Key Stage 2 Communities & Identity

Year 3 and 4 Our Environment

Return to Key Stage 2 Framework

Lesson Plan

Teaching ObjectivesPossible Teaching ActivityLearning Outcomes

Children should learn:

  • about their own school environment
  • ways of saving energy and water
  • how rubbish can be reduced and recycled
  • about caring for animals

Begin the lesson by introducing the word 'environment. ' Talk to the children about their school that exists in their immediate environment.

Talk to the children about water and energy. Discuss the different ways in which they can save water and energy.

Ask the children about waste and rubbish. Look at what they do with their rubbish and talk to them about how waste can be reduced.

Talk to the groups about caring for animals. How many of the class have an animal and which type of animal do they have? Who takes care of their animal?

  • Children will be able to understand what makes up their environment and learn how they can help save water and energy
  • Children will be able to help reduce and recycle rubbish that is produced and understand how they can help to care for animals.

Teacher Notes

What is my environment?

Background Notes

In recent years there has been a significant rise in people's concern about the environment. When we talk about our environment, we are talking about the world around us. We are not only talking about our home, our school and our local park, we are also talking about our Country and our World.

Our environment has suffered over many years and in order to take steps to start improving and maintaining our environment we need to start thinking about things such as waste reduction, energy use and pollution in order to conserve the existing value of our natural resources and to improve and enhance these where possible.

For all of us, a safe environment is essential to our quality of life - the quality of the air we breathe, the water we drink and the land on which we live and work.

Further information is available on the Sustainable Development Commission website (

Suggested Teaching Activity

Resources and Activities

The Energy Chest website ( includes basic information on your school and the environment, curriculum activities, notes for teachers and a library of links to other energy and environmental sites.

Information and Materials

The Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs website has information and materials suitable for children aged 7-11 on the subject of climate change (

Teaching Resource Packs

The Environment Agency website has a 'Fun and Games' section ( which contains a range of materials aimed at encouraging greater understanding of the role that young people can play to improve the world they live in for future generations.

Return to top


How can I help to save energy and water?

Background Notes

Saving energy is important for our environment as non-renewable energy sources like coal, oil and gas will eventually run out. Energy saving can be achieved by using gas, electricity and water more efficiently and we can all take steps to make sure that this happens.

Suggested Teaching Activity

Resources and Activities

The Energy Chest website ( includes basic information on energy and its use, curriculum activities, notes for teachers and a library of links to other energy and environmental sites.


Power Pack® Key Stage 2 has been developed for pupils aged 7 – 11 by npower with assistance from teachers and pupils. This free resource is a colourful individual pupil activity work booklet that raises pupils’ awareness of how energy is used in our homes and has an activity page relating to renewable energy and saving energy at home/school. The packs are accompanied by Teacher’s Notes.

e-mail to order the required number of Power Packs and then re-order when you next cover your energy topic.

Information and Resources

The Green Energy website ( is aimed at teachers and children who want to know more about alternative sources of energy, such as solar and wind power. The site is regularly updated with new activities for children, games to help them understand how renewable energies work and information sheets are also available to support teachers.

Project Work

The National Energy Foundation ( is a UK registered charity established to promote the efficient innovative and safe use of energy and to increase public awareness of energy in all its forms. Their website contains a number of projects aimed at raising awareness about energy among school children.

Return to top


What can I do with my rubbish?

Background Notes

We are now throwing away more rubbish than ever before and are running out of places to put it. Most of our rubbish is buried in the ground, in 'landfill' sites, but these are filling up fast and new ones are hard to find.

It is also costing more than ever to get rid of our rubbish and we can all take some action to help reduce waste by recycling, reducing waste at home and school and composting.

Another easy change we can all make is SMART SHOPPING IN THE FIRST PLACE - we can all cut down on the amount of rubbish we create in the first place. It's not difficult, it doesn't take any extra time and it can make a very big difference

Re-use carrier bags

Each plastic carrier bag you throw away will take around 500 years to rot away in a landfill site.

Choose less packaging

By choosing goods that have less packaging, you will help to prevent waste and reduce the emissions that are associated with the production and transport of packaging. This will help to prevent global warming and as there will be less waste generated and the costs of rubbish disposal will reduce.

Buy Recycled

If you buy products made from recycled materials or that come in recycled packaging, you will encourage manufacturers to demand more recycled materials to make them from. This will help reduce the amount of rubbish that gets buried in landfill sites.

Ollie Recycles UK

This is a website resource containing lesson ideas to raise pupils awareness of environmental issues and can be accessed at Ollie Recycles UK website (

Suggested Teaching Activity

Resources and Activities

The Energy Chest website ( includes basic information on reducing waste, curriculum activities, notes for teachers and a library of links to other energy and environmental sites.

The Recyclezone website ( contains everything you need to know about rubbish! The website contains different zones with games, resources and information for teachers.

The Glassforever website ( gives you information and resources about glass packaging and how to recycle glass.

The Ollie Recycles website ( is a fun and colourful site containing games and activities.

CD-Rom linking to numeracy strategy

The interactive 'K World CD ROM' from the Environment Agency ( investigates the options for reducing, re-using and recycling waste. This resource includes a comprehensive Teacher's Zone provides curriculum links and cross-references to the National Numeracy Strategy.

Return to top


How can I help to care for animals?

Background Notes

Animals are an important part of our world. They need to be looked after and cared for. When we talk about animals, we are not just talking about domestic pets like cats and dogs, we are talking about all of our wildlife.

Suggested Teaching Activity

Class Discussion and Display Activity

Talk to the children about their animals and make a list of the different animals that people own. What do the children like about animals and what is their favourite animal?

Make a list of all the animals the class owns and count how many children own each type of animal. Produce a large bar chart or pie chart and ask the children to draw one of the animals and use their pictures to produce the key to the chart.

Information and Resources

The RSPCA aims to promote kindness and prevent cruelty to animals. The Society's education service plays a leading role by providing and supporting animal welfare education for students and teachers across the Country. Further information can be found on the RSPCA website (

Information and Resources

The Dogs Trust ( has developed a Learning Zone which contains games and activites for children as well as information for Teachers

Reading and Writing Skills

Share the World ( is a free educational program designed to help your students better understand and appreciate the animal kingdom. Pupils will use their thinking, reading and writing skills to work through the reproducible activities that form the heart of this program.

The Humane Education Teachers' Pack ( has been developed by the PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) Education and Research Foundation.

This pack has been designed to fit into the KS1&2 Citizenship framework and covers issues relating to the use and misuse of animals in today's society.

Return to top