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Welcome to the Sustainability Lesson Clearinghouse

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Sustainability Lesson Clearinghouse

Build a Green Roof

Lesson Description:
Students learn about the types of projects that landscape architects work on and then create their own green roof using a shoebox.
  • Students are introduced to the landscape architecture profession and learn that green roofs are one type of project that landscape architects create.
  • Students build a mini green roof in the lid of a shoebox. 
  • Discussion before and after the building process, along with a handout, highlights the benefits of green roofs. This activity could be done in various settings including a classroom, scout troop, community event, or after-school program. This Career Discovery activity can also be implemented in different ways depending on the time available and the audience’s age. See the appendix for other implementation possibilities.

Lesson Type:
  • Discussion
  • Project

Sustainability Topic:
  • Ecosystems
  • Gardening
  • Green Building
  • Water

GEF Program Category:
  • Green Building Program
  • Green Thumb Challenge

Time Needed:
50 minutes
Materials Needed:
  • Paper to cover tables
  • Glue sticks or liquid glue 
  • Craft materials (foam shapes, buttons, pipe cleaners, construction paper, tissue paper, etc.) 
  • Markers 
  • Masking tape 
  • Scissors 
  • Shoe boxes (one per student) 
  • Aluminum foil sheets (sized to line each shoe box lid) 
  • Potting soil with fertilizer (enough to fill each shoe box lid) 
  • Forks (10 or so)
  • Paper cups (10 or so) filled with ¼” of grass seed 
  • Extra grass seed (to refill cups as needed) 
  • Trowels for scooping potting soil 
  • Plastic bags (to transport potting soil and grass seed if green roof will be assembled at home) 
  • Hand washing supplies: water, soap, towels 


  • Sink, water, soap, towels 
  • Broom and dust pan 
  • Cloths (to wipe tables) 
  • Tables and chairs (number depends on your audience) 
  • Computer and projector (if using the ASLA PowerPoint presentation)

School or Group:
GEF on behalf of ASLA Career Discovery Program
Contact Email:
Lesson Documents:
application/pdf Mini Green Roof Lesson.pdf

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Center for Green Schools