Sustainability Lesson Plan

Instructor: Dana Dance-Schissel

Dana teaches social sciences at the college level and English and psychology at the high school level. She has master's degrees in applied, clinical and community psychology.

Need some tips for instruction on sustainability? This lesson plan uses two informative video lessons to build a solid knowledge base and an activity gives students a chance at analysis.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • define key terns related to sustainability
  • outline the key points regarding sustainability
  • summarize different perspectives on sustainability


1.5 to 2 hours

Curriculum Standards


Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, attending to such features as the date and origin of the information.


Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of how key events or ideas develop over the course of the text.


Analyze in detail a series of events described in a text; determine whether earlier events caused later ones or simply preceded them.


Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary describing political, social, or economic aspects of history/social science.


Compare and contrast treatments of the same topic in several primary and secondary sources.


  • A worksheet created using quiz 1 and quiz 2 from the associated lessons

Key Vocabulary

  • Sustainability
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Sustainable agriculture
  • Sustainable forestry
  • Sustainable energy
  • Neo-Malthusian view of sustainability
  • Bruntland Commission's view of sustainability
  • Anti-Malthusian view of sustainability


  • Begin by asking the class to define the term 'sustainability.'
  • Have the students present their definitions to the class along with a specific example of sustainability.
  • Play the video lesson Environmental Sustainability: Definition and Application, pausing at 1:09.
  • How did the students do in defining 'sustainability?' Now ask them to define and provide an example of the term 'environmental sustainability' through class discussion.
  • Play the video lesson again and pause it at 2:16.
  • How did the students do with their environmental sustainability definitions?
  • Now ask them what it might be to practice sustainable agriculture, again allowing them to share their ideas through class discussion.
  • Play the video lesson and pause at 3:28.
  • Review the lesson's information on sustainable agriculture and compare it those offered by students.
  • Have the students give you some ideas on sustainable forestry through class discussion.
  • Play the video lesson. Pause it at 4:56.
  • How did they do in the discussion of sustainable forestry?
  • Finally, have the class define sustainable energy before continuing, allowing for a brief discussion of their ideas.
  • Play the rest of the video lesson now.
  • Before moving on to the activity, review with the students the concept of sustainable energy.


  • Divide the students up into several small groups.
  • Give the groups time to conduct research on the sustainability practices in the local community and/or in their favorite company or brand.
  • Once the groups have gathered their information, ask them to put together a three-minute public service announcement with the goal of educating the public about sustainability.
  • Now have the groups take turns presenting their public service announcements live to the class.

To unlock this lesson you must be a Member.
Create your account

Register to view this lesson

Are you a student or a teacher?

Unlock Your Education

See for yourself why 30 million people use

Become a member and start learning now.
Become a Member  Back
What teachers are saying about
Try it risk-free for 30 days

Earning College Credit

Did you know… We have over 200 college courses that prepare you to earn credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. You can test out of the first two years of college and save thousands off your degree. Anyone can earn credit-by-exam regardless of age or education level.

To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page

Transferring credit to the school of your choice

Not sure what college you want to attend yet? has thousands of articles about every imaginable degree, area of study and career path that can help you find the school that's right for you.

Create an account to start this course today
Try it risk-free for 30 days!
Create an account