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The National Environmental Education Foundation (NEEF)


K, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th


Science, Social Studies, Biology, Justice, Social-Emotional Learning

Resource Types

  • Activity - Classroom
  • Game

Regional Focus


Environmental Education Group Games & Activities

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  • This wonderful resource contains instructions for seven games that teach students about the environment, ecosystems, and sustainability through play.  
Teaching Tips


  • Many of the games are suitable for students in any grade level.
  • Many of the games can be played with very large groups.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Teachers may want to establish norms for discourse and play before beginning the games.
  • Teachers should check the materials needed beforehand. 
  • Teachers should play one round while explaining the directions and then another round once everyone knows the game's rules. Repeated rounds of the game will help English language learners and students who benefit from repeated directions.


  • Bat and Moth, Migration Hopscotch, and Owls, Mice, Shrubs would be great games to use for review after an elementary science lesson on biology topics. Teachers could deliver the lesson, have the students play the game, and then ask the students to discuss how the game relates to the lesson.
  • Social studies classes or advisory groups could use the games Common Good, Social Hierarchy, and Generations to start conversations about climate justice, the environment, or structural inequalities.
  • Other resources on this topic include this video on energy transfer in ecosystems, this video on interdependent relationships in ecosystems, and this video on biodiversity and humans.
Scientist Notes
The games in this resource are recommended for students to play to get involved in environmental activism.

This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

  • Science
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • K-ESS3-1. Use a model to represent the relationship between the needs of different plants or animals (including humans) and the places they live.
      • MS-ESS3-3. Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.
      • HS-ESS3-2. Evaluate competing design solutions for developing, managing, and utilizing energy and mineral resources based on cost-benefit ratios.
    • LS1: From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes
      • 4-LS1-2. Use a model to describe that animals receive different types of information through their senses, process the information in their brain, and respond to the information in different ways.
    • LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
      • 5-LS2-1. Develop a model to describe the movement of matter among plants, animals, decomposers, and the environment.
    • LS4: Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity
      • 3-LS4-4. Make a claim about the merit of a solution to a problem caused when the environment changes and the types of plants and animals that live there may change.
  • Career Readiness, Life Literacies, & Key Skills
    • Career and Technical Education
      • 9.3.12.AG‐NR.1 Plan and conduct natural resource management activities that apply logical, reasoned and scientifically based solutions to natural resource issues and goals.
    • Life Literacies and Key Skills
      • 9.4.2.DC.7: Describe actions peers can take to positively impact climate change (e.g., 6.3.2.CivicsPD.1).
  • Related Resources


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