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: 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
0 minutes

3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 10 / 11 / 12
Health, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies

The food waste resource guide is designed to give you all the information you need to teach your students about food waste. The guide provides food waste facts, a classroom certificate, food waste posters, guidelines for working with cafeteria managers and school administrators, and a resource for tackling food waste at home. It also includes a letter writing activity to raise awareness around food waste and implement food policy changes in schools.

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).

135 minutes

3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11 / 12
Health, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies

“Be a Food Waste Warrior” is a three-part science and math lesson that can be adjusted in complexity depending on grade level. It includes food waste audit log sheets, discussion questions, a companion PowerPoint, and additional teacher resources and materials.

Students will learn about the ways in which food impacts the environment by recording data from a student food waste audit during their lunch period.The audit will engage basic science and math skills to (1) convert food waste weights to water used and GHGs emitted, and (2) calculate the difference in GHG emissions depending on whether food waste is landfilled or composted. Participating students will ultimately understand how to reduce food waste and why reducing food waste is important to conserving natural resources and wildlife habitat.

60 minutes

4 / 5
Engineering, Environmental Education, Science, Social Studies, Technology

This lesson introduces students to the concept of biomimicry. We explore real life examples of how engineers, designers, and other professions take inspiration form nature. Students are then encouraged to plan, design, and build an object that shows the concept of biomimicry.