Grade 1



Earth's Natural Resources (10-30 minutes)

Related SDGs: Life on Land

Grade levels: Pre K-3

Intro: Before students can unpack the effects if climate change and its nuanced effects on society and ecosystems, they first need to comprehend the environment surrounding them. This lesson teaches them about renewable and non-renewable resources, introduces their use in our society, and their impacts on the environment. This knowledge will provide a strong foundation for learning about more complex topics (such as climate change and socioeconomic problems) later on, and will grant them with a more thoughtful lens through which they can observe the world around them.


  1. Take five minutes to ask your class what they know about earth's resources and climate change. It can be in the form of a class discussion or they may write it down on paper.

  2. Watch this BrainPOP video as a class via screen-share. You may pause throughout if you feel that you need to clarify with the students.

  3. After watching the video, scroll down and have the class take one of the two quizzes (easy quiz for pre-school to grade 1, and hard quiz for grades 2 and 3). It is recommended that the teacher shares his/her screen so that the students can follow.

  4. Optional: If you have time remaining, have the students play this game.


On the same piece of paper they wrote on in the beginning of class, have the students write about what they learned today and how their point-of-views have changed from the beginning of class. You may also pose one of the following questions to get them started:

  • What did I know about Earth's resources in the beginning of class? What do I know now?

  • What is a renewable resource? Give an example.

  • What is a nonrenewable resource? Give an example

  • What is happening to our environment?

  • What is something you can do at home to help conserve Earth's resources?

Water Pollution (60 minutes)

Related SDGs: Clean Water and Sanitation, Responsible Consumption and Production, Life Below Water

Grade levels: All

Intro: Is that water safe to drink? In this lesson, you will learn all about water pollution! Discover what water pollution even means as well as how water becomes polluted and where the pollution can come from. You’ll also find out why it’s not just bad chemicals that can be pollutants - as well as what happens, exactly, when a body of water gets polluted. Plus, find out why we’re to blame for a good deal of water pollution and what’s being done to help the problem. Go ahead, the water’s fine!


  1. Link to the BrainPop video which this lesson revolves around.

  2. Invite all students to take the topic’s Quiz (in Review mode) to assess what they know about the topic.

  3. Prompt a class discussion inviting students to share what they know about the topic, including what they may have learned from the Quiz.

  4. Show the movie on the whiteboard or other display to the whole class. Turn on the closed caption option to aid in comprehension.

  5. Pause as needed to discuss the movie.

  6. Watch the movie a second time either as a whole class, in small groups, or independently.

  7. Instruct students to open Assignments for the topic. Allow time for them to complete the assignments.

  8. Bring the class together. Ask students what they could do to raise awareness about the topic. Explain to the class that Public Service Announcements (PSAs) are messages, often in the form of TV commercials, that share a message about health or safety concerning the general public. Show some samples from the Ad Council's PSA Central site. Discuss how making the public aware might change people’s attitudes and behavior.

  9. Divide the class into pairs or small groups to produce a public service announcement, or PSA. Explain that are to use Make-a-Map to storyboard their PSA and then Make-a-Movie to produce it.

  10. Allow time for students to discuss what aspect of the topic they’d like to address in their PSA. For ideas, they may want to review the Quiz questions.

  11. Have pairs open Make-a-Map and select one of the storyboard templates to plan their PSA. Encourage students to use at least 3 vocabulary words when writing the text of the storyboard.

  12. Using notes from their storyboard, partners collaborate to produce a awareness campaign using Make-a-Movie. One student student may want to take the lead on the visual elements of the PSA, and the other the writing or they may choose to share both jobs.

  13. Students share their PSAs with the class. After everyone has presented, discuss how the PSAs were alike and different, what was most effective, and why.


  1. Learning about human impacts on water pollution

  2. Understanding how important water is to the world

  3. Creating PSAs and using logos, ethos, and pathos to form a compelling message

*thumbnail image and lesson idea from

Recycled Sculptures (30-90 minutes)

Related SDGs: Responsible Consumption and Production

Grade levels: All (younger levels may need assistance when working with scissors, glue, etc)


Everyday, over 3.5 million tons of plastic and solid waste is produced each day. Yet, 1.8 billion people consistently buy goods online. When purchasing new items, they are typically packaged in single-use plastics or plastic-lined cardboards and aluminum, which rarely get recycled. In fact, only 8% of solid waste actually gets recycled, regardless of whether or not it is tossed in the recycling bin. Therefore, it is our responsibility to create a circular economy wherein we purchase and discard as little as possible, and reuse the same products over and over again. However, most young students lack control of purchases in their household, so the next best option is to repurpose trash into items that can be useful. Some ideas of sculptures to make are: dolls, artworks, pencil holders, flower pots, candle holders, and origami.


  1. Several days prior to the assembly, make an announcement to the class stating that they should begin to collect "trash" from their homes and bring them in to the classroom. Remind them that they should wash and clean them if they have been in contact with food. Some examples of recycled materials to bring in are:

  • Plastic bottles

  • Cartons

  • Cans

  • Cereal boxes

  • Wrappers

  • Plastic utensils

  • Paper plates

  • Paper napkins

  • Scrap paper

  • Toilet paper rolls

  • Newspaper

  1. Display on the screen some example sculptures to give the students ideas, but remind them to use mainly recycled items rather than new ones such as paint and pipe cleaners:

  1. Have students line their desks with newspaper to avoid mess

  2. Sculpt! Make sure to carefully supervise when dealing with sharp objects

  3. (optional) taking photos of their sculptures

  4. Clean-up: Have the kids wash their hands well, put away their things, and wipe down their desks. If they have scraps and left-overs, they may save them for future recycled craft projects.


  • Educates them about the importance of a circular economy

  • Encourages children to always find ways to reduce our trash and reuse materials

  • Helps explain "One man's trash is another man's treasure"


A Day in a Life (10 minutes)

Related SDGs: Decent Work and Economic Growth, No Poverty

Grade Levels: All


In this activity, students will learn about what honey makers, basket makers, and cocoa farmers do in a day! These short videos give students a new found appreciation for our mother earth who continues to provide us with what we need. It also teaches them about who takes care of these resources and how they do it.


  1. Visit this site for three animated day in a life videos on honey makers, basket makers, and cocoa farmers. Choose which videos you'd like our class to see.

  • Each video is approximately three minutes long

  1. After watching a video, these are the key takeaways students should have:

  • The importance and advantage of properly taking care of our resources

  • The role of humans which is to care but not to disrupt or damage resources

  • All the possibilities we can do with our natural resources

  • How all living things interact and help each other

  1. Discuss they key takeaways with each other and how else can we support and protect these resources

Climate Solutions: Designing a Product! (30-45 minutes)

Related SDGs: Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure; Sustainable Cities and Communities; Affordable and Clean Energy

Grade levels: All

Intro: In this activity, students will use their knowledge of environmental problems, science, and creativity to design their own product that can help the world in some way. It may be an appliance, a machine, or a city layout! Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Compost system

  • Air freshener

  • Grey water irrigation system layout

  • Recycled fashion

  • Biofuel vehicles (cars, trucks, bikes, or anything you can imagine!)

  • Planting/Harvesting machine

  • Smart lighting

  • Sustainable city blueprint (with labels and details on how the system functions in terms of energy, roads, safety, and education)


  1. Students will create a drawing of their own sustainable product. Encourage them to think creatively, and make sure to add color and labels!

  2. They may also wish to consider a suitable price for the product and advertising tactics

  3. At the end of class, they will present their plans and advertise their product to the rest of the class, explaining how it functions, and what makes it sustainable


  • Creative thinking and problem solving

  • Navigating potential solutions to climate change

  • Introduction to product design, advertising, and brand purpose


Rights and Responsibilities (45 minutes or over several days)

Related SDGs: Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions, Reduced Inequalities

Grade levels: All


In this set of activities adaptable for all elementary grade levels, parents and educators will find ideas for teaching about rights and responsibilities. These activities are designed to complement the BrainPOP Jr. Rights and Responsibilities topic page, which includes a movie, quizzes, online games, printable activities, and more.


  1. Watch this BrainPop video as a class

  2. Bill of Students’ Rights: Together as a class, draft a Bill of Students’ Rights. You may want to review and discuss the differences between rights and responsibilities before drafting a set of rights. Many schools and states list students’ rights, and you may wish to bring in examples. Write the Bill of Students’ Rights together and post them in your classroom. Discuss the responsibilities each student has to uphold and protect their rights. Then draft a set of rules or class laws that protect students’ rights. For example, a right might be to express opinions and a class law might be to always be quiet and respectful when someone expresses his or her opinions. Write the rules or laws together and post them in your classroom.

  3. Responsibility Day: Ask students to keep track of every responsible action they take during the course of one day. Save enough time at the end of the day for students to come together and make a class chart listing all the ways they exhibited responsibility. Examples might include, “held the door for the class”, “took turns on the swings”, “cleaned table after lunch”, “listened quietly during read aloud”, or “voted on snack.” If possible, have students make and decorate awards or badges that proclaim “I am a responsible member of my school community.”

  4. Common Good: If possible, organize a class or school-wide event where community members can clean up or make improvements to the school. Invite students and their families to come and help the common good of the school. You can divide students into groups to manage different events and activities, such as a fund-raising bake sale, painting walls, picking up trash, planting trees or flowers, or getting donations for sports equipment the entire class or school can enjoy. Remind students that as community members they are responsible for maintaining their community and working for the common good.


Home/Family Activities:

Community Issues: Empower your child to be an active citizen by thinking of ways to improve their communities. They may wish to petition for a stop sign or crosswalk at a busy intersection or add or revive a park or public space. Help your child find an issue that he or she cares deeply about and find ways to address the issue. Bring your child to community meetings or set up an appointment to talk to a community leader so your child’s voice is heard. Have your child research and learn about their community leaders so they can be better informed about who makes decisions that affect their lives. Being an active community member will allow your child to take more responsibilities and develop a sense of community pride.

Age of Responsibility: Celebrate how responsibilities change and grow as your child matures. Make a chart of responsibilities your child has taken on over the years. Examples might include: being responsible for washing hands at age 3, being responsible for tying shoes at age 4, being responsible for setting the table at age 5, being responsible for washing own hair at age 6, being responsible for an allowance at age 7. Be sure to list future responsibilities a child may look forward to, like caring for a pet, practicing an instrument, mowing the lawn, babysitting, driving, or graduating from school.

Community Helpers (45 minutes)

Related SDGs: Sustainable Cities and Communities, Good Health and Wellbeing, Partnerships for the Goals

Grade levels: All

Intro: How can you be involved with your community? This lesson will describe different community helpers and how they help out. It will also share ways children can be active, responsible, and conscientious members of the community. Encourage children to be active citizens and help them understand that everyone plays an important role.

Remind children that a community helper is anyone who works to help the community. Civil servants such firefighters, police officers, and paramedics make sure that the community and its members are safe. Remind children that a firefighter puts out fires and also teaches people how to be safe during an emergency. Police officers help prevent crimes and make sure people in the community follow rules and laws. Review with children that a law is a rule set by the community. Paramedics are also community helpers. Explain to children that they help keep people safe during emergencies and take them to the hospital. Who else keeps the community safe? Discuss with children and brainstorm together.


  1. On a projector or using the screen-share function on Zoom, present this video about community helpers to the class.

  2. Then, have the class take the quizzes by private-messaging their answers to the teachers. They will start with the easy, quiz, and then progress on to the hard quiz.

  3. Charades! On index cards (or on a Quizlet set if done virtually), write the names of different community helpers such as firefighter, police officer, paramedic, veterinarian, dentist, mayor, sanitation worker, gardener, doorman, and letter carrier. If possible, use pictures to illustrate so that emerging readers can understand the cards.

  4. Put the cards into a box or hat and have student volunteers come up and pull a card, then act out the job of that community helper. Have the class guess which job is written on the card. Discuss what the helper does and why the job is important. Then place the cards on a bulletin board or word wall display for student reference.

  5. At the end of class, have students reflect and brainstorm one way that they can help their communities (e.g. donating clothes and goods to charity, having a non-profit bake sale in their village, or just greeting their neighbors more often).



Interview with a Community Helper

Have each student interview contact a community helper that they may know, whether it's a family member, a neighbor, or that gardener who they see at the park! Have a set of questions to ask. What does the community helper do? What is his or her typical day like? What kind of education did the community helper receive? How did he or she train to be in her position? Have the community helper discuss his or her role in the community and suggest ways for your students to get involved. Getting firsthand stories and advice from a community helper is a great way for your students to become more active in and knowledgeable about the community. Have students submit notes from the interview, a zoom recording, or a selfie (with consent of the interviewee) as evidence.

*thumbnail image and lesson idea from


Picture Books About Empathy and Individuality (45 minutes)

Related SDGs: Reduced Inequalities, Gender Inequality

Grade levels: All

Intro: The majority of classic tales, fables, and children's stories focus their narratives on white males. However, it is vital for children to be well versed in the experiences of protagonists from different social backgrounds, races, and time-periods to expand their narratives and eliminate bias. We have listed in this post a variety of children's books about being unique and transcending stereotypes.


  1. Depending on the chosen book, teachers should spend approximately 20 minutes to research and prepare a short speech giving some context of the time period to which the story is set. This is simply to minimize confusion on the students' part

  2. The teacher will read one of the following books to the class. It may be physical or via PDF to screen-share on Zoom. We have included short descriptions of each one to aid in your choosing:

  • "The Sneetches" by Dr. Seuss ("The Sneetches" explores the concept of the “haves” and the “have-nots”. Within a couple of pages Seuss breaks down the ridiculous nature of prejudice in any of its forms. This is a great starting point for conversations on discrimination and inequality.)

  • "Yoko" by Rosemary Wells (This is a great book to explore in preschool and early elementary school as I have seen children be made fun of because their food choices are perceived as “weird” or a child is self-conscious to eat what they love for fear of being made fun of. Yoko demonstrates the importance of creating opportunities for our differences to be celebrated and explored.)

  • "Amazing Grace" by Mary Hoffman (Amazing Grace tells the story of an imaginative young girl who wants to be Peter Pan in the school play. Her classmates tell her she can’t because she is black and a girl. Grace goes home saddened by this news. Luckily she has two strong women at home, her mother and her grandmother, who teach her that Grace can be whoever she wants to be.)

  • "One" by Kathryn Otoshi ("One" is a book that should be read from preschool through high school. It should be read in every home and school. "One" explores the concept of a bully and what happens when everyone else stays silent and allows the bullying to continue. Silence fuels hatred and we need to learn to stand up to prejudice, discrimination and inequality.)

  • "Skin Again" by Bell Hooks (Skin Again is simple in words and illustrations, but full of meaning. Exploring the concept of race and racism, Skin Again shares the importance of looking within each person you meet.)

  • "Crow Boy" by Taro Yashima (The story of Crow Boy depicts Chibi, the main character, as a shy boy who is made fun of by the other students. In a small Japananese village Chibi travels far to come to school each day only to feel sad and alone. Finally a teacher celebrates his talents. The children are genuinely sorry for their horrible actions and learn the importance of caring for each other."

  • "The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes" (The Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes is so much for than a story about Easter. In fact, whether or not you celebrate Easter you need to check this book out. It is hard to believe Du Bose Heyward wrote this tale of feminism in 1939. With some of the most breathtaking illustrations I have seen this story speaks with intelligence about the importance of a dream, a purpose, a plan and strength of mind, body and spirit.)

  • "A Bad Case of Stripes" by David Shannon (A Bad Case of Stripes is a Kindergarten class favorite. Camilla Cream is afraid to eat her favorite food, lima beans, because the other kids make fun of her. This book explores what happens when we start caring so much about what other people think that we forget to be true to ourselves.)

  1. Students will be put into groups of three prior to reading, each of whom will have an assigned role. There will be a scribe, who writes down words they don't know (many of these will be within historical context (e.g. Jim Crow Laws)) and defining them later on will educate them more about the chosen time period), someone who writes down the similarities between the protagonists and themselves, and someone who writes about the differences between the protagonists and themselves.


After finishing the book, students will be put back into their groups of three. They will each share what they wrote and work together to uncover the meaning of their notes. Together, they will research the meanings of the new words and talk about how they are similar and different from the women in the novels. This activity will help them learn about women of different races, ethnic groups, and socio- economic backgrounds, while acknowledging their hardships and developing empathy. They will then go into the main room and share their findings with the class. Teachers should wrap up the lesson by clarifying the message of the story.

*thumbnail image from "The Sneetches"


Climate Solutions: Designing a Home! (30 - 45 minutes)

Related SDGs: Sustainable Cities and Communities; Affordable and Clean Energy; Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure

Grade levels: All

Intro: In this activity, each student will use their knowledge of environmental problems and sustainable energy to design their dream house that is efficient and may reduce carbon emissions. It may be a suburban home, a backyard, a van, a building, or an entire city!


  1. Students will create a drawing or blueprint of their own sustainable home. Encourage them to think creatively, and make sure to add color and labels! Here are some ideas for facilities to include:

  • Solar panels

  • Energy efficient air-conditioner replacement

  • Grey water system

  • Compost system

  • Garden

  • Construction material (recycled wood, concrete, eco-bricks, etc)

  • They may also wish to consider a suitable price for the product and advertising tactics

  1. At the end of class, they will present their plans and advertise their house to the rest of the class, explaining how it functions, and what makes it sustainable


  • Creative thinking and problem solving

  • Navigating potential solutions to climate change

  • Introduction to product design, advertising, and brand purpose