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CER Writing, Life Literacies and Key Skills


6th, 7th, 8th


English Language Arts, Career Readiness, Life Literacies, and Key Skills


70 minutes

Regional Focus

North America, United States, USA - Northeast, New Jersey


Google Docs, Google Slides


This lesson plan is licensed under Creative Commons.

Creative Commons License

Analyzing Greenwashing

Created By Teacher:
Last Updated:
Nov 30, 2023
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In this lesson, students analyze the concept of greenwashing of products. 

Step 1 - Inquire: Students watch videos related to greenwashing and look at examples of green products on the market.

Step 2 - Investigate: Students design a green product with a marketing campaign. 

Step 3 - Inspire: Students analyze the word choice that their peers used in their presentations of their product.

Accompanying Teaching Materials
Teaching Tips


  • Students create a product and then see what effect their product has on consumers. This will show students how greenwashing occurs within marketing campaigns.
  • This lesson includes media literacy components.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Teachers should be familiar with the term greenwashing and be able to explain what is regulated by the FDA and what is not regulated by the FDA.
  • Teachers should understand the term green is not regulated by the FDA, but the term organic is regulated by the FDA.


  • The term greenwashing is an abstract concept, so it may be hard for students to grasp. Showing other examples of greenwashing may help students better understand the concept.
  • Teachers can show students different labels or advertisements and have students analyze whether they consider each example greenwashing or not.
Scientist Notes

This lesson introduces students to greenwashing and then presents Trader Joe’s as a case study. Students are tasked with designing their own green product and an accompanying marketing plan. The lesson informs students how companies can mislead them with products that only seem environmentally friendly and gives tips on how to spot greenwashing. This lesson is recommended for teaching. (The only small issue with this lesson is that an advertisement for a VPN is included in the Trader Joe’s case study video, but that's just part of using resources from YouTube.)


Note On Standards:

This lesson is aligned to New Jersey standards. Review the aligned standards directly in the lesson plan document and teacher slideshow.

Discover more on the New Jersey Climate Education Hub.
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