Video Length: 2:38
Updated on: 08/18/2023
Lesson Time: 1–2 hrs.
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This ESL lesson plan on greenwashing and eco-friendly behavior contains activities, PDF worksheets, and digital materials for B2 upper intermediate students. By the end of the lesson, students will be able to understand greenwashing, its impacts on society, and how it can be prevented. Using this lesson, they’ll also understand the benefits of being more eco-friendly and build awareness of eco-conscious behavior, and be able to use specific verbs and phrasal verbs in the context of greenwashing and environmental activism.
This lesson on greenwashing and eco-friendly behavior starts out by having students analyze some environmental buzzwords and phrases commonly used on different products throughout several different industries. Students then do some discussion questions on environmental friendliness and these tags and labels, and describe some of their own behavior in terms of helping the environment. They’ll assess a few industries that are particularly environmentally unfriendly, and discuss what these industries could do in order to become more environmentally friendly.
Students watch a video report about greenwashing and answer some questions about the basics of greenwashing according to the information in the video. They then move on to a listening comprehension activity that is more geared towards listening for detail by completing some of the missing information they hear in the video.
In the second half of the lesson, students analyze some quotes from the video and try to deduce the meanings of some useful verbs and phrasal verbs used in the context of greenwashing and environmental activism, while also discussing some questions using these verbs and phrasal verbs. In the final activity on this page, students assess and discuss some ways of preventing greenwashing and cracking down on it, while exploring the roles that the media, public, and government can play.
The final activation stage for this lesson on greenwashing and environmental activism consists of students discussing and/or researching some companies that have been accused of greenwashing. Then, they can opt to partake in a role play activity calling out the “greenwasher” in this scenario while another student/teacher tries to back up their eco-friendly claims.
Using this ESL lesson plan on greenwashing and eco-friendly behavior with your adult or teen students has several benefits. It helps them spot deceptive marketing (greenwashing) and make more informed choices about the products they choose to buy and consume. It may also help them learn to think critically about ads and labels, become more environmentally responsible, and pick sustainable habits.
Not to mention, the phrasal verbs and verbs in the lesson plan are useful and can be used in a variety of other contexts and scenarios outside of greenwashing and environmental activism. The lesson plan also sparks meaningful conversations about real-world issues, engaging your adult and teen students in actions that promote a greener future.
BBC Newsrounds explores the topic of greenwashing in detail.
Greenwashing, Eco-friendly Behavior, Environmental Activism
Short Answers, Listening For Detail
Environent Phrases/Phrasal Verbs
Greenwashing "Accusation" Discussion & Role Play, Quiz & Review, Lesson Reflection
Greenwashing, Environment, Eco-friendly Behavior