LAUNCH Lessons:
How to LAUNCH an
Eco-Project K-5th

Created in partnership with
Grades of Green Eco-Leader,
Justin Sather.

This lesson 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

Once the Green Team is formed, students will analyze many metrics and data in their various environmental projects

Project Management

  • 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

Table of Contents

You have an idea! Now what?

Help your students start their own project to solve any environmental issues they’re passionate about. Teach and encourage students to find problems at school, in their community, and globally. Follow this step-by-step lesson to allow them to grow their ideas to create change. No idea is too big or too small- it can be as simple as helping your classmates switch to reusable water bottles or a global issue such as saving the rainforest (yes, YOU can help do that!)

Within this lesson, you’ll find various downloadable resources. For your convenience, you can access them all in one place by clicking on this link to view them in a Google Drive folder.

LAUNCH Lesson Details

Why It's Important

It is important to give students the skills they need to grow their ideas and learn to be problem solvers to create positive change.

What You Will Accomplish

Students will learn how to come up with an idea and expand it to create a positive environmental impact at school, in their community, or in the world. Students can work on projects on their own or create green teams to collaborate and work on their unique project together.

Educator Project Plan

Follow the steps below to set up a successful Green Team at your school! Need help? Contact us!

Track your metrics and submit your impact after implementing this lesson. Your feedback helps keep our programs free for all across the globe.

Determine Participants

Use our How to LAUNCH an Eco Project Sign Up Sheet to assemble your team!

  • A Student Group such as (a club, before/after school program, non-school organization)
  • A whole class
  • The whole school
  • Working with a small group of students? Hold a single day event (?)
  • Working with a larger team? Build a campaign around doing a small kind deed of the day
  • Is your whole school involved? Strive to have a “Make a Difference Day”

Why Should You Start an Eco-Project?

The resources provided can be shown as a slideshow or printed out as individual worksheets for students to learn.

Samantha’s School Eco-Project

Starting in 2nd grade, Samantha Torres was inspired to become an Eco-Leader who developed her personal ideas into environmental projects. Most recently, she wanted to tackle the issue of clothing waste in her local community. She came up with the idea of doing a clothing swap where students from her high school could swap out clothes that no longer fit them, they no longer enjoyed wearing, or no longer needed. This allowed clothes to be reused, giving them a new purpose instead of going to a landfill as waste. As a college student, Samantha continues her Climate Activism as an advocate for going meatless and alleviating clothing waste/fast fashion.

Deshna’s Community Eco-Project

Deshna Jain is a sixteen-year-old from Kolkata, India. Along with being a full-time student in class XII (high school), she spends her time advocating for action on climate change through her organization, ‘To Environment, With Love’ which she founded in 2019 with the aim to bring together teens from across the world who believe in the urgency of combating the environmental crisis. Deshna started her Eco Project by knocking on people’s doors in her community to collect recyclables and items to donate. Today, their body of 27 students from 6 countries have collectively recycled over 100,000 kgs of waste and they don’t plan to stop till people make recycling a daily practice.

Justin’s Global Eco-Project

There are many ways to be an activist and inspire others toward environmental action. One person who has made a difference is Grades of Green Eco-Leader, Justin Sather. He has given many presentations to schools about how his love for frogs inspired him to take care of the planet. One way Justin decided to take action was to collect hundreds of letters from students around the world explaining why they love nature and why they want to protect it. These letters were given to world leaders at the COP26 Conference to convince them to take stronger actions on protecting 30% of the planet by 2030. Justin also set up a Go Fund Me Campaign and raised money to protect 30 acres of rainforest in Ecuador. You too can inspire those around you with your actions and commitment by turning your own ideas into a reality. 

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.

Watch this video to learn why it’s important to care for environment and work together!

Think About It!

Pre-Activity Questions

  • What environmental issues or problems do you see at your school, in your community, in our country, or around the world?
  • What are some solutions to these issues?
  • What are some ways you can take action?
  • What are some organizations you can connect with to support major activities/events?

Take Action: How to LAUNCH an Eco-Project

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. Gain Participants

Determine who and how many students/staff are participating using the How to LAUNCH an Eco Project Sign Up Sheet.

2. What’s Your Idea?

To pick an environmental topic to work on, ask students some questions to discover their interests. This will help students find an idea that interests them! Use the How to LAUNCH an Eco Project Worksheet Introduction to get started.

3. Separate Into Groups

Now that your students have selected a project, have them separate into groups based on their related topics. Some topics to choose from include:

  • Waste
  • Food
  • Water
  • Plants & Animals
  • Transportation
  • Energy

Collaborative work will allow them to discuss ideas and get help from one another. Use the How to LAUNCH an Eco Project Group Organizer to complete this.

4. Research Your Idea

Now that students are separated into groups, have them research the topic they have selected. This will help students learn more about their project and gain new ideas. Furthermore, this can be an opportunity to gain facts that they can share with other students. Use the How to LAUNCH an Eco Project Research Worksheet to stay organized.

5. Find a Solution

Now that students have selected a project and the problems associated with it, have them brainstorm some solutions. Have students use the How to LAUNCH an Eco Project Worksheet to organize their thoughts.

6. Create a Task List and Call to Action

Have students take their selected idea and create a task list that will get them to their solution. Use the How to LAUNCH an Eco Project Worksheet to organize tasks.

  • Find an organization and/or group that addresses your project
  • Form your own group to address your project
  • Select a Grades of Green LAUNCH Lesson that aligns with your project
  • Join the Grades of Green RISE campaign
  • Create/join an event that addresses your project
  • Get creative and create your own tasks

7. Educate Others

Educate your peers on the problems, facts, and solutions of your project. You can do this with the following examples:

  • Creating a poster/flier to post around your school/community
  • Conducting a walking assembly
  • Presenting using your school’s weekly announcements
  • Create a slideshow to share with your class
  • Be flexible! Roles will change depending on the lesson 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 lessons 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 homepageto see a full list. 

  1. Too much good food going to the landfill bin at lunchtime? If the answer is “yes!”, try the Campus Food Rescue Lesson! 
  2. Are teachers able to recycle in their classrooms? If the answer is “no!”, try the Classroom Recycling Lesson!
  3. Are you seeing too much trash (yuck!) on campus? If the answer is “yes!”, try the Adopt-a-Spot Lesson!

Reflection Questions

How’d It Go?

  • What personal changes will you make to reduce your impact on climate change?
  • What have you learned about teamwork? Why is it important?

Report Students’ Impact

Congratulations!! You’ve LAUNCH an Eco-Project! Don’t let all that hard work go unnoticed. Submit your results by clicking the button below.

Project ongoing? No problem! Let us know what you’ve done so far. 

By reporting your impact, Grades of Green can:

  • CELEBRATE and elevate your students’ hard work and success. 
  • Offer our programs FREE for all students across the globe. 
  • AWARD stipends and certificates to hard-working educators and students.

Please take a few minutes to submit your results. Thank you!

Congrats on completing the How to LAUNCH an Eco-Project Eco-Lesson! 

Did you enjoy this lesson? Find your next project here