• Amanda Kramer

10 Impactful Distance Learning Lessons to use...now!

The World's Largest Lesson has adapted 7 lesson plans for distance learning, and also included 3 printable activities for students to also craft at home, all revolving around the UN Global Goals!

Continue reading for a brief summary of each activity all in one spot, along with direct PDF links to the activities!

This year has been a rough one for schools all around the world. The abrupt switch to distance learning has left both students, educators, and parents in distraught, to say the least. The future is still unknown as scientists continue to try and learn about Covid-19, while politicians are trying to do what is best for their people and the economy. Kids have had their entire spring of fun, sports, graduations, dances, and gatherings canceled, and everyone is feeling a lack of closure for the end of this school year...

Despite the circumstances, educators, students, parents, and pretty much everyone in the world should be given credit for their ability to adapt and adjust to swift changes in lifestyle. This year truly shows how much the world can work together, it is so inspiring and gives hope that the world can continue to work together after this pandemic for an even stronger and safer future, for both people and the planet.

Many schools are coming to a close in the next few weeks, so the time hasn't been better to introduce the global goals if you haven't already, or, if you have, to do a fun, distance-friendly activity with your students to get kids engaged for positive impact! The World's Largest Lesson has adapted some of their activities to be distance-friendly, so I couldn't help but blog about them. Here are 10 ready-to-go lesson plans and materials to do with your students to have a positive and impactful end to this school year (OR, great back-to-school activities as well)!

Introducing the Global Goals

Ages: 8-14

Time: 30 minutes (realistically, 45)

Objective: Students will understand what the Goals are and why they are important.

Summary: If your students have very little, to no prior knowledge about the UN Global Goals, I recommend doing this activity first. Through Flipgrid, or Google Classroom shared document, you can prompt student discussion about problems faced in the world today (ideas for prompts are provided). Then students watch an introductory video and explore more on the website of the global goals. Students then reflect on what these goals mean to them, again, this can be through Flipgrid or other digital collaboration.

What World Do You Want?

Ages: 8-14

Time: 30 minutes (realistically, 45-60)

Objective: Students will envision a world where the Global Goals have been achieved.

Summary: This is a good activity to do with a live digital meetup through Google Meet or Zoom. You can simultaneously have students post their answers and participate in a collaborative posting resource such as Padlet. Students are prompted to draw what a world (or their country) would look like if all goals were achieved. Students can present their drawings live or post online to a resource like Padlet or Filpgrid for feedback.

Plate PioneerZ

Ages: 8-14 (realistically, 8-11)

Time: 30 minutes (realistically, 45)

Objective: Students will understand why making the right food choices is an action for the Global Goals

Summary: Students are prompted to read a comic and are asked comprehension questions. Students then take the message from the comic and design the "ultimate meal" a healthy and satisfying plate. The lesson calls for a drawing, but I would also allow students to actually prepare, cook, and model the meal since they are at home and this is a possibility. There are also extended learning prompts for parents and encouragement to play FreeRice.com.

From Where I Stand- A Gender Equality Lesson for the UN Global Goals

Ages: 8-14 (realistically, 11-17)

Time: 30 minutes

Objective: Students will exploring the role of gender equality in positions of leadership

Summary: This is a great prompt to have students start engaging with gender equality in their world. There is a video from the famous Emma Watson introducing the activity, and then students can research independently and fill out the provided survey about the gender situation in leadership for their area.

Note: Emma prompts students to submit the results and there is a link below the video, but the link was not working, so it is encouraged to share the results to The World's Largest Lesson social media links. Twitter: @TheWorldsLesson

Facebook: TheWorldsLargestLesson Instagram: @theworldslesson

Everyone Can Be A Goalkeeper!

Ages: 8-14 (realistically, 7-10)

Time: 30 minutes (realistically, 45)

Objective: Students will understand that they already have the potential to be a Goalkeeper.

Summary: Students are asked to watch the first and second videos for the World's Largest Lesson. Comprehension questions are provided which can be answered on a digital collaboration resource such as Padlet or Flipgrid. Students then reflect on themselves and think about what skills they have that could contribute to achieving the UN Global Goals. This is a drawing activity and also concludes with a discussion prompt and poster activity to take action! I find this activity better for younger kids, ages 10 and under.

The World is Not Equal, Is That Fair?

Ages: 8-14 (realistically, 11-17)

Time: 30 minutes (realistically, 60 min)

Objective: Students will explore how access to the internet affects educational inequality.

Summary: The theme of this lesson is social inequality where students define what this means to them and examples of this in the real world. This activity requires students to do a poll, but the lesson provides "how-to" links for Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Google Classroom. The lesson also provides quotes from global activists where students reflect on which one speaks to them most. As a conclusion, students create a presentation around the theme of the quote. The lesson doesn't specify what to present on, so this is up to the instructor. I would personally have them come up with real-world examples on the theme of the quote working in some places, but not in others. For example: “I believe that equality for people regardless of whether they have a disability or not is important because everyone should be able to go to school and to work and to move freely around their local environment. All people can contribute to our society.” Students that connect to this quote would research and present on areas of the world where this is happening, and areas of the world where this is not happening, and what the leaders of that area should do about it.

Celebrate Earth Day with Climate Conversations!

Ages: 8-14

Time: 45 minutes

Objective: Students will engage in a conversation (online or over the phone) around climate change with an elderly relative/community member.

Summary: This is one of my favorite distance activities because it encourages interactions with those who could really use some socializing at this time. The students are provided the interview questions making it very easy to keep the conversation going. The reflection piece is also effective as students compare and contrast the past with the current situation when it comes to weather, food, and transport.

Printable, at-home activities for the family

The following activities are still great for distance learning and reflection of the UN Global Goals, but it does require the family to have a printer at home (and ideally, colored ink). Teachers could get creative with the ideas and make it digital in their own creative way, but here are the links and summaries of activities to get crafty at home!

My Global Goals Passport

Ages: 7-10

Time: 30-45 minutes

Objective: Students will document on what they have learned and actions to take with the UN Global Goals.

Summary: There is no formal lesson plan that corresponds with this printout, but it is pretty self-explanatory. Families with a printer (ideally a color printer), can print out the passport and work on learning about each goal, as well as brainstorming actions to take. One way to extend this activity is to have students actually take action, then a parent can sign their initials in the "teacher box" as witnesses. It is a beautiful printout, but again, limited to families with a printer.

Global Goals Paper Chains

Ages: 7-10

Time: 30-45 minutes

Objective: Students will create their own personal actions for each goal and create a physical paper chain that they can hang up in their home.

Summary: After learning about the global goals, students can print out the chain links and write how they can take action on each chain.

This can also be broken down into a family project, where different members of the family dedicate efforts towards different Global Goals. If you don't have a color printer, encourage kids to still print and color the strips to make it fun to look at in the home. This is a great craft idea for kids 7-10.

Global Goals Glasses

Ages: 7-10

Time: 30 minutes

Objective: Students will craft their own UN Global Goal glasses.

Summary: There are no directions provided, but an idea could be students create a short video wearing the glasses stating a pledge on three things they will do in the next month to take action!

I hope you enjoyed learning about these adapted lessons for sustainability and the UN Global Goals! As always, I encourage educators to sign up for my email list so you can get even more inspiration and resources sent to your inbox!

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"For a dream to inspire as many future citizens as possible and empower them to be problem-solvers for a better, more sustainable future...their future." 


-Amanda Kramer, Founder of Virescent Inspiration

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