Parents and Educators: find resources for at-home and distance learning

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45 minutes
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Environmental Education, Social Studies

In this lesson, students explore the difference between physical spaces that have private owners and those that are owned by and open to the public. In the Who Owns It? Game, they identify who owns a space, who uses it, who is affected if something goes wrong with it, and who is responsible for its care. Along the way, students learn that they are fortunate to be able to enjoy many different types of public spaces, but they also have a responsibility—as we all do—to help nurture and care for those spaces.

How do we know which foods are healthy for us?
80 minutes
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Science

In this lesson, students learn that the food scraps they toss away in the lunchroom could be put to better use. In the first session, they listen to a short story in which food scraps explain their disappointment at not being put to better use. Then they explore two systems of food-waste management—a linear one that sends those wastes to the landfill and a circular one that cycles food waste back to the farm via composting. Students act out both systems and then use what they’ve learned to write a happier ending to the short story. In the second session, students play host to worms by creating worm hotels. These happy hotels help the students learn how to create a simple composting system and turn their food wastes into nourishing humus for the school garden.

What is energy?
50 minutes
5

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Science

In this lesson, students apply what they’ve learned about energy by assuming the role of Energy Avengers and hunting down Energy Vampires. They learn that Energy Vampires are at work any time energy is wasted, such as when a light switch is left on or an appliance is left plugged in even when it is not in use. Students identify Energy Vampires in the classroom; then they move on to other classrooms and their homes, armed with secret weapons in the form of signs they can use to help build energy awareness far and wide.

60 minutes
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Science

In this lesson, students explore scientific concepts to build their awareness of energy in the world around them, especially heat energy. In the first session, students use their bodies in a fun, physical activity to model how matter behaves on a molecular level when heat is applied. In the second session, they witness two teacher demonstrations about the behavior of heat energy. They act as scientists to predict, observe, and draw conclusions about what happens and why. Then students reflect on how the concepts they’ve learned relate to the ways they use and can conserve heat energy in their personal lives.

60 minutes
4

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Science

In this lesson, students approach the topic of energy as junior scientists. They discuss key questions about energy via a stimulating presentation, learning fundamentals about energy as well as the value of asking questions and wondering about the world. Then students classify objects and pictures by three key types of energy: light, heat, and sound. Next, they take action to further distinguish the similarities among and differences between light, heat, and sound energy via kinesthetic exercises.

45 minutes
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Civics and Government, Science

In this lesson, students learn that a simple school lunch can generate a lot of waste. They take a close look at a typical lunch they bring from home and compare it to lunches that produce a lot of waste and lunches that produce no waste. Then they think about how they can reduce, reuse, and recycle to improve their current waste habits. The lesson concludes with students decorating a letter to take home to spread awareness about sustainable lunch-packaging practices.

Where does paper come from?
50 minutes
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Science

In this lesson, students review the types of materials that make good compost and then explore the school grounds to forage for leaves and twigs. Next, they assist while their teacher demonstrates how to use layers of organic materials to create an effective compost pile. After discussing the many benefits of compost, students work together to create a poster that shows what they’ve learned.