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Unit 14: Living in my world

Day five: Are we ecology-friendly?


Students will be able to read statements and discuss various activities related to being ecology-friendly or ecology-unfriendly. The reading will involve complex sentences. The discussion will elicit full sentences.

Setting the Stage (2 minutes)

Teacher reads a short statement (translated into the Target Language and modified appropriately for the culture and geographical area):

"Hi, my name is (use a name common in the Target culture). I'm 35 years old and I am the owner of a grocery store specializing in organic foods. I support protecting our Earth's healthy environment.

Have you seen our country's coastlines? Trash and unhealthy, polluted water prevent us from swimming on our beaches on some days. So many of our cities have smog alerts during especially polluted-air days.

Thankfully, most of us now understand the importance of behaving in an ecologically-friendly way. We recycle glass, plastic and paper. We are starting to bring our own bags to the grocery store, so that we don't have to use plastic bags.

We're also using less water. We fill a glass of water instead of letting the water run when brushing our teeth. We water our lawns late at night. We have noise pollution laws. We have special trash clean-up days in our parks and on our beaches. Many of us are driving our cars less and using our bicycles or public transportation.

We are doing many good things to help keep our Earth clean and safe."

Input (10 minutes)

Teacher provides a copy of the above statement to pairs of students who work together to translate the text into English or the language spoken in the local community. Each pair then compares their translation with other paired classmates.

Guided Practice (20 minutes)

Activity 1

Students, in pairs, provide information about what current practices are as compared to what people did half a century ago. Example:

Fifty years ago, very few people thought about saving energy.
Today, a lot of people talk about saving energy. Some of our parents are driving smaller cars and saving gas.

Fifty years ago,

  1. People drove huge cars that used a lot of gasoline.
  2. Appliances used more electricity.
  3. Gasoline was much more expensive in comparison to salaries.
  4. Very few people used their bicycles to go places.
  5. Joining a car pool was not popular.
  6. Most families had only one car.
  7. We didn't see many street lights except for in the center of town.


Activity 2

Teacher reads a series of categories and students decide whether a person in that category is ecology-friendly or not by showing thumbs-up for friendly and thumbs-down for unfriendly.

  1. Replaced all the light bulbs in the house with florescent bulbs.
  2. Takes the train to get to work.
  3. Makes sure all trash is removed after a camping trip.
  4. Never finds the time to recycle.
  5. Leaves all the trash when camping in the outdoors or at the beach.
  6. Drives a hybrid car.
  7. Participates in desert dune buggy races with friends.
  8. Helped to plant a vegetable garden in the community.
  9. Volunteers to help clean up the local park or beach.
  10. Drives a huge car.
  11. Drives the maximum speed limit only.
  12. Drives at high speed most of the time.
  13. Leaves the lights on when leaving a room.
  14. Lets the dog defecate on the sidewalk and leaves it there.
  15. Gets a ride in a car to get to school.

Independent Practice: (20 minutes)

Students are divided into two groups, Group A and Group B. Teacher has prepared little cards (2 inches by 2 inches) of two colors. Group A students receive one color, Group B students the other color. Having a color-coded card simplifies finding an appropriate partner in the second half of the activity.

Group A receives a list of problems related to the environment.

  1. excessive use of plastic wrapping
  2. air pollution
  3. public trash in the streets, on the highways, in public places
  4. pollution of our lakes, rivers and streams
  5. dependence on oil to fuel cars
  6. dependence on coal to create electricity
  7. the use of poisonous sprays to protect vegetables and fruit
  8. climate change or global warming
  9. growing population
  10. loss of open spaces and farmland to city development

Group B receives a list of possible solutions to problems listed above

  1. clean-up of polluted waters
  2. developing alternate sources of energy, such as wind power
  3. using ceramic or glass plates and cups instead of plastic or paper
  4. providing more public transportation, such as rail or bus
  5. increasing the number of recycling centers
  6. banning the use of pesticides on farms
  7. making hybrid cars more affordable
  8. regulating industrial emissions in our coal plants
  9. helping to stop the deforestation of our jungles
  10. buying organic foods

Each group works together to understand every statement on their list

After some 10 minutes, Teacher asks the students from Group A to sit with a partner from Group B. Pairs then discuss the problems and possible solutions and write down their conclusions on one sheet of paper. Teacher collects this work for participation credit.

Closure (2 minutes)

Teacher asks students to share what they found important in today's lesson.

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