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Teachers: Citizenship: Globalisation Environmental

Last Updated: Monday June 27 2005 11:05 GMT

Can small actions change the World?

Citizenship 11-14/KS3/Levels E&F
Globalisation - environmental implications


Could small actions change the world?
This lesson plan is based on one from the We Are What We Do website.

The group have produced a book called Change the World for a Fiver, which contains 50 ideas to make the world a better place if enough people do them.

Students review some examples from the book and examine the impact of lots of people making small changes to their lifestyles.

The activities below give an hour-long flavour of the lesson plan, written by the Citizenship Foundation for the We Are What We Do website.

To download the complete lesson plan and other free teaching resources, click on the link to the We Are What We Do website, in the right-hand green box.

Learning aims

By the end of the lesson, students should understand:

  • How individual actions can have a social and environmental impact when enough people carry them out
  • The limited nature of natural resources


Mix and match

Using this printable worksheet, students match the actions and reasons.

Why? Many plastic bags can take up to 500 years to break down when buried.


1J, 2O, 3A, 4D, 5P, 6C, 7F, 8N, 9H, 10Q, 11L, 12M, 13G, 14K, 15I, 16B, 17E.

Main activity

Plan of action

Students select one of the actions (1-17) and write a paragraph about how they would carry it out.


  • What could you do at home? At school?
  • When would be the best time to do this?
  • Who else could help you? Relatives? Friends?
Extension activity

Explain to students: We depend on oil for 90 percent of our transport, and for food, medicines, chemicals and much else on which our modern way of life depends.

However oil industry experts estimate that current reserves will only last for about 40 years.

Views vary about how much more will be found

Now ask students to:

  • Put a tick against the actions that would change the way we use the world's resources
  • Put a smile next to the actions that they think would cheer up their world
  • Put a cross next to any of the actions that they couldn't ever imagine doing
Ask students:
  • Do any of the actions have all three symbols next to them?
  • Are some actions easier to carry out than others? Why is this?
  • Which actions most appeal and why?

Ask students: If you could imagine a million people doing something that, together, changed the world, what would it be?

Prompts: Eating less sugar, boycotting a brand or shop, singing in shopping centres.

For hundreds more news-based lessons, click on Teachers on the left-hand side.

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