisis before a crowd of captivated onlookers.

Jane_Goodall_circleBecoming an Activist

Grades 6-12

Presents how Dr. Jane Goodall first became an activist for the environment and discusses her dedication to conservation.


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