This engaging lesson plan uses storytelling to teach about green and blue spaces, how they impact our mental health, and what we can do to protect nature and interact with nature more often.
Students will learn through reading a digital story, playing games, and designing their own green space.
There are many points in the lesson for interactive class discussions on the topics from the story.
Interactive media and read-aloud functions make this lesson something older students may be able to do independently, if needed for virtual learning.
Students should be introduced to the terms green space, blue space, environment, restless, pollen, woodpecker, observations, grim, and surroundings prior to reading the story.
Students should be aware of the concept of mental health and that our environment can impact how we feel.
Teachers can use this lesson to supplement a unit on mental health, social emotional well-being, or reducing pollution. They can also keep a "feelings and spaces" journal to document their surroundings and how they feel at different times and locations.
After this lesson, have students learn about how trees, forests, and other natural environments reduce greenhouse gases and fight climate change.
Students in writing classes can go for a nature walk and write poetry about how it feels to be in a green space.
Following this lesson, students can make a classroom poster about protecting and interacting with nature and have students identify how protecting nature is a climate solution.
Teachers can assign students to interact with or protect nature at home and then write a journal entry about it.
ELLs may need to slow the pace of the video, as there are no subtitles.
This resource from Green Guardians is a lesson that teaches students how their surroundings impact their mental health. A thorough lesson plan for teachers is included that highlights main discussion points and important vocabulary. The main resource is a story with an embedded video that guides students through a story where an entire class’s mood and behavior is improved by a short journey into a butterfly garden. This resource also features several activities including an interactive word search, a green space game, and a design-your-own green space worksheet. Throughout this resource, the way that green and blue spaces positively affect the way we feel is highlighted, and there are numerous points for classroom discussion built into the lesson. This resource is engaging, attractive, and is recommended for teaching.
Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
K-ESS3-1 Use a model to represent the relationship between the needs of different plants or animals (including humans) and the places they live.
ETS1: Engineering Design
K-2-ETS1-1 Ask questions, make observations, and gather information about a situation people want to change to define a simple problem that can be solved through the development of a new or improved object or tool.
K-2-ETS1-2 Develop a simple sketch, drawing, or physical model to illustrate how the shape of an object helps it function as needed to solve a given problem.
Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
Reading: Literature (K-12)
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.K.1 With prompting and support, ask and answer questions about key details in a text.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.K.4 Ask and answer questions about unknown words in a text.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.K.7 With prompting and support, describe the relationship between illustrations and the story in which they appear (e.g., what moment in a story an illustration depicts).
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.1.1 Ask and answer questions about key details in a text.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.1.4 Identify words and phrases in stories or poems that suggest feelings or appeal to the senses.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.1.7 Use illustrations and details in a story to describe its characters, setting, or events.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.2.1 Ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why, and how to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.2.7 Use information gained from the illustrations and words in a print or digital text to demonstrate understanding of its characters, setting, or plot.
Speaking & Listening (K-12)
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.K.1 Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about kindergarten topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.K.3 Ask and answer questions in order to seek help, get information, or clarify something that is not understood.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.1.1 Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade 1 topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.1.3 Ask and answer questions about what a speaker says in order to gather additional information or clarify something that is not understood.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.2.1 Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade 2 topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.2.2 Recount or describe key ideas or details from a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.K.2 Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to compose informative/explanatory texts in which they name what they are writing about and supply some information about the topic.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.1.2 Write informative/explanatory texts in which they name a topic, supply some facts about the topic, and provide some sense of closure.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.2.2 Write informative/explanatory texts in which they introduce a topic, use facts and definitions to develop points, and provide a concluding statement or section.
National Health Education Standards
Standard 1: Students will comprehend concepts related to health promotion and disease prevention to enhance health.
1.2.1 Identify that healthy behaviors impact personal health.
Standard 7: Students will demonstrate the ability to practice health-enhancing behaviors and avoid or reduce health risks.
7.2.1 Demonstrate healthy practices and behaviors to maintain or improve personal health.
7.2.2 Demonstrate behaviors that avoid or reduce health risks.