Improving your environment

  • Level: High school
    Age group:
    Students ages 12 to 14
  • When:
    All year

Areas of learning:

  • Career planning and entrepreneurship
  • Environment and consumption
  • Citizenship and community life

Main objectives

  • Organize your time
  • Work as a team
  • Estimate costs and profits associated with launching a product on the market
  • Become aware of the value of money


With your help, students come up with ideas to improve their environment (school, home, neighbourhood, etc.) in a meaningful way.

Task 1 objectives

At the end of this task, students will be able to name the needs in the environment.

  • Time required
    Two 45-minute periods


  1. Discuss with the students various inventions or human creations in the world. Direct the conversation to the fact that most inventions (e.g., means of transportation, technologies, communication methods) arose from human needs.

    For example, the automobile was invented because humans wanted to get around more quickly.

  2. Validate the students' desire to design a collective entrepreneurial school project to meet a need in the environment and live better together as a result.
  3. Brainstorm about the needs in their environment and record the ideas on a large piece of paper. Let the students' ideas flow freely, even the most far-fetched.
  4. Give them time to add other ideas, over several days or as homework.

Teacher's notes

  • Help the students understand that it is important to ask themselves, from an ethical point of view, about the needs in our environment in order to try to fill them and live better together in society. Help them realize that by working together, in cooperation, they can change things.

    Examples of questions to ask:

    • How should people behave?
    • How should people act?
    • How should people work?
    • Etc.
  • You can create a collective entrepreneurial project in class after analyzing a need in the environment identified by the group. The main objective of the project would be to partially or fully meet this need.

    To learn more about conducting collective entrepreneurial projects, contact an entrepreneurship development officer (site in French only) or consult the programs and tools of Conseil québécois de la coopération et de la mutualité (site in French only).

  • During the course of this activity, you act as both guide and catalyst. You help the students structure their group project and to develop qualities such as:

    • self-confidence
    • a sense of endeavour
    • determination
    • team spirit
    • solidarity
    • perseverance
    • independence
    • resourcefulness

Task 2 objectives

At the end of this task, students will be able to democratically choose a need in the environment that, once met, helps everyone to live better together in society.


  1. Categorize the needs by theme (e.g., safety, environment, health, communication, society).
  2. Discuss with the students the needs in the environment that they can fill. Begin to think collectively about solutions.
  3. Democratically choose a need that the students want to fill. Discuss with them how to make a democratic choice.
  4. List the solutions proposed to meet the targeted need. Give the students time to discuss with their family and those around them what they can do. Come back to the discussion during the week.
  5. Choose a solution democratically and improve upon it.

Teacher's notes

Consult the document Democratic Decision Making.

To guide the students in preparing for the project, here are 2 examples of needs, solutions and improvements:

Needs Solutions Improvements
Increase the number of birds in the neighbourhood. Build bird-feeding stations to improve nesting. Build bird-feeding stations for different types of birds.
Reduce the number of plastic bottles thrown in the school's trashcans. Raise student awareness of environmental protection by organizing a clean-up effort. Shoot a humorous video about recycling and put up posters near trashcans in the school.