Class Ideas

Let's think what you can do for environment!(for junior)

Author:Nishimura-Parke, Yoko (Senior Learning Design Officer, Learning Design and Services Centre for Learning Innovation, NSW, Australia)

Topic/Goals:Global Issues、Link with Outside of Classroom、Social Environment


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Students read "大学生のかんきょう活動" and explore Japanese young people's involvement in activities that help the environment. Then students explore the interview though various activities, which include creating an overview of the interview, matching key expressions, completing multiple choice, comparing and reflecting how people help the environment in Japan and student's local area, creating a poster or a short play which illustrates their activities.Through studying this interview, students are encouraged to reflect and discuss what they are already doing and further explore ideas that help the environment.


・Deduce and learn the expressions used in the interview by completing the activities.
・Identify the usage of Katakana words related to environmental issues.
・ Summarise the involvement of young Japanese people to help the environment.
・ Identify the interviewees' opinions and feelings about participating in the Ecocon, and their future hopes.
・ Compare and reflect the similarities and differences in the people's involvement to help the environment. Then demonstrate cultural awareness through their creative tasks, such as creating poster and short play.

Target Junior
Japanese Level Basic-intermediate
What to prepare

"Ecocon: Connecting for the Environment"
(Word format) (PDF形式)


Activity 1: Warming up activity--Before reading the interview

Distribute Handout 1.

  1. The objects below are artworks created by Japanese primary school students who won a competition. What do you think they are?

    Can you guess what they recycled to make these objects? Choose the correct materials for each object.

    Handout 1
    Handout 1
    (Word format)
  2. Distribute Handout 2.

  3. Look at the photos and guess what they are. Share your ideas with your classmates.

    ( 1 )    ( 2 )    ( 3 )    ( 4 )

  4. Match each photo to its description.
    Handout 2

    Handout 2
    (Word format)

  5. Discuss and choose one of the above to introduce in your local area to help environment. Explain why you chose the item.

    Activity 2: Getting the overview of the Interview

  1. There are 4 questions in this interview. Study only the interview questions with the class. Draw up a table on the board with columns for 'Interview Questions,' 'Answers' and 'Unfamiliar Expressions' (see sample table below). Fill in the 'Interview Questions' column.
  2. Students choose a section which they find most interesting and reads it thoroughly first. Alternatively, teacher can allocate sections to students. Then in English, students fill in the 'Answers' column with a summary of each interview answer. Also, they can write any sentence patterns and expressions unfamiliar to them in the 'Unfamiliar Expressions' column.
    Note Note:
    At the end of this activity, students will be able to see the overview of the interview, and the list of unknown expressions that they need to focus on.This overview can be useful when they answer the language questions and participate in group discussions.

The sample table:

Interview questions Answers Unfamiliar expressions
Question 1 Eg: How many groups participated in Ecocon in 2008?    
Question 2    
Question 3    
Question 4    

Activity 3: Activities for language and content of the Interview

  1. Match the Japanese word to its English equivalent.
  2. (1)かんきょう
    a. activity
    b. Prize
    c. plastic shopping bag
    d. environment
    e. Earth
    f. society, community
    g. to reduce
    h. to explain
    i. issues, problems
    j. to present
  3. Find the Katakana word for each English word in the text, and write them in the table.
  4. English Katakana


  5. What do you think エココン(Ecocon) stands for? Choose the most appropriate answers and explain your reason for your answer.
    (1)エコin エココン stands for a. Economy b. Ecology c. Echo
    (2)コンin エココン stands for a. Concert b. Control c. Contest
  6. In the Q2 section: Find and underline the following expressions in this section.
    1. A group from Nagoya is promoting recyclable cups at local cinemas.
    2. Another group make quizzes about environment and put it up on their homepage (website).
    3. The homepage can be seen from your mobile phones.
    4. In the magazine, they explain some ideas that are gentle to Earth and people, in a fun and easy way.
  7. In the Q3 section: Who said the following? Keita or Asuka?
    1. I wanted to do something with adults and students from other universities.
    2. I thought “What can I do for our environment?”
    3. University students are organizing the contests for university students.
    4. The theme of the contests is environmental issues. It’s interesting.
    5. First I joined a group in my university. And now, we are reducing the usage of plastic shopping bags in the university.
  8. In the Q4 section: What do Keita and Asuka want to do in the future? Explain in English.
  9. Give examples of activities of エココン(Ecocon) winners in the last couple of years. Answer in English.
  10. What made Keita and Asuka take part in organizing エココン(Ecocon)? Summarise their motivation in English.

Activity 4: Discussions and group creative work

  1. Group work: Discuss what you and your family do to help the environment. Make a list of what your group does to help the environment. (Ask your teacher whether you can do this in Japanese or in English.) Watch the past winners’ performances of エココン(Ecocon).写真をクリックすると発表風景が見られます)

  2. Then discuss the following points:
    • Are any of the ideas presented at Ecocon similar or different to what your group discussed? In what way are they similar or different?
    • Which ideas from Ecocon would you like to recommend in your local community?
    • Which ideas from your list would you like to promote to Japanese people?
  3. Group work:
    1. Create a poster to show your unique ideas and your effort to help the environment to Japanese people. Use Japanese texts wherever possible.
    2. OR
    3. Create a short play to perform at エココン(Ecocon). The maximum time limit is 5 minutes.
    1. set the storyline to show your unique activity to help the environment
    2. write the script in Japanese
    3. decide each member’s role
    4. practise several times
    5. perform in front of the class
    Option--Video your performance and send it to your sister school in Japan.


Activity 1-1 (1)-a,b (2)-c,d,e
Activity 1-3 (1)-4, (2)-1, (3)-3, (4)-1
Activity 3-1 (1)-d, (2)-a, (3)-j, (4)-h, (5)-b, (6)-c, (7)-f, (8)-I, (9)-c, (10)-g
Activity 3-3 (1)-b, (2)-c

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