The word "environment" is synonymous with surroundings. However, when people think of "The environment" they think of the natural environment. They envision trees, animals, and the landscape. While the environment and ecology are not synonymous they do often go hand in hand.

When you study the environment in your classroom you may also study ecosystems and ecology. You can focus your lesson plans on the topic of saving the environment, conservation, animal habitats, the food chain, and geography. The natural environment encompasses all living and non-living things occurring naturally on Earth. It is the environment that encompasses the interaction of all living species. Climate, weather, and natural resources that affect human survival and economic activity.