Protecting the Environment

There is so much power in the actions of one person, and if we all commit to being good citizens, we can make a big difference in our communities. Making small efforts to protect the environment is one way we can improve our communities and see a big difference.

Protecting the Environment
Grade Level: K-5


Character Skills
  • Citizenship
SEL Skills
  • Responsible Decision-Making
Academic Skills
  • Curiosity and Passion
  • Self-Direction and Engagement


  • Do your share to make your home, school, and community better.
  • Cooperate.
  • Stay informed. Vote.
  • Be a good neighbor.
  • Make choices that protect the safety and rights of others.
  • Protect the environment.
Responsible Decision-Making

Make decisions based on rationality, ethics, and effectiveness.

Curiosity and Passion

Enthusiastic to understand more about themselves, others, and the world around them.

Self-Direction and Engagement

Fully engaged in the educational process and connected to the school community.


Share This Activity

This lesson is designed for students to understand the impact of being an engaged citizen of their community. Citizenship is more than voting and obeying laws. It involves individuals taking protecting the environment as their responsibility and duty. This lesson gives students time to discuss solutions to problems they see in their communities around the environment. 

  1. Spend a week or two prior to the lesson collecting recyclable items. Encourage students to bring items from home. Food/drink containers should be washed thoroughly and dried. 
  2. Watch “How to Change the World (a work in progress)” | Kid President
  3. Ask students to discuss with a partner the following:
    • Why do some people think it is impossible to change the world?
    • What do you think it takes to change the world?
    • What communities are you a member of?
    • What does it mean to be a good citizen in those places?
    • What are some of the things that need to be changed in the places you are a citizen?
    • Brainstorm ideas that you, as an individual, could do to impact the environment?
  4. Bring students back together to discuss their responses. Ask students to expand on their ideas around the impact and power of an individual in change. Challenge them to see their role in things they feel they cannot control. 
  5. Discuss that one of the best ways to create change in within your own community is to start at home. Recycling and reusing is an easy task to do at home to impact all the places you are citizen (home, school, community, state, country, and world). Recycling and reusing reduces the waste we produce, the amount we contribute to the landfill and the energy we consume.
  6. Make a large Pillar shape on purple (if available) butcher paper or poster board. Give students the recycled items and glue. Ask them to make a pillar collage out of recycled material. Hang up the Pillar in classroom as a reminder of the impact one citizen can have.
Student Reflection
  • What is one way you have been a good citizen in our classroom?
  • What small thing could you commit to doing everyday to improve our community?
  • Why is it important for everyone to make an effort towards being a good citizen?


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