Together – we can make a difference!
The challenges facing our environment are BIG, but that doesn’t mean we can’t overcome them together. The best way we can create significant change on our planet is to unite together in the fight against climate change. By forming a Student Green Team at your school, you will create a community that accomplishes more as a group than anyone could individually.
Created in partnership with Grades of Green Youth Leader, Samantha Torres.
This toolkit address the following Science and Engineering Practices (SEPs) within the Performance Expectations of NGSS for Grades: K-2 and 3-5
- Asking Questions and Defining a Problem
- Planning and Carrying out Investigations
- Analyzing and Interpreting Data
- Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions
- Obtaining Evaluating, and Communicating Information
Why It’s Important
The formation of an active student environmental team/eco-club within the school to utilize LAUNCH Eco-Toolkits to educate and inspire fellow students and the local community.
What You Will Accomplish
A Green Team is a group of students whose members strive to create an environmental impact in their school and community. A Green Team can have just one team or many different teams working on their own unique projects. It is a collaborative effort that encourages creative ideas, allows new members to join, and pairs people together who want to work on the same project.
Teacher Project Plan Step-by-Step
Step 1: Determine Participants
- Use the Green Team Sign-up Sheet to invite students to participate.
- Invite all students or limit it to just the upper grades
- Utilize an existing club such as Student Council
- Utilize a class or multiple classes
Step 2: Set Learning Objectives
- Once the Green Team is formed, students will analyze many metrics and data in their various environmental projects
- Students will identify routines to accomplish their goal
- Students will practice leadership skills and collaborative work
Evaluation and Assessment
- Students will track and evaluate the impact of their various projects
Step 3: Educate Students on Why Forming a Green Team is Important
The resources provided can be shown as a slideshow or printed out as individual worksheets for students to learn.
Education Materials: Why Should You Create a Green Team?
The Climate is Changing!
Due to human activity, global temperatures have risen 1 degree celsius in the last century. Our actions have led to melting polar ice caps, world-wide habitat destruction, and rising sea levels. If humankind does nothing to alleviate our negative impacts on the planet, these issues could become irreversible. That’s why it’s up to us to take action and fight climate change now, before it becomes too late. 
Leaders Care For Our Environment!
There are many ways to be a leader and inspire others toward environmental action. One person who has made it her life mission to motivate the world is student activist, Greta Thunberg. She has given several speeches at environmental conferences and even spoken at the United Nations as a part of her goal to convince world leaders to take stronger action on climate change. However, you don’t need to speak at the UN to create impactful change for the environment. You can inspire those around you with your actions and commitment. Creating a Green Team is just one way you can encourage others to become environmentalists and be a leader in your own community. 
Teamwork Makes the Dream Work!
Creating a Green Team is the best way to get more people involved with the environment. Collaboration is not just beneficial, but necessary to protect the planet on a global scale. By connecting your peers, Green Teams allow a community to form where ideas can be shared and discussed. Student led groups can be a powerful force for change. Remember, we are all in this together!
Watch this video to learn why it’s important to care for environment and work together!
Why the Climate Crisis is a Social Justice Issue
Environmental justice is the “fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation, enforcement of environmental laws, regulations, and policies” by the Environmental Protection Agency. Some individuals unwillingly face the effects of climate change more than others due to the lack of sustainable practices in their specific communities and neighborhoods. This is especially apparent in communities housing BIPOC (Black, Indigenious, People of Color) population and communities with lower income levels.
Step 4: Pre-Activity Reflection Questions
Reflection and Educator Observation Questions
Use the following questions to guide students and reflect on what they’ve learned. Provided questions can be accessed in slideshow or worksheet format.
- What are the benefits of having a Green Team at school?
- What roles do you think are important while working in a team doing an environmental project?
- What are some of the environmental issues that can be addressed by a Green Team?
- What are some activities that can be arranged by a Green Team? What are some organizations you can connect with to support major activities/events?
- What answers did you hear from the reflection questions?
Step 5: Take Action – How to Form a Green Team Lesson Plan
Lead students through the “How to Form a Green Team” activity with guided instructions. Check out “Pro Tips” with each step for useful help:
1. Decide Who is Participating
Use the Green Team Sign-up Sheet to invite students to participate in the Green Team. Or create a team from an existing group of students such as a class or Student Council.
2. Determine the Schedule
Determine a regular schedule for the team – will they meet once a week, every other week? Will it be at lunchtime, after school, or before school? Where will they meet and for how long? Use the Green Team Schedule worksheet as a resource to schedule your meetings.
3. Create Roles
Determine who and how many students are participating. Divide students into roles using the Green Team Organizer.
- Team Leader: The Team Lead is in charge of keeping environmental projects on track, updating progress, and reaching out to the project “specialist” during the campaign.
- Co-Team Leader or Back-up Team Leader: The role of the Co-Team Lead is to aid the Team Lead with the previously assigned roles, as well as fill in or aid those placed in other roles.
- Notetaker: The role of the Notetaker is to be present at all meetings and take notes on what is discussed, what the next steps of the team are, and who is accomplishing what by the next meeting. These notes will be used by the Teams Leads and Teacher to reference, as well as given to individuals who are absent at meetings.
- Art and Communications Lead(s): The role of the Art and Communications lead(s) is responsible for the creation and posting materials about the Green Team’s projects. They are also responsible for assigning jobs for help with fact research and design/artwork relevant to the team’s project or goals.
- Announcement Lead: The Announcement Lead is in charge of writing and sharing Green Team announcements with the school via morning announcements, news shows, newsletters, etc.
- Add Your Own!
Be flexible! Roles will change depending on the Toolkit you are using.
Split roles into upper and lower grades as needed.
4. Promote Your Green Team*
In order to bring awareness to your Green Team and project, teams should utilize school bulletins, newsletters, and social media to gain traction. Ads may be put out in student publications and digital/hard copy flyers can be hung and posted to encourage people to join your team or participate in your project.
*Note: This is an optional step that can be used to gain awareness about your Green Team.
5. Pick a Project
In order to stay on track, the Team Leaders along with support from their adult team advisor, should identify what the team wants to accomplish and review toolkits to help pick your projects. Club meetings should include discussion about the projects students are taking on, specific tasks for members to accomplish, and a scheduled agenda.
Need help picking a first project? These are a few great ones to start with! Head to the Educator LAUNCH homepage to see a full list.
- Too much good food going to the landfill bin at lunchtime? If the answer is “yes!”, try the Campus Food Rescue Toolkit!
- Are teachers able to recycle in their classrooms? If the answer is “no!”, try the Classroom Recycling Toolkit!
- Are you seeing too much trash (yuck!) on campus? If the answer is “yes!”, try the Adopt-a-Spot Toolkit!
If your Green Team has chosen a Toolkit, have team members delegate specific tasks to complete the steps of your project.
Step 6: Post-Activity Reflection Questions
Student Reflection and Real World Application Questions
- What do you hope to accomplish as a Green Team?
- What are some challenges you might face?
Real World Application
What have you learned about teamwork? Why is it important?
Step 7: Report Students’ Impact
Compile everything and complete the How to Form a Green Team Wrap Up Form.
- Green Team Sign Up Sheet
- Green Team Organizer
- Green Team Schedule
- Green Team Presentation
- Green Team Wrap Up Form
Congrats on completing the How to Form a Green Team Eco-Toolkit!
Did you enjoy this toolkit? Find your next project here!