'Save the Bees' photo (c) 2008, Kevin Krejci - license: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

I was pretty careful about how I titled this latest “The Best…” list. These sites are good to “introduce” environmental issues in the classroom, but generally don’t provide information on systemic, political, and corporate issues related to environmental damage.

I wasn’t able to find one excellent site that would provide those types resources and be accessible to English Language Learners. However, sites like Breaking News English and the Voice Of America Special English or other links on my The Best News/Current Events Websites For English Language Learners — 2007 that have numerous accessible news stories about current events related to the environment. These stories can be used to raise questions about the roles of First World consumption, the profit motive, and the influence of campaign contributions on political decisions.

I haven’t ranked sites here in order of preference — I think they’re all engaging and accessible to English Language Learners. I have, though, grouped them into four primary categories:

* Ones that provide “calculators” that help users determine their personal “carbon footprints.”

* Ones that provide information on what people can personally do to reduce the damage they cause to the environment, but don’t necessarily ask a series of questions so users can determine their “carbon footprint.”

* Online games that primarily relate to people’s personal actions on how they can affect the environment.

* “Big picture” sites that offer some broader perspective on the environmental crises the world faces, though they don’t necessarily provide an in-depth analysis of “why?”.

Ordinarily, I give a little more of a description for each site than I have in this list. I’m a little pressed for time this summer, though, so, outside of grouping these sites by categories, I’ll leave it to you to discover more details about them on your own.

Here are my choices for The Best Sites To Introduce Environmental Issues Into the Classroom:


ElectroCity is a good, engaging games on the environmental consequences of one’s actions.


Climate Change from the BBC News Around; ; the Brainpop: Our Fragile Environment online movies;

Home Energy Saver

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has a free 133 page downloadable curriculum that connects English language-learning with environmental issues.  It’s called Teach English, Teach About The Environment, and looks pretty good to me. Though I don’t know if it will stay available.

United Nations Environment Program has created quite a few infographics on environmental issues around the world. They are designed well, and contain an enormous amount of information. Much of it would be accessible to Intermediate ELL’s.

Planet Earth is a talking story from The British Council.

Our Forests looks like a pretty interesting interactive on deforestation issues.

As always, feedback is welcome.

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