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


120 minutes

2 / 3
Environmental Education, Science

Students will research the importance of insects in our local ecosystems and identify at least 5 insects and
the roles they play in the garden. Students will then design and build an “insect hotel” that can provide shelter for insects that are beneficial to our gardens.

100 minutes

3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8
Geography, Science

On this virtual field trip, we’ll first travel to the lush, rain-soaked splendor of the Olympic Peninsula and explore the urban watershed of Seattle. The abundant rainfall here provides plenty of water, but keeping it clean and safe can be a challenge. Next, we’ll head to Arizona’s dry, desert landscape and take a tour of the Verde River, one source of water that nourishes this parched land. Here, people and other living things must adapt to a limited water supply, yet sudden and violent storms can dump seven inches of rain in a single night! Join The Nature Conservancy's water scientist Kari Vigerstol on this virtual field trip to find out how geography, people, and water interact in two of America’s “wildly” unique biomes.

150 minutes

2 / 3
Reading or Language Arts, Science

Research and experiment how objects can be reused and how different waste management strategies can help to produce energy.

Why is it important to have clean water?
150 minutes

2 / 3
Environmental Education, Geography

Students will first do research about mangroves and seagrass and create a poster to present their research. Then they will perform an experiment to see how the temperature of the water affects plant growth.

90 minutes

3 / 4 / 5
Environmental Education, Mathematics, Science

This lesson helps students track personal waste produced during a day. It introduces students to the benefits of recycling and how recycling and composting could reduce waste that ends up in the landfill.

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:

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
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