Extension activities

Suggested cross-curricular extension activities

Here we have suggested a variety of extension ideas linked into different curriculum subjects. The children can do them individually, in pairs, in groups or as a whole class activity.


  • Discuss the fact that some materials are better thermal insulators than others. Ask pupils to devise a simple experiment to find the best material that could be used to insulate a loft. For example, they could try wrapping a bottle of hot water in cotton, foil, wool, plastic, paper, etc in order to determine which material acts as a 
  • better insulator.
  • Ask the children to investigate different habitats that might be found outside the home and the type of plants and animals that might be found there (e.g. composts, trees, fields, ponds).


  • Ask pupils to search through a children's news website to find stories related to the environment or energy.
  • Ask pupils to use web research to find out the cost of one sustainable improvement for a home (e.g. installing loft insulation or cavity wall insulation) or to find more information on renewable energy sources.
  • Ask the children to log data from one of their sustainable living surveys and create pie graphs to show the results (e.g. number of children in the class whose house has double glazing, loft insulation, etc).
  • PSHE/PSE/Health & Wellbeing/PD&MU & Citizenship
  • Ask the children to investigate local environmental charities. What kinds of work do they do? How do they help the local community?


  • Ask pupils to write two stories presenting two contrasting views of the future - one positive, set in a well sustained future and one negative, set in a future in which humans have done nothing to help the environment.
  • Organise pupils into groups and ask them to create a short drama scene designed to teach younger children how to reduce, reuse or recycle.


  • Ask pupils to conduct research into the water cycle and create a diagram to show how it works. Discuss why some regions have more rainfall than others.
  • Ask pupils to conduct research into how people and animals cope with extreme temperatures in hot or cold climates (e.g. clothing worn; physiological adaptations such as blubber, fur or radiator ears; building houses on stilts).


  • Discuss the fact that a great deal of environmental damage was done through the use of fossil fuels during the industrial revolution. Ask the children to research some of the technological changes that took place during this time and how this led to increased consumption of fuel.


  • Ask pupils to investigate the temperature of their homes by looking at the thermostat. As a class, they could create a table showing the range of temperatures and number of houses. Finally, the pupils could work out the average temperature for the class.
  • The pupils could use some of the cost examples on the work and fact sheets to write simple addition problems for their classmates.


  • Discuss some of the features of a sustainable house or school and ask students to create a labelled design for one. They should consider materials to be used and ways to make the building environmentally friendly.
  • Hold a school-wide poster competition asking pupils to design a colourful and effective A3 poster with tips on reducing, reusing and recycling. Display the best 10 around the school.