Sustainability

CIEC's new publication: 'Sustainable stories and solutions for our planet' highlights the issues and impacts of sustainability for upper key stage two (9-11 year-olds) children.

It contains practical and discussion activities including:

  • Two generic introductory activities to develop children's awareness and understanding of sustainability.
  • Five case studies from companies with a strong reputation in sustainability.
  • The publication can be freely downloaded from here.


    1. Introduction

    Eco Friendly Logo

    Children carry out a survey to ascertain their thoughts about sustainability as well as their understanding of the impact of their own behaviour in actively bringing about change. They are encouraged to involve their families in the survey.

    As a class, they create a "big-book" style environmental dictionary which will help others in their school to learn about important environmental issues.

    Teacher's notes iconTeachers Notes
    Children's activity iconChildren's Sheets


    2. Sustainable materials: which metal?

    Car Exhaust Image

    Groups investigate how metals can corrode when exposed to substances in the environment and that rusting is one type of corrosion. Children are introduced to the properties and uses of precious metals and consider how one company uses these to reduce the amount of dangerous gases emitted by high numbers of vehicles on our roads today.

    Teacher's notes iconTeachers Notes
    Children's activity iconChildren's Sheets
    Powerpoint iconPresentation


    3. Sustainable materials: which plastic?

    Vehicle Pushing Landfill Image

    Children identify and name plastics by observing what happens when samples are placed in different liquids and when a force is applied. They learn about the impact that plastics can have on the environment and why it is important to recycle plastic items. They consider how one company supports a recycling scheme to reduce the amount of U-PVC that is usually used once and sent to landfill sites.

    Teacher's notes iconTeachers Notes
    Children's activity iconChildren's Sheets
    Powerpoint iconPresentation


    4. Sustainable methods of cleaning: which washing product?

    Image of Microplastics

    Groups plan and carry out their own fair test to investigate how effective different commercial washing products are at removing stains from fabric. They consider how one company has developed an ingredient for a new washing product which washes clothes more effectively so that we wash or replace them less frequently.

    Teacher's notes iconTeachers Notes
    Children's activity iconChildren's Sheets
    Powerpoint iconPresentation


    5. Sustainable sources of food: how can we grow oyster mushrooms?

    Carbon Footprint Image

    Children consider the benefits of following a more sustainable diet as an alternative to obtaining meat from animals as a source of protein. They are challenged to grow a crop of oyster mushrooms as a sustainable food source before learning about one company's solution to producing protein-rich food in a sustainable way.


    Teacher's notes iconTeachers Notes
    Powerpoint iconPresentation


    6. Sustainable sources of energy: which plant materials?

    Burning Coal

    This activity focuses on renewable energy and how this can be less harmful to the environment than burning fossil fuels. They are challenged to carry out two investigations for a fictitious company in order to find a sustainable plant-based source of fuel. They learn about a real company's solution to producing energy for electricity from natural, sustainable sources such as plants.

    Teacher's notes iconTeachers Notes
    Children's activity iconChildren's Sheets
    Powerpoint iconPresentation

    Sustainability PDF Cover Image

    With special thanks to Thomas Swan for their time, energy and funding for this publication.

    Thomas Swan Logo