60 minutes

Kindergarten / 1 / 2
Arts, Environmental Education

This lesson helps students understand how reusing/recycling saves resources by having students create their own paper and cloth bags. It encourages students to come up with other waste reduction strategies.

How can schools reduce the waste that goes into the landfill?
30 minutes

Kindergarten / 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11 / 12
Professional Learning

Environmental action is about making a difference, but how can we help students understand what kind of difference they’re making? This module gives introductory, free resources to explore using the Arc platform to use benchmarking, goal-setting, and sustainability metrics as powerful tools for student learning. It is part of the Building Learners series of modules, through which additional guidance, training, and mentoring are available to educators who would like support in bringing these concepts into the classroom.

Arc + Schools Digital Playground
This website provides a walk-through of the Arc platform that has been specifically designed for K-12 educators. It gives users a window into how the platform works and how it might be used in the classroom. Throughout the walk-through, lessons on Learning Lab that are available to users at no cost are called out as resources to prepare students to engage with the elements of sustainability measurement contained in Arc. Visit the Arc + Schools Digital Playground now: www.schools-app.arconline.io

Learning Lab lessons referenced in Arc + Schools Digital Playground
The Arc platform demonstration site references several lessons that can be used to give students the foundation of knowledge they need to work with sustainability metrics and benchmarking. These lessons were created by Learning Lab partners and can be accessed at no cost.

  • Earth Waters Our Lives (created by EcoRise and RIS as part of the Sustainable Intelligence program): This unit is comprised of 3 lessons for grades 5-6, including approximately 240 minutes of teaching time. It addresses the human and natural causes of drought, as well as the ways that water is used in everyday life and wasted through human activities.
  • Waste Eco-Audit (created by EcoRise and RIS as part of the Sustainable Intelligence program): This unit is comprised of 4 lessons for grades 9-12, including approximately 605 minutes of teaching time. It leads students through the purpose of a waste audit, the process of conducting an audit at the school, and the methods for composing and communicating their results and recommendations.
  • Energy Vampire Hunt (created by The Energy Coalition as part of the Climate Leaders in Action Program): This lesson for students in grades 9-12 includes 45 minutes of instructional time. In it, students plan and carry out an investigation of energy vampires using an Energy Monitor to measure the energy consumption of different electrical devices. Students then collect and chart the data from their investigation and calculate how much money could be saved by unplugging energy vampires.
  • Transportation in Arc (automatic download)
  • Indoor Environmental Quality in Arc (automatic download)
180 minutes

Kindergarten / 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11 / 12
Career and Technical Education (CTE), Professional Learning

Participants in Building Learners have access to:

  • Learning Lab subscriptions and the "Roadmap to Lessons" for Building Learners
  • Access to Arc, an online platform to track and benchmark building metrics in five categories: energy, water, waste/recycling, human experience and transportation, and the Arc Getting Started Guide
  • Volunteer services and career exposure from a local green building professional serving as mentor to your school
  • Building Learners Project Management Guide
  • Online trainings for staff, teacher and mentor, including:
  • Program goals template
  • Educators' planning template with calendar
  • Best Practice Resource Center
  • Guidance on documenting your school’s program (capturing photos, videos, examples of student work, testimonials from students, staff, parents, etc.)
  • Sample letters to school leadership, school parents
75 minutes

Kindergarten / 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5
Engineering, English, Reading or Language Arts, Science

This lesson is a 75-minute lesson that allows students to reinforce and deepen their conceptual understanding of the various components of a green building. Lessons are geared towards 3rd-5th grade but may be adapted according to the grade level.

55 minutes

Kindergarten / 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5
Engineering, English, Reading or Language Arts, Science

This lesson is a 55-minute literacy-based lesson that allows students to develop conceptual understanding of sustainability and the various components of a green building. Students will make observations during a gallery walk of green building images, create an interactive word wall, and read and interpret a case study focused on green buildings and sustainability concepts. Lessons are geared towards 3rd-5th grade but may be adapted according to the grade level (for example, for younger grade levels teachers may adapt the lesson by focusing more on observations, gallery walk, and making a word wall based on what they observe during their gallery walk).

9 minutes

Kindergarten / 1 / 2

This lesson includes a discussion of yogurt and identification of its nutritional benefits. At the end of this lesson, students should be able to identify the food group yogurt belongs to (dairy) and other benefits of yogurt. They will be able to identify the different kinds of yogurt, the nutritional benefits of yogurt, it’s taste and appearance.

9 minutes

Kindergarten / 1 / 2

Esta lección incluye una discusión sobre el yogurt con el fin de identificar sus beneficios nutricionales. Al final de esta lección, los estudiantes deberían poder identificar el grupo alimenticio al que pertenece el yogurt (lácteos), así como otros beneficios del yogurt. Podrán identificar los diferentes tipos de yogurt, los beneficios nutricionales del yogurt, su sabor y apariencia.

What is a green school?
15 minutes

Kindergarten / 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11 / 12
Career and Technical Education (CTE), Environmental Education, Professional Learning

This lesson page provides free resources for you, the teacher, to advance your own knowledge of sustainability and green building, and support your teaching.

This page is a great starting point for new sustainability teachers or a resource for experienced teachers. It will provide you with some background information to help you understand the impact of green schools and prepare you to start to take actions at your own school.

All the materials are available for free download in the “Prepare” tab below. For additional information about each resource, check out the “Teach” tab.

We’ve broken them down by:
- Green Schools Profiles and Case Studies
- Reports and Guides
- LEED Resources
- Pedagogy
- Videos

And check out additional resources in the Extend tab to expand your school's sustainability initiatives. We've called out reports to share with your legislators to drive green school initiatives as well as training to share with your facility staff.

The materials in this lesson are designed to support teachers, not implement as instruction in your classroom. But feel free to share materials with your students, colleagues, or community!

When you are ready, dive into the Learning Lab lessons. Looking for a place to start? Check out Every School Can Be A Green School: Getting Started Checklists. Or search the catalog by grade level, subject and theme.