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

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110 minutes
0

5 / 6
Environmental Education, Science

In this lesson, students analyze how changes to the global carbon cycle are impacting Earth's atmosphere and climate. In the first session, they conduct an experiment to identify the presence of carbon dioxide. Then they study how vital this gas is to life on Earth. In the second session, students investigate the greenhouse effect and learn about other greenhouse gases and Earth's energy budget. They conduct a kinesthetic activity to simulate the greenhouse effect in a memorable way. Then students apply what they've learned by analyzing how human activities have contributed to atmospheric changes and by brainstorming actions they can take to help address the problem.

110 minutes
0

5 / 6
Civics and Government, Environmental Education, Science

In this lesson, students experience firsthand what it is like to feel hungry while seeing that other people have greater access to food. By simulating a global lunch, with offerings representing undeveloped, developing, and highly developed nations, students face the issue of hunger head-on. [Note: You may wish to skip this initial activity if your students have experienced poverty and persistent hunger.] Next they explore the concept of food security and look at some of the causes of food insecurity. They begin considering what they can do to improve food security at home and around the world. Then, following plans created by two high school students, the class creates a low-cost, high-impact bucket garden. In the process, students learn that this portable food production system is an easy way for anyone to create a vegetable garden and is a valuable tool that will enable people in large cities or in areas with difficult growing conditions to harvest fresh, healthy food. Finally, students consider other ideas for sustainable food production and how they personally can make a difference.

30 minutes
5

6 / 7 / 8
Career and Technical Education (CTE): STEM, Mathematics, Reading or Language Arts, Science

This lesson engages students as real-life data sleuths to find out how their homes measure water and energy use. After discussing the social and environmental purposes and processes of measuring usage, students learn about different types of meters, then investigate their own home and/or school building to assess which meters are in use.

110 minutes
0

5 / 6
Environmental Education, Science

In this lesson, students learn how something very small—a seed—can have tremendous value to human societies. Through two thought exercises, the lesson guides students to appreciate the tremendous diversity of foods we have today and to consider what life might be like without such diversity. Then they go on a virtual exploration of the Global Seed Vault in Svalbard, Norway, and learn where other seed banks are located around the world and the valuable function seed banks serve. Finally, each student researches a crop plant they particularly value and together they create their own classroom seed bank.

380 minutes
0

Kindergarten / 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8
Reading or Language Arts

Developing a sense of place is one piece of the puzzle in making our schools with a focus on sustainability.
– David Sobel, Mapmaking with Children (1998)

In this series of activities, students reflect on their relationship with their community and how their place contributes to the health and safety of all citizens. By completing various mapping and special place reflection activities, students define their neighborhood and community. Students gain a sense of where they live, are prepared to create tools for evaluating their neighborhood, and have the ability to identify problems or concerns that need improvement.

Essential Questions

  • What is special about my place?
  • Why should I care about our place?
  • How am I connected to my place?
  • What can I do to make my place safer and healthier for all citizens?
Why is soil a valuable resource?
How do paved areas impact the filtration of rainwater?
165 minutes
4

6 / 7 / 8
Science

In this lesson, students learn the value of clean freshwater and the natural processes that ensure an adequate supply of usable freshwater. In activity 2, students conduct a hands-on activity that focuses on the role of natural areas as filters that produce clean water. Such natural filters are contrasted with impervious (paved) areas to compare the impact of development on the ability of nature to provide clean freshwater.

150 minutes
4

6 / 7 / 8
Science

In this lesson, students learn the value of clean freshwater and the natural processes that ensure an adequate supply of usable freshwater. In activity 1, students learn about the importance of water quality for human health and agriculture. Students brainstorm the different ways that people use water, from household use to industry and agriculture. Statistics related to the quantity of water on the planet help students understand that water is a finite resource. Students relate their own activities to the water supply to put their own consumption in activities. Students then brainstorm various threats to the water supply.

165 minutes
4

5 / 6 / 7 / 8
Science

In this lesson, students learn about the value of soil as a natural resource (regulates water, sustains plant and animal life, filters pollutants, cycles nutrients and supports structures). Then explore the importance of having/maintaining healthy soil. They will explore different individuals’ descriptions of healthy soil. For example, to an agriculturalist, healthy soil means highly productive land that sustains or enhances productivity therefore enhancing profits; to a consumer it means plentiful, healthy and inexpensive food for present and future generations; to an environmentalist it means functioning at its potential in an ecosystem with respect to biodiversity, water quality, nutrient cycling, and biomass production.