Green Monster

Make a poster featuring a cartoon character who reminds people to save energy.

  • Grade Level: K-3
  • Subjects: Science, Social Studies, Art
  • Suggested Time: about 1 hour


Chalk/whiteboard, poster boards (1 for every 4-5 students), markers or crayons, tape or tacks for posting. This lesson will be most effective when used as an introduction to additional environmental education. The goal is to engage students’ prior knowledge of conservation and increase their interest in conservation strategies.

National Standards


  • Properties of objects and materials.
  • Organisms and their environments.
  • Properties of earth materials.
  • Types of resources.
  • Changes in environments.

Social Studies:

  • Scarcity.
  • Environment and society.

Ohio 2010 Standards


  • Objects and materials can be sorted and described by their properties. (K)
  • Properties of objects and materials change. (1)
  • Living things have basic needs, which are met by obtaining materials from the physical environment. (1)
  • Living things cause changes on Earth. (2)
  • Some of Earth’s resources are limited. (3)

Social Studies:

  • Individuals have shared responsibilities toward the achievement of common goals in homes, schools and communities. (K)
  • Families interact with the physical environment differently in different times and places. (1)
  • Human activities alter the physical environment, both positively and negatively. (2)
  • Evidence of human modification of the environment can be observed in the local community. (3)
  • Individuals make the community a better place by solving problems in a way that promotes the common good. (3)


The student will be able to:

  • List the “three Rs” of protecting the earth.
  • Give examples of how to reduce, reuse, and recycle.
  • Design a Green Monster cartoon character to encourage reducing, reusing, and recycling.
  • Decorate a poster encouraging others to reduce, reuse, and recycle.


  • Ask students to brainstorm what they can do to protect the earth.
  • Record ideas on the board, and ask a student to do or act out the tips in the classroom, if possible.
  • For example, the students may open the blinds and turn off all or some of the lights, turn off the computer and/or monitor, put used paper in the recycling bin, use a re-useable lunch bag, clear objects away from heating vents, etc.
  • Explain that the students will be learning about how to reduce, reuse, and recycle.


  • Ask or tell students the “3 Rs” of protecting the earth (reduce, reuse, recycle). Write each one in a separate column on the board. Use the following definitions and examples, or adjust for your class:
    • Reduce: use less (electricity, water, paper, other goods, etc.)
    • Reuse: use again (fix broken things, give to someone else, find a new use, etc.)
    • Recycle: used items like glass, cans, paper, & plastic bottles can be turned into new items if they are sent to a recycling company instead of being thrown away.
  • Ask students why it is important to reduce, reuse, and recycle. What might happen if the earth runs out of water, gasoline (petroleum) for cars, electricity for lights, places to put trash, or energy for heat?
  • Help students think of more ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle, and record on the board. Students may act out these ideas if possible.
  • Explain that the students will create a poster encouraging others to reduce, reuse, and recycle by taking simple steps like the ones they listed. The poster will feature a cartoon character called the Green Monster. Discuss why reducing, reusing, and recycling is called “green” or “being green.”
  • Break students into groups, where students should decorate their posters with a Green Monster cartoon character. They should also write and/or draw ways to reduce, reuse, and recycle (one for each).
  • After the posters are finished, students should present them to the class. Then the students or the teacher should hang the posters in the school hallways.


  • Students may present the posters to other classes or building staff.
  • Students may participate in the Energy Savings Patrol club and patrol the building for conservation opportunities. See the Energy Savings Patrol Teacher Guide for more information.
  • Students may create smaller signs for the classroom featuring the Green Monster, slogan, and 1 conservation tip. The signs may be posted near the area where the tip can be put into practice. For example, post a sign reminding people to recycle next to the trash can and recycle bin.


After reviewing the lesson, ask students which tips they plan to put into practice at home. Ask how they might encourage their family members to do the same.