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Curriculum Level: 6-8

By Ashley Grant from Greene County Middle School

OVERVIEW OF LESSON: Students will select a UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) and conduct research to investigate the current state of the world and its progress towards meeting their chosen SDG. Students will then create a children’s book that details what they believe the world would look life if their chosen SDG was met. They will compare and contrast the current state of the world with the world they envision.


SUBJECTS: Social Studies; Global Studies, ELA


NC Social Studies Standards:

I.1.7: Construct arguments consisting of multiple claims with evidence from sources and attention to disciplinary detail.

I.1.10: Identify challenges and opportunities created in addressing local, state, tribal, regional, national, and/or global issues.

I.1.11: Use a range of civic approaches to address problems being investigated.

7.B.1.2: Explain how values and beliefs affect human rights, justice, and equality for different groups of people

7.B.1.3: Compare how individuals and groups respond to stereotypes, oppression, human rights violations, and genocide.

7. C&G.1.1: Explain how the power and authority of various types of governments have created conflict that has led to change

7.E.1.2: Explain how national and international economic decisions reflect and impact the interdependency of societies.

7.G.1.2: Explain reasons why societies modify and adapt to the environment.

7.H.1.2: Summarize the influence women, indigenous, racial, ethnic, political, and religious groups have had on historical events and current global issues.

7.H.1.3: Compare individual and societal responses to globalization in various regions and societies.

7.H.1.4: Critique the effectiveness of cooperative efforts and consensus-building among nations, regions, and groups from various perspectives.


  • What issues do the SDGs address?
  • How have the nations of the world progressed in meeting the SDGs?
  • What do you believe the world would look like if one SDG were met?
  • How can global citizens contribute to the progress of the SDGs?


  1. Students will be able to identify the issues addressed by the SDGs and elaborate upon current obstacles in achieving the goals.
  2. Students will be able to analyze research to determine current global progress towards meeting the SDGs.
  3. Students will be able to identify ways that citizens can contribute to the progress of the SDGs.





  • ELL: Provide digital translation tools including website translation settings for students in their primary language
  • Provide a sample format of the children’s book to provide students in need of extra support a framework to organize and structure their book
  • Provide a story map to help students structure their thoughts when developing the fiction portion of their book


  • Ask students to write down the top three issues that they think keeps the world from being a perfect place to live. Be sure to emphasize that these are global issues and not local/personal.
  • Allow students to share out their answers in partners and then in whole class discussion.
  • Pass out printed copies of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) or have students access them online:
  • Show an introductory video (An Overview of the Sustainable Development Goals) that explains what the SDGs are and their purpose and have students play a game that helps them learn more about the SDG’s. (Game the Goals- SDG Introduction Game)
  • Have students form groups and choose an SDG and a country to focus on in their book.


  • Students will choose one of the SDGs that most aligns with their interests.
  • Using the provided research organizer (What If? An SDG Children’s Book Handout), students will research the effects of their chosen issue on the world and the progress that has been made in achieving the SDG.
  • Students will compose a non-fiction portion of their children’s book that includes the results of their research.
  • Using the knowledge gained through their research, students will create a world that has achieved their chosen SDG.
  • Students will compose a fictional portion of their children’s book that details their created world and compares it to its current state.


Formative: Research Organizer (What If? An SDG Children’s Book Handout), Exit Ticket

Summative: Imagine If? SDG Children’s Book Rubric (What If? An SDG Children’s Book Handout)


  • Students will create an annotated bibliography of at least five children’s books that also align with their chosen SDG. Students must read the books and create an annotation for each one.
  • Students can read their book to students at a local elementary school and introduce them to the SDG’s.
  • Students can send copies of their books to legislators, asking them to make achieving the SDG a main issue of their platform. 


  • Device with online access
  • Book Creator or other digital book creation app/website (if digital)
  • Construction paper/ art supplies (if making a physical book)
  • Copy of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (paper or digital)
  • What If? An SDG Children’s Book Handout (includes: Project Requirements, Topics, Tips, Student Resources, Research Organizer, Grading Rubric)


The 17 goals | sustainable development. (n.d.). Retrieved October 28, 2022, from

Overcoming the world’s challenges. (n.d.). The Global Goals. Retrieved January 5, 2023, from

Play the Global Goals game today and take action for a better world. (n.d.). Global Goals. Retrieved January 5, 2023, from

Teaching about the sustainable development goals. (n.d.). Educators 4 Social Change. Retrieved January 21, 2023, from

The world’s largest lesson. (n.d.). The World’s Largest Lesson. Retrieved January 5, 2023, from

UNICEF Georgia. (2018, April 25). UN sustainable development goals—Overview. YouTube.