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World Environment Day

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Use this assembly to celebrate World Environment Day

Main assembly

earth from space

You will need:

Images of the Earth from space, smoke pollution, rivers, lakes, plants and animals; empty water bottle; empty pizza box and food packets; pot plant and music from Holst’s The Planets (optional).

Check out the stunning ‘Save our oceans’ poster and accompanying activity sheets about oceans.

Introduction

Explain to the children that this assembly will be about how the planet we live on gives us the things we need to survive, and how these resources must be appreciated and protected.

Main assembly

  • Play music from Holst’s The Planets as children enter the assembly to set the scene. Ask the children to imagine that they are in a spaceship hurtling through space. What will they need to survive their long journey?
  • Listen to as many of the children’s answers as you have time for. Make sure that they have told you that they will need air, food and water.
  • Once they have eaten and drank in space, ask the children what will happen to the empty drinks bottles and food packets. It is important to talk about how waste will be disposed of in your imaginary spaceship.
  • Tell the children that the Earth is like a giant spaceship travelling around the Sun. (Show them the large picture of the Earth from space.) Say that just like on the imaginary spaceship, on Earth we need air in order to survive. Show the children the pot plant and explain that all plants and trees provide us with oxygen. What would happen, however, if we needed to eat all the plants for food or chop the trees down for fuel to keep us warm?
  • Show the children the image of smoke pollution and talk about how the air needs to be clean so that people and animals can breathe. Tell them about cities like Beijing where the air is polluted. Ask them why cyclists in London wear face masks when cycling through heavy traffic.
  • Ask the children to put their hands up if they had a drink this morning. Ask them where we can get water from (taps, lakes, rivers, reservoirs, and so on). Explain that everyone needs water to drink, as do animals and crops to grow. In some hot countries and deserts, water is not as easy to find as in the UK.
  • Hold up the food packets and ask: Who likes pizza? Explain that the wheat for the flour and the tomatoes need water and air to grow. The cheese is made from milk from cows and they need air, water and plants to eat. We need to make sure that we have enough food for all of us but in some parts of the world there is not enough food for everyone.
  • Throw the empty food packets and drinks bottle on the floor and move them around with your foot. Ask the children what problems they think empty food and drink packaging can cause. Talk about rubbish and waste disposal – where do they think it goes and what problems does rubbish cause?
  • Remind the children that our planet – our floating spaceship – gives us air, food and water. We need to make sure that we don’t pollute the air, that we don’t pollute or waste our water and that we don’t fill the planet with our rubbish.
  • Back in the classroom, ask the children to think further about the problems that our planet faces, and possible solutions. Hold a class discussion, allowing one child’s idea to lead to another’s.

Closing thought or prayer

Most people in the UK are very lucky. We have enough to eat and drink, our air is mostly clean and our rubbish and waste is cleared away for us. But, we live on a large planet and we need to make sure that where the world is crowded, our planet can support all those people with enough food and water.

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