The Environment: An Inquiry-based Lesson Regarding Problems and Solutions

 Author: Angela Picco

AreaLife Sciences 

 Grade Level: 5-8



This lesson plan is designed to teach students about the environment and what they can do to help. Students are guided in their learning about the various issues associated with our environment, who is impacted by these issues and how, and what possible solutions exist for improving our relationship with the environment. Inquiry-based teaching methods will be employed in this lesson plan, encouraging student participation and insight.



Students will be able to:

  • hypothesize what issues affect our environment
  • test their hypotheses regarding the issues affecting our environment through group discussion/presentation
  • hypothesize the chain of effects for each environmental problem
  • develop questions about where these chains lead
  • conduct an experiment to test recycling efforts in the student’s homes
  • use graphing techniques to present the results of their experiment
  • compare/contrast their results from the recycling experiment with the class results   


 Lesson Plan (pdf / doc)
 Environmental Problems (pdf / doc)
 Do You Pollute?  (pdf / doc)
 Graphing Handout for Recycling?  (pdf / doc)
 Pollution Concept Handout  (pdf / doc)
 Who is Impacted and How? (pdf / doc)



 Environment, human impact, conservation, environmental issues, recycling


 Related Links:


Environmental Engineering

3RC(Reduce, Recycle, Reuse and Compost)