Lesson Plans for the 17 SDG’s


1. No Poverty



This lesson by Teaching Tolerance introduces the idea of poverty as a cycle to students aged 11-14. Groups of students are asked to brainstorm factors contributing to poverty, such as education and health, and determine whether they have a long-term or short-term impact. The activity is preceded with a discussion on factors that benefit individuals and aid in continued success—this helps contextualize the kinds of disadvantages that many people are at within the socioeconomic system. The lesson can take anywhere from 30-60 minutes depending on the amount of time spend discussing.



This lesson plan developed by the World’s Largest Lesson in partnership with UNICEF introduces the concept of poverty to 11-14-year old’s using Hyderabad, India. This 60-minute lesson could be modified to feature cities in local areas, seeing as it will engage students and acknowledge the prevalence of socioeconomic inequality. The lesson plan provides definitions for poverty in addition to statistics concerning India’s poverty rates: students are encouraged to discuss living standards based upon images shown and provide possible solutions for these stark differences.


2. Zero Hunger



This lesson developed by the World Food Programme uses videos and first-hand accounts from a girl in Kenya to introduce the idea of hunger and unequal food resources to students aged 8-11. This lesson requires the use of videos and the internet but provides discussion questions to encourage conversations about the importance of food and the number of children who do not have access to it. The lesson can likely be shortened by cutting out some of the shorter and more trivial videos and replacing them with discussions concerning those topics but regardless, the lesson should not take more than 45-60 minutes.


http://www.foodspanlearning.org/_pdf/lesson-plan/unit3/lesson14-hunger-lessonplan.pdf  and the referenced slides http://www.foodspanlearning.org/_pdf/lesson-plan/unit3/lesson14-hunger-slides.pdf and handouts http://www.foodspanlearning.org/_pdf/lesson-plan/unit3/lesson14-hunger-handouts.pdf

This lesson plan was developed for students aged 14-18 by the Johns Hopkins Center for A Livable Future in partnership with Foodspan to discuss the concept of food security and food deserts within a community. These activities focus on neighborhoods in Baltimore, but the discussion can be widened to the international stage when discussing the social aspect of food insecurity and what it means to be ‘hungry’. The activity sheets ask that students reflect upon the availability of food in specific communities and discuss the causes and effects of instability in addition to providing examples of intervention techniques.


3. Good Health and Well Being



This lesson plan, developed by ‘Kids Health in the Classroom’ and designed for students aged 8-11, introduces the idea of colds and disease transmission through a collaborative research activity and game. Students are asked to research the flu and its symptom in order to come up with a public service announcement that allows them to interact with learning material in a creative manner. The lesson plan overbudgets time and can be modified as needed by the instructor—though it is suggested that students use online resources for their research, fact sheets can be printed out so that internet access is not a requirement.



This website links the reader to a comprehensive guide on how to teach students the importance of mental health and well-being in a classroom setting. There is a 71-page guide by PSHE Associaton that includes various hour-long lesson plans that introduce the idea of evaluating one’s own feelings and becoming comfortable with expressing them—students are asked to reflect upon their own emotional health but in a manner that is comprehensible and broken down so that it is not overwhelming. This guide is a good resource for teachers looking for activities that can be tailored to a specific age, in addition to providing a wealth of background knowledge for the instructor on how to approach the topic of mental health.


4. Quality Education



This lesson plan, developed by the World’s Largest Lesson in partnership with UNICEFF, introduces the concept of unequal educational opportunities for children across the globe to students aged 8-14. This 60-minute lesson uses the personal anecdotes of students who were forced to stop their education due to sociopolitical and economic issues to teach children that something they take for granted is a right that is still not universal. The lesson focuses on encouraging students to ask questions about the conditions that allow for these events to occur and asks them to evaluate their feelings concerning the issue through writing assignments.


5. Gender Equality



This hour-long lesson, developed by Womanhood for students aged 14-18, has students look at a variety of case studies in order to evaluate the factors standing in the way of gender equality. Students are asked to defend their positions on the validity of specific statements and are introduced to the varied forms of gendered violence that women throughout the world experience. Students work through a series of activities to analyze their own prejudices before doing a collaborative exercise to evaluate specific—but not isolated—incidents of gender inequality.



This lesson is aimed at students aged 11-18, though certain videos linked can be avoided due to the use of strong language. This lesson focuses on contextualizing gender inequalities in history by discussing concepts of stereotypes and gendered expectations, while additionally discussing the functions of society that have allowed for inequalities to arise and remain throughout time. Students are asked to participate in discussions and evaluate statistics in order to understand that this is a global issue and though there has been progress, there is still work to be done.



This lesson plan developed by the World’s Largest Lesson in partnership with UNICEF introduces the concept of gender discrimination and asks students aged 11-14 to reflect upon their own experiences and perceptions concerning gender roles. The 60-minute lesson includes group exercises in addition to an optional video provided by the organization concerning gender inequalities. Students are asked to examine the ways in which gender is approached in their society and how that impacts them as individuals and the community itself. 


6. Clean Water and Sanitation



This lesson plan by the Water Project provides students aged 8-11 with an activity that will help physically demonstrate the concept of water scarcity. The activity will take approximately 20 minutes and requires students to allocate resources based upon water availability in their station—some of them will not be able to get water to their entire ‘population’ and are asked to reflect upon how that impacts society. This activity can be used to preface or follow a lesson on water availability, or stand alone with the explanation that water is not a resource that individuals have equal access to.



This website includes a lesson plan and activity for students aged 7-14 that focuses on STEM research and allows students to design their own handwashing station based upon the material they’ve discussed and researched. This is a longer lesson, but it allows students to engage with the material and work towards developing a solution for the problem they’ve been presented. It encourages students to use the resources they have at hand to engage with issues of sanitation and the spread of disease.


7. Affordable and Clean Energy



This lesson plan, developed by the California Academy of Sciences in conjunction with Fl!pside Science, introduces students aged 11-14 to the concept of renewable energy through a 60-minute lesson and then encourages the use of this knowledge through solving a fictional resource oriented problem in a 60-minute activity. Students will learn about fossil fuels and the different types of renewable energy while answering discussion questions and completing recommended readings. This lesson asks students to take what they’ve learned and develop a solution for the problem with a partner thus increasing cooperation and their understanding of the subject with a creative application.



This lesson plan, developed by the World’s Largest Lesson in partnership with UNICEF, introduces the idea of sustainable sources of energy to students aged 11-14 in a 60-minute lesson. This lesson focuses on introducing types of renewable energy in addition to encouraging students to come up with solutions for the problems posed by the continued use of fossil fuels. Though the lesson includes videos, there are script transcripts if there is not access to internet; there is also a case study for students to see the ways in which individuals in other countries have approached the concept of energy consumption and sustainability.


8. Decent Work/Economic Growth


http://www.globalization101.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/development.doc and the attached reading assignment https://www.globalization101.org/category/issues-in-depth/development/

This lesson plan designed for advanced students aged 14-18 introduces the concept of globalization and economic development within the world. The Levin Institute’s plan encompasses several days because includes an in-depth research project and presentation that not only introduces students to the concepts of economic growth, but also highlights the distinct inequalities among countries within the world. Students are asked to complete a reading assignment prior to the first day of the lesson and are expected to work collaboratively to develop a solution for their given problem in order to present key points in a clear and concise manner—this is a writing and reading intensive activity.


9. Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure



This lesson plan, developed by the CCPA and BCTF for students aged 11-18, involves introducing the idea of a ‘green’ industrial revolution to alter the sustainability of communities. Though the historical aspects of this one to two-hour lesson are focused on British Columbia, the nonrenewable industry forms can be altered to fit local conditions. Students are asked to respond to questions throughout the lesson and create a brief presentation based upon infographics suggesting ways in which their community/industry can have a more positive impact on the environment.


10. Reduced Inequalities



This lesson plan, developed by the IMF Center in partnership with the U.S.’s National Council on Economic Education, provides students aged 14-18 with an introduction to economic inequalities and limited resources using countries from around the world. Students are asked to analyze the information given to them in order to rank the nations on perceived wealth and economic freedom, from here they are introduced to the features of each country that have allowed them to sustain long-term economic growth. This 45-minute lesson involves critical thinking and asks students to reflect upon the facts of economic development that are presented to them throughout the lesson.



This lesson plan developed by the World’s Largest Lesson in partnership with UNICEF introduces the concept of inequality to 11-14-year old’s in 60 minutes. The lesson focuses on the unequal distribution of goods and encourages the use of research skills to present on topics and defend positions concerning the severity and social impact of specific forms of inequality. The lesson plan provides fact sheets that can be used to modify the 20-minute research project and subsequent presentation, while also including a firsthand account of how a teacher modified and implemented the exercise in the classroom.


11. Sustainable Cities and Communities



This lesson is a multi-day activity for students aged 8-11 developed by ‘Sustainable Learning’ to introduce the concept of sustainable cities. Students are asked to work in groups to develop their own ‘Green City’ based on the information provided and with specific agendas. All of the PowerPoints and print-outs are available at the provided link: this is a hands on way of exploring the concept of green spaces, sustainability, and looking at the cities around the world that have implemented sustainable practices.



This lesson plan developed by the World’s Largest Lesson in partnership with UNICEF introduces the concept of sustainability to students aged 11-14 in a 60-minute period. The lesson asks students to evaluate the definition of sustainability and analyze the lifestyles of characters—or themselves—in order to calculate their ecological footprint. Students will work together and reflect upon what it means to be conscious of their impact on the environment while brainstorming ways in which they can reduce their impact.


12. Responsible Consumption and Production



This lesson plan, developed by the Media Awareness Network, introduces the idea of consumerism and consumption habits around the world to students aged 14-18. The activities involve analyzing the consumption patterns of average families around the globe and discussing the concept of inequality. Students are asked to work together to create a presentation on the statistics they’ve been given and reflect upon their own consumption habits and whether or not they are need based.


13. Climate Action



This lesson plan, developed by the Australian Institute for Disaster Resilience, asks students aged 11-14 to conduct research on climate change and apply this information to their own lives. The lesson asks the students to brainstorm causes and impacts of climate change throughout the lesson itself before asking them to pair up and complete an activity sheet using the internet. After they have gained an understanding of the issue and how it impacts the environment, students are asked to assess their own contribution to greenhouse emissions and present their findings.



This lesson plan developed by the World’s Largest Lesson in partnership with UNICEF is a discussion-based introduction to climate change for students aged 8-14. The 60-minute lesson asks students to discuss their perceptions and experiences with one another and respond to a short video concerning climate change. These activities facilitate communication among students about the topic and asks them to remain task oriented while proposing ways in which they can contribute to solving climate change.


14. Life Below Water



This lesson developed by the World’s Largest Lesson in partnership with UNICEF is a research-based introduction to the factors that threaten marine life, intended for students aged 11-14. Students are asked to defend their ranking of the threats facing the ocean in addition to researching and describing a specific threat using real-life examples. The activities ask that students reflect upon the issues they have researched in order to propose solutions at both an individual and community level, while also engaging in discussion with other students.



This lesson developed by the Environmental Protection Agency includes a scientific experiment to demonstrate the impact of increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and its impact on the acidity of water therefore influencing the ability of animals and other sea creatures to live. The experiment can be done with students ages 8-14 because it does not require that they handle chemicals and engages their attention using a teacher demonstration and videos shown in class. The lesson requires at most 45 minutes and asks students to apply what they’ve learned about the scientific process to the burning of fossil fuels and other forms of pollution.


15. Life on Land



This 45-minute lesson plan developed by GREENT introduces the concept of soil degradation to students aged 11-14 through videos and a scientific experiment. The instructor will lead discussions on how soil erosion occurs, what its impacts are, and then bring up the consequences of agricultural processes. Students are then asked to complete a research assignment in which they examine what ‘green’ businesses are doing to reduce their impact on soil degradation, after which they will reflect upon what they have learned by answering opinion based questions.



This lesson plan, developed for students aged 11-14, is a research-based activity that introduces the concept of deforestation and its impacts on the environment in a 60-minute session. The lesson requires the use of computers for the students to conduct research, while also asking them to complete a reading assignment with questions to ensure comprehension. Once students have gone over the reading assignment, they will be split into groups to work collaboratively to find information on the causes and impacts of deforestation in a specific country before presenting to the class.



16. Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions



This online resource is a 144-page pdf full of lessons for students aged 14-18 to teach them about various aspects of peace and justice around the world. The first of said lessons is a 45-minute lesson introducing the aspects of peaceful societies through the use of critical thinking techniques and writing assignments. Many of the lessons provided are interactive and can span multiple days—each lesson encourages students to think about the influences that peace and war have on society and how they can contribute to the reduction of violence.



This lesson, developed by the World’s Largest Lesson in cooperation with UNICEF for students aged 8-11, involves students discussing what their visions of peace are and researching the ways in which people express their discontent through peaceful means. Students are asked to gather information on peaceful activists—provided by either the lesson or the teachers themselves—and present these findings to the class. The lesson is based predominantly upon reflection and the distinction between what peace and violence look like to each individual.


17. Partnership for the Goals



This lesson plan, developed by the World’s Largest Lesson in cooperation with UNIFEC for students aged 8-11, introduces the idea of cooperation in relation to the completion of the global goals. The lesson focuses on group work and showing students that resources—in this case puzzle pieces—are not always equal but working together allows the project to be completed. Students are then asked to reflect upon how this activity relates to the ways in which the SDG’s can be completed.

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