an archive of lesson plans

Tag: environment

RU S23 INT: Nature

Language Resident Name: Aleksandra Bystrova

Date: 02/27/2023

Class theme/topics discussed: Nature

Goal of the class:

  • Students can use the Accusative Case to explain feelings (I hear, I see, I touch)
  • Students can describe different landscapes
  • Students can talk about natural disasters in Russia
  • Students can list lessons of nature

How did you structure the class?

  1. Warm-up. Fill the form (10 mins)
    This assignment should be done outside. Students are given a form with a chart: I see, I hear, I feel, I touch. They have to write a list of things in the correct case.

2.Activity 1. Your Perfect Landscape (10 min)
I show the students three typical landscapes in Russian and ask them to choose a landscape in which they would like to live. They should describe the reasons for their choice.

3.Activity 2. The most beautiful place in Russia (10 min)
I ask students to choose the most beautiful natural place in Russia and present it to the whole class, showing it on a map and describing why they chose it.

4.Activity 3. Nanna Heitman As Frozen Land Burns (10 min)
I show the students Nanna Heitman’s photo project about fires in Siberia and ask them to describe the photos. What do you see? Where do you think this is? How are people dealing with it?
Then, I provide students with the background of the problem and ask additional questions. Why do forest fires start? Are there forest fires in your area? What are the negative consequences of fires?

5.Activity 4: Монеточка — гори гори гори

6. Wrap-up. Lessons from Nature (10 min)
Think about the five lessons nature teaches us. What can we learn from nature? For example: Nature knows what is good for her

What worked well in this class? What did not work?

The class went well. Several of my students are very interested in nature, so it was especially helpful for them to learn new words related to nature and issues. The activity with the form helps a lot to practice the accusative case and also sets the students up for work because of the change of scenery.

How could this class be improved/ modified?

I recommend doing this class outside if possible. Then hands-on activities can be added.

DE SP21 INT/ADV – Environmental Protection

Language Resident/Assistant Name: Eva Saunders

Day and Date: 4/29/2021

Language and Level (intermediate or advanced class): Intermediate/Advanced

Class theme/topics discussed: Environmental pollution and protection

Goal of the class: Being able to talk about how to protect the environment

How did you structure the class?

A) “Word of The Day” Game: Students are given a very specific and not well known word that fits the topic of the day (For example a slang word: “Schmarotzer”). They write a quick description of what they think the word could be (on a card, piece of paper, or in Zoom they would privately message you). When all have submitted their description, you read all of them, including the correct one and let the students guess which one is right. I do this at the beginning of every class as an ice breaker, but it can also be done as a quick random activity.

B) Green Politics Vocabulary: Give each student or group of students a few words relating to environmental protection (see examples below) . The students shall find pictures that illustrate each word and write a description of what each word means.

C) Household items: (See examples below) Together with the students, go through pictures of machines or appliances and let them fill out the English words (or ask them and fill in for them). Pronounce each German word together.

D) Discussion:
Advanced: How can we use these household items to be more mindful of the environment?
Intermediate: How can we describe these machines? What do they do? (Good exercise to learn relative sentences).

E) Extra Activity: Pick one machine, but don’t tell the students which one. Now they have to ask questions to guess which of the machines you are thinking of, for example: is it being used outside or inside? Is the color grey? etc. Once a student guesses correctly, they will pick a word and everyone else will guess again. (Can be yes/no questions to make it more advanced, but doesn’t have to be).

What technology, media or props did you use? (internet resources, playmobiles, handouts, etc.), Props: Share Screen function in Zoom, Google Docs & Google Sheets (for exercises)

What worked well in this class? What did not work?

This was inspired by two assignments from the book “Passwort Deutsch 4” in another class, so I re-used the vocabulary for this class, because protecting the environment is something I noticed the students are very interested in. They learned a lot of fairly simple vocabulary to be able to talk about this topic better. It worked out well.


Green Politics Vocabulary List:
Die Umweltschutzbewegung, Alternative Energien, Die Umwelt verschmutzen, Abgase (Pl.), Das Gift, Umweltfeindlich, Müll & Recycling, Der Smogalarm, In einer Bürgerinitiative aktiv sein, Der Stromverbrauch, Der Lärm, Umweltschädlich, Die Katastrophe

Houshold items List (Excel)

How could this class be improved/ modified?

I wouldn’t change anything.

DE F20 ADV – German politics

Language Resident/Assistant Name: Eva Saunders

Credit to: INES FISTER, DE F17 INT German Parliament – Bundestag
(I modified her class for online. Had the group research be homework so we had more time to discuss current politics and added some explainity videos.)

Day and Date: 11/10/2020

Language and Level (intermediate or advanced class): Advanced

Class theme/topics discussed: German government and current politics

Goal of the class: Discuss current politics and trends in Germany

How did you structure the class?

A) Warm-Up: How do you feel right now that the US election is over? Did you celebrate?

B) Discussion: Did you know yesterday was the first anniversary of the fall of the Wall in Berlin? How much do you know about that? Fill in knowledge gaps, if needed with a short video:

C) Homework Recap: Students present their research about a German political party each. Then talk about 6 major parties in Germany and where they are on the spectrum. Look at how large each party is in the Parliament. Discuss some topics the parties have discussed recently or topics the students are especially interested in.

D) Extra Activity (if not talking about the fall of the wall or if students want to go deeper):
a) Video about how parliament is elected:

b) Video about how chancellor is elected:

What technology, media or props did you use? (internet resources, playmobiles, handouts, etc.) Prop: Share Screen function in Zoom, Chat, Youtube, Google Sheets, Course Website as a resource for homework and reference

What worked well in this class? What did not work?

I modified the previous lesson plan to having the students each present a party that was prepared as homework, because they seemed to be interested in the current policies and we had more time to talk about that this way. But the research could also be done during the class. I assigned each a party, so we didn’t hear about the same party several times.

How could this class be improved/ modified?

I would leave as is. I asked the students which direction they wanted to go deeper in and they wanted to know more about parliament elections. They were very interested and engaged this way.

If you have a more detailed lesson plan, please attach it below (OK to use target language for that).  Please attach any handouts as well.

Virtual Handout in target language:  (Password: GERMAN)

ES F20 INT/ADV Climate Change

Language Resident: Katherine Pérez Gutiérrez

Class theme/topic discussed : Climate Change

Goal of the class 

  • Talk about environment and climate change issues

Class structure

  • Warm-up Focused Free Writing (cred. Tilman Viëtor): I give students 5 sentences/words related with climate change (eating habits, waste, habits change, economic system, tourism, 3 Rs). After choosing one, they have 3-5 min to write about how that word/sentence is related to environment & climate change.
  • Activity 2 Intro questions: What do you know about climate change? What climate change related issues do you know about? Is there anything you do to help the environment? Do you think tourism has anything to do with the environment? What do you think about recycling?
  • Activity 3 UN Discussion: I show students key words related to what UN recommends people to do to for a greener world post-pandemic. They have to discuss why they think this term is there and how it is related to environment/climate change. (Key words: Nature, essential goods and services, energy, eating systems, cities, public funds)
  • Activity 4 What about my town?: In groups, students look up environment issues their cities/states are struggling, and how people (individuals & government) are dealing with it (measures being adopted).
  • Extra activity: Students have to choose one of the many issues discusses in class and choose a measure, that they could implement in their lives, aimed at solving this issue (You can ask how did that go a few weeks afterwards 🙂
  • Extra activity 2: Discuss the consequences social distancing and quarantine has had on environment (Less contamination, wild animals on the street, etc.)

Resources used

Reflection: What worked/did not work? How can it be improved?

  • It was a fun class. I was worried students would not be willing to talk much about the topic because it tends to be repetitive, but having activity 4 helped because they brought the topic into their own lives. We did not have enough time to do extra activities.
  • Having questions related to each key word on activity 3, in case students are a bit lost as to how to address the topic can be useful. I did not need them with the advanced class, but I used a few of them with the intermediate class.


  • Questions for activity 3:
  • Naturaleza: ¿Crees que dependemos demasiado del petróleo? ¿Se te ocurren otras alternativas?
  • Servicios esenciales: ¿Cómo debería controlarse el gasto de agua? ¿De qué manera se puede proteger lugares con escasez hídrica?
  • Energía: ¿Crees que malgastamos mucha energía? ¿Cómo? ¿Piensas que deberíamos dar prioridad a las energías renovables? ¿Si pudieras elegir una energía renovable cuál sería? ¿Qué problemas crees que tienen las energías renovables? ¿Crees que deberíamos usar la energía nuclear?
  • Sistemas alimentarios: ¿Crees que hay sistemas alimentarios más perjudiciales que otros? ¿Cómo afectan las diferencias alimentarias de distintas culturas los espacios físicos?
  • Ciudades: ¿Piensas que el tráfico en las ciudades debería ser controlado de alguna manera?¿Crees que el turismo tiene algo que ver con el medioambiente?
  • Dinero público: Crees que se puede compatibilizar el Desarrollo economico con el deterioro medioambiental? Crees que los gobiernos estan lo suficientemente comprometidos con el cuidado del medio ambiente?

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