Outdoor Education Program

Lesson 6: Green Urban Planning

Objective: Students work in groups to create plans to green their schoolyard or community, which can be presented to school administration.

Download Lesson Plan


This exercise has been designed to integrate with Manitoba curriculum outcomes for grades 7, 10 and 12. However, it can be adapted for all ages. Visit our curriculum connections page for specific, identified skills which can be developed using this lesson plan.

Learning Goals:

  • Students understand the benefits of sustainable practices and green urban planning
  • Students use critical thinking, independent research and creative writing skills
  • Students will be able to use scientific vocabulary to describe natural observations



  • Clipboards
  • Lined paper
  • Pencils
  • Tablets

Time: 60 minutes+



  1. Introduce the boreal forest in the context of science and/or social studies curriculum; see this page for resources.
  2. Introduce students to urban planning and how they will be acting as planners in the context of this project.


  1. Break students into small groups (~5 students/group) and provide them with clipboards, lined paper, plain paper and pencils.
  2. Students get 60+ minutes to spend time outside to brainstorm what kind of project they would like to plan for greening their schoolyard or surrounding community.


  1. As a group, students are responsible for developing a green plan for the school. This can include writing a research paper, putting together a slideshow, creating a video, etc. 
    • Examples: improving the tree canopy, planting a school garden, planting a pollinator garden, adding bike trails, creating a outdoor classroom space, starting a composting program, etc.
  2. Students present their project to the class. This includes preparing an elevator pitch.


Evaluate individual students based on their participation and collaboration, or have peers evaluate the members in their group on their contributions to the group. For extended engagement, have students present their project to school administration. See if it’s possible to actually implement some/all of the projects at the school!