Related Topics Archives: sustainability

World Tuna Day


  1. Don’t tell your class the topic of the lesson.
  2. Show the 3 pictures below to your students. Ask them to work in pairs. Tell them to find a connection between the 3 pictures.




  1. Invite a few pairs to explain what they think the connection is and accept all answers.
  2. Say that Picture b) shows pieces of tuna, Picture a) shows a turtle caught in a net and Picture c) shows fishermen catching tuna with poles and lines.
  3. Explain that the topic of the lesson is World Tuna Day which is remembered each year on May 2nd. Ask students why they think it’s important to remember tuna. Suggest that this celebration by the United Nations is an important step in recognising the important role of tuna to sustainable development, food security, economic opportunity and the incomes of people around the world.
  4. Write the following questions on the board
    • Do you like eating tuna?
    • Would you be sad if you never ate tuna again?
    • What can we do to stop tuna fish disappearing from our oceans?
    • What do you know about the organisation Greenpeace?
  5. Ask students to discuss their answers in groups of 4. Nominate one student in each group to be the reporter. He/she should write down the main points discussed by the group.
  6. Take feedback from the reporters in each group. If the class doesn’t know anything about Greenpeace, explain that it an independent organisation, which uses non-violent methods to show environmental problems, and to force governments to find solutions which are essential to a green and peaceful future.

Jigsaw listening task

  1. Tell students that they are going to divide into two groups. Each group will watch a different video about tuna fishing. Write the following key vocabulary on the board:

the Maldives   to benefit s/o or sth   to breed        a vessel     massive

to haul in a net   to decline   vulnerable   an activist to wipe away the future

  1. Explain the meaning of these words/phrases and model the pronunciation of each.
  2. Divide students into two groups. Tell Group A they are going to watch a Greenpeace video about sustainable fishing:
  3. Tell Group B they are going to watch a Greenpeace video about stopping the world’s largest tuna boat from catching fish
  4. Tell groups that they should watch their video clip and write down 3 questions for the other group to answer.
  5. Give each group 10 minutes to watch their clip (on their smartphones or tablets) and write down their questions.
  6. Invite students to make new groups – 2 students from Group A work with 2 students from Group B. Give groups 10 minutes to watch each other’s clips and answer the 3 questions.
  7. Watch the 2 clips as a class and check the answers to the questions. Pick up any other vocabulary items that students ask about. E.g. to deplete the (fish) stock/to plunder.

Follow-up task

  1. Ask students to choose one of the tasks below:
  • Write an email to your local supermarket explaining why it’s important to sell only pole and line caught tuna
  • Role play a conversation between a Greenpeace activist and the captain of the Albertan Tres fishing vessel
  • Organise a class debate on the topic: Tuna fishing is an important source of income for many poor people and should not be stopped
  • Plan a campaign to raise awareness amongst other students about the problems of overfishing
  • Plan a fun event to fundraise for Greenpeace


This unit was created by Julietta Schoenmann, GISIG Joint-Coordinator.

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World Car Free Day

Sit down if…

When the class starts, ask students not to sit down. (If your students don’t usually stand when the lesson starts, ask them to do so.) Tell them you are going to read out the statement “Sit down if…” and if the sentence is true for them, they can sit down.

Sit down if…

  • you came to school by bus
  • you came to school by train
  • you came to school by tram
  • you came to school by trolley
  • you came to school by bike
  • you walked to school
  • you came to school by car

Picture swap

Once everybody has sat down, put the first of the following pictures on the board or project it. Ask students to have a think and put any idea/thought/feeling/impression they get when they look at the picture on the board, around the photo. After they have collected a nice amount of ideas, change the picture for the second one below. Now, ask your students to relate their previous ideas to the new picture in pairs. Conduct brief open-class feedback at the end of the activity.


Sources: and

Key lexis

After getting the main theme of the lesson, tell students they are going to read about a special day in connection with the pictures, but they need to clarify some words for the text. Put students into pairs and ask them to match the following words with their synonyms or definitions.

1. dedicated to sg a) take part in
2. aim to do sg b) a collection of gases in the sky that prevents harmful rays from reaching the Earth
3. implement c) traffic jam
4. participate d) made or used for a particular purpose
5. congestion e) try or intend to do sg
6. ozone layer f) take action or make changes

Key: 1-d / 2-e / 3-f / 4-a / 5-c / 6-b

If there are some uncertainties, quickly pre-teach the problematic words so that everybody understands the items.

Note: This activity is adapted from Breaking News English. Other online activities, listening at five speeds, multi-speed readings, dictation, speaking activities and printable handouts are available for this lesson at

World Car Free Day

Hand out the text and ask students to read it and complete it with the words they have been working with. Note that in some cases, they need to change the form of the words. To check the solutions, ask a student to read it out or play the audio that is available on the BNE website.

Should you wish to share some more information on World Car Free Day, consult the following pages:


1-minute challenge

Ask the group to come up with 20 questions they would like to ask about World Car Free Day.

Reflect and share

To reflect on the theme and idea of this day, ask students to come up with some pros and cons in connection with the idea behind the initiative. You might want to switch pairs if you feel some movement would do good to the group. Conduct open-class feedback in the end and lead a whole-class discussion.

Check your chair

Collect as many questions/controversial statements/quotes about the article or the topic of travelling or sustainability as the number of group members, write them on a piece of paper and before class, stick them on the bottom of your students’ chairs. When you reach this stage, tell students to check their chairs, get the slip of paper, and discuss the question with their partners. After a specific amount of time, make them swap questions with another group member. After discussion, pick some of the questions and ask the group what they have discussed.

Possible questions:

  • Do you think city centres should be closed to traffic?
  • Do you like the idea of World Car Free Day?
  • Some cities leave thousands of bicycles for anyone to use. Do you think it’s a good idea?
  • Do you think you should change the way you travel around every day?
  • Do you think events as WCF Day have a big impact on the world?



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