Listed by type, then by topic
Topic: Carbon Footprint
Title: One Foot, Two Foot, Red Foot, Green Foot
Description: In this lesson, students reflect on the meaning of a “carbon footprint” and methods of reducing it. They then research various technological innovations designed to decrease greenhouse gas emissions and develop a proposal packet for their city or town detailing ways to reduce the carbon footprint of their local municipality.
Topic: Climate Change
Title: Tread Lightly
Description: In this lesson, students learn about the exchange of carbon credits to offset corporate emissions. They then investigate their own “carbon footprints” and reflect on how they can reduce their impact on the environment.
Topic: Climate Change
Title: Climate Change: Connections and Solutions
Description: This two-week curriculum unit encourages students to think critically about climate change and to collaborate to devise solutions. Students learn about climate change within a systems framework, examining interconnections among environmental, social, and economic issues. Contains 9 lessons, 5 readings and assessment tools.
Topic: Climate Change
Title: Are the World's Weather and Climate Changing?
Description: Hurricanes, tropical storms, tornadoes, and other extraordinary weather events have been a big part of the news headlines in the U.S. for months. With a record number of named hurricanes and tropical storms and killer tornadoes striking in November, many are asking, "What's up with the weather?" Looking at past weather patterns, weather cycles, and what causes these patterns and cycles can help students understand more about the type of weather events we are experiencing and what is contributing to what many consider to be unusual weather and maybe even a change in the world's climate.
There are 4 different lessons that can be done as a complete unit or on their own.
Topic: Climate Change/Global Warming Policy
Title: Congressional Hearing on Global Warming and Climate Change
Description: This lesson introduces students to the issues surrounding global warming and the difficulty of finding a political solution. They examine different views from a wide range of interest groups on how best to address the issue of global warming, and research, develop, and evaluate a U.S. policy statement from a private-interest perspective.
Topic: Climate Change/Global Warming Policy
Title: Who Will Take the Heat?
Description: Participants will learn about the environmental, economic, and political issues surrounding global climate change policy.
Topic: Climate Weather
Title: And Now for the Weather (and Climate) Report …
Description: In this lesson, students make basic weather predictions and investigate a weather cable channel and its response to climate change. They then interpret and compare charts and graphs about weather and climate and reflect on how climate changes impact their own life and the business community.
Topic: Conservation Endangered Species
Title: Engaging Students in Conservation: Protecting the Endangered Snow Leopard
Description: An interdisciplinary 1-2 week unit developed in collaboration with the Snow Leopard Trust. It includes five dynamic lessons and culminates with a service-learning project. The unit is designed for 5-8th grade students in science and social studies. Though the lessons are designed as a comprehensive unit, each lesson can stand-alone.
Title: The Best of Nature
Description: the amazing stories of our planet. In this lesson students will examine the role that nature and wildlife play in our society and in our personal lives. Students will give speeches about the importance of preserving our planet, and reflect on how wildlife and nature impact them on a personal level.
Title: Affluenza Teacher's Guide
Description: Affluenza will expose students to the problem of overconsumption and its effects on society and the environment. The one-hour program takes a hard, sometimes humorous look at the American passion for shopping, and how it leads to debt and stress for families, communities, the nation and the world. It also explores the strategies used by marketers to sell products to young people. The program is appropriate for students grade 5 through high school
Title: Studying "Stuff"
Description: In this lesson, students watch the video “The Story of Stuff” with a critical eye, discuss its use in classrooms across the country, and consider consumption in their own lives.
Title: No Impact Project
Description: This 50 minute lesson is designed to help students understand over-consumption. Students will understand advertisings role in consumption, develop responsible and sustainable ideas for reducing consumption and designing a "second hand" gift registry, which promotes sustainability.
Topic: Consumption Environmental Impact
Title: It’s a Small World
Description: Students will learn about the world's finite resources, and consider the impact of the American lifestyle on the environment.
Topic: Consumption Resources
Title: Ecological Footprint: What's Your Impact
Description: This lesson aims to introduce students to the concept of the Ecological Footprint. The Ecological Footprint is a complex topic, which illustrates the demand humans are putting on Earth’s natural resources through their consumption/energy usage habits. This game aims to take the crucial, but sometimes abstract, ideas presented by the Ecological Footprint exercise and present them in an engaging format for students that encourages them to see how their actions have an impact on the Earth.
Location: Contact World Savvy for Lesson.
Topic: Consumption/ Resource / Environmental Issues
Title: Your Environment: Past, Present and Future
Description: This is a two-hour lesson designed to help students understand the importance of the environment, identify both contemporary and historic environmental issues and design strategies to improve current problems.
Topic: Consumption Waste
Title: Buy, Use, Toss? A Closer Look at the Things We Buy
Description: An interdisciplinary unit that includes ten fully planned lessons. This unit is correlated with national science and social studies standards and will lead your students through an exploration of the system of producing and consuming goods that is called the materials economy. Students will learn about the five major steps of the materials economy; Extraction, Production, Distribution, Consumption, and Disposal. They will also be asked to analyze the sustainability of these steps, determining how consumption can benefit people, economies, and environments.
Topic: Distribution of Resources
Title: Something for Everyone
Description: A simulation where students compete for natural resources in a commons, then discuss the social dilemmas that arise.
Topic: Distribution of Resources
Title: Managing Your Energy Budget (An Ecological Footprint Assessment)
Description: Students will experience an inequitable resource distribution (using a circular treat like cake or pizza) and electronically calculate their own Ecological Footprint. Students will assess their resource use and learn more about sustainable living strategies in a video tour by Penn State University graduate student and Center for Sustainability full-time resident, David Lettero. Students will be challenged to reflect on their own patterns of consumption to suggest ways in which they could realistically reduce their resource use. This lesson will require two to three (2-3) 50-minute class periods.
Title: What's The Impact? Research And Tourism In Antarctica
Description: Antarctica is the coldest continent on Earth and one of the most fragile ecosystems on the planet. Despite the presence of glaciers, sea ice, permafrost, limited sunlight and fiercely cold temperatures, Antarctica still contains an abundance of resources, both living and non-living. These resources attract the attention of an increasing number of researchers and tourists from all over the world. How does their presence affect this land and its resources?
Title: Rat Attack
Description: Students use an online interactive to explore what happens to one forest ecosystem when a resource pulse occurs.
Title: Going to Extremes: Hidden Depths
Description: Bioluminescent fish, gelatinous sea creatures 120 feet long, archaic cephalopods and other strange organisms are among the new species discovered by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) in the midwaters of the Pacific Ocean near the California coast. This region of the ocean presents an exciting and challenging realm to explore. Join FRONTIERS as the crew accompanies the Ventana ROV on a fascinating journey down to the middle depths to this unexplored ocean canyon.
Topic: Ecosystems Endangered Species
Title: The Chances of the World Changing: Protecting Endangered Species
Description: This lesson plan is designed to be used in conjunction with the film The Chances of the World Changing, which chronicles the personal sacrifices and challenges faced by a New York writer who dedicates his time and resources to rescuing endangered turtles. This lesson will explore the interdependence of organisms in an ecosystem, identify what some private citizens are doing to protect endangered turtles, and discuss whether or not humans have an obligation to help endangered species.
Title: Energy Education for the 21st Century
Description: Numerous lessons that explore energy sources.
Title: America's Energy Future
Description: Students will define "peak oil", understand origins and impact of carbon-based energy sources, debate whether or not America should reduce its dependence on carbon-based fuels, explore the history of presidential energy plans from Carter to Obama, and create energy-saving proposals for the school.
Title: The Biomass Balancing Act
Description: Students will work cooperatively to research biomass using an international energy research foundation's educational website. They will use evidence from the web search to assess biomass energy potential in Pennsylvania as part of a classroom “Alternative Energy Commission.” After preparing and sharing a fact sheet for biomass energy, students will witness a demonstration illustrating the presence of carbon dioxide and design an experiment to investigate carbon neutrality. The suggested time frame for this lesson is three to four (3-4) 50-minute class periods.
Title: Electricity Unplugged (Investigating the parts, process, and products of making electricity)
Description: In this lesson, students will get acquainted (or re-acquainted) with how electricity is produced. They will have an opportunity to compare and contrast different types of electricity production systems (EP systems) and their associated parts, processes and products. As a culminating activity, students will draft a letter to the local government making recommendations about EP systems to be used in their communities.
Topic: Energy Alternative Sources
Title: Exploring Alternative Energy Sources
Description: Students will explore alternative energy sources
Topic: Energy Efficiency
Title: It's Easy Being Green
Description: In this lesson students will read about simple things people can do to make their homes more energy efficient. They then create posters advertising simple things people can do to make other places where they spend time more energy efficient as well.
Title: Saved by the Sun
Description: Students follow a seven-step invention process to design, build, and test a solar cooker that will pasteurize water.
Title: Solar Racing
Description: In this design challenge, students will harness the power of the sun to design, construct and evaluate a solar-powered model car of their creation. Students will utilize the design process and undergo review by their peers to select an optimal gear ratio and components for their car. As a culminating activity, students compete in a “Solar Sprint” race modeled after the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s Junior Solar Sprint competition. Depending upon the depth of investigation, the suggested time frame for this lesson is four to ten (4-10) 50-minute class periods.
Title: Under the Sun
Description: Helps students to learn about solar energy in their own communities, and contribute their findings to our global portrait of energy use.
Title: Siting Wind Power: Wind Power Curves and Community Considerations
Description: This lesson allows students to analyze and understand a variety of curves that describe the power extracted from the wind by a variety of commercially produced wind turbines. Students will then join construction manager, Ed DeJarnette on-site at the Bear Creek Wind Farm, near Wilkes-Barre, PA, to talk shop about the details of siting and constructing a large-scale wind farm. Students will investigate the major factors influencing wind farm siting such as: wind speed, direction and turbulence; state and federal incentives and turbine design. Students will utilize site-specific topographic maps and political boundary data to evaluate and make recommendations to their class and community about potential sites for future wind development. The suggested time required for the entire lesson sequence is four to five (4-5) 50-minute class periods.
Title: Wind Power
Description: Students will explain the use of wind power as a renewable resource, build models of wind turbines and experiment with the types of changes that will increase efficiency.
Title: Tread Lightly
Description: Educational materials for teaching about the environment and sustainability
Title: Rachel Carson and Silent Spring
Description: Students will examine the author as well as her findings and how they were received when first reported.
Topic: Environmental Impact
Title: Earth: Borders Picture Project
Description: Humans are altering the earth's landscape at rates and in ways never seen in times past. Using a digital camera to document local landscapes as they are today, students will explore how changes in human land use are impacting local environments. Students will also explore some of the social impacts of various land uses in their area.
Title: Going Green While in the Red?
Description: In this lesson, students suggest and evaluate environmentally friendly policies in tough economic times and write letters to President-elect Obama offering policy advice on energy and climate change.
Title: Wherefore the Beef?
Description: In this lesson, students conduct a one-question interview on issues related to the production and consumption of meat, then demonstrate and discuss the inherent and additional energy costs related to the production of meat.
Title: Food Wars
Description: In this lesson, students explore the concepts and content necessary to debate whether or not schools should regulate the quantity or type of food and beverages students consume, and develop position papers.
Topic: Food Security/Waste
Title: Clean Your Plate!
Description: In this lesson, students consider food waste and create proposals to present to school officials about strategies that their school community can take to cut down on food waste.
Topic: Fossil Fuels
Title: Extreme Oil
Description: In this lesson, students will examine the role oil has played throughout human history, how that role has changed over time, and the repercussions of oil use on society and the environment. After brainstorming a list of oil's current uses, students will examine an online timeline to explore how its role has changed over the course of history. Then, utilizing another dynamic online resource, students will complete an in-depth analysis of oil's current and historic applications in the home, in industry, in medicine, and in transportation. Finally, through the use of the PBS series Extreme Oil, students will examine the environmental impact of the oil industry, and decide whether or not they support an expansion of oil drilling operations into the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Topic: Fossil Fuels
Title: A World Without Oil
Description: In May 2007, over 1,800 people combined imagination with insight to create World Without Oil (WWO), a realistic simulation of the first 32 weeks of a global oil shortage chronicled in 1,500 personal blog posts, videos, images and voicemails. Via these lesson plans, high school teachers can use this collaborative grassroots simulation to engage students with questions about energy use, sustainability, the role energy plays in our economy, culture, worldview and history, and many others.
Topic: Global Warming
Title: Global Warming
Description: Is human activity bringing about alarming global warming scenarios and related catastrophes? Or is such thinking a myth brought about by flawed or incomplete science? Finding the answers to these questions has turned global warming into a highly politicized and contentious issue. Use the NOW Classroom standards-linked lesson on global warming to help students research and form credible opinions.
Topic: Global Warming/Rising Water Levels
Title: A Coastal Dilemma
Description: In this lesson, students consider the effects of global warming and create scale models of regions along the Atlantic coastline to illustrate the results of the rising water level on human communities.
Topic: Green Living
Title: Choosing to Go Green
Description: In this lesson, students reflect on their attitudes toward environmental responsibility. Then, they review the actions of others as highlighted by the New York Times Magazine’s “Green Issue” in the context of the overarching question, “Why Bother?”
Title: Can Buildings Make You Sick?
Description: Students will collect and observe airborne particles in and out of the classroom.
Topic: Pollution/Environmental Injustice
Description: Human activity and industrialization are rapidly altering the quality of our air, both indoors and out, and both locally and globally. The goal of this activity is for students to recognize which activities contribute to poor air quality and which contribute to good air quality.
Title: How Big is Big?
Description: This whole-class exercise helps students understand population density and special relations in understandable, comparable terms. Students, with some classroom tools, will learn about Japanese population density; Chinese population growth; and hypothesize about Mexican immigration statistics. Through this activity, students will visualize approximate and relative sizes of the world's regions and populations and use comparison and analogies to gain a clearer understanding of the world in which they live.
Title: World in Balance
Description: Students will calculate how long it takes a country's population to double in size and to investigate factors affecting growth rate.
Title: A World Portrait
Description: Invites students to contribute to our world portrait by celebrating someone in their community through photography, writing, and art.
Title: Living on $500 a Day
Description: Students complete a reading and other exercises to examine the lifestyles of the world's "Haves" and "Have-Nots."
Title: Super Use
Description: To create a functional item using only materials that were originally meant for another purpose.
Topic: Renewable Resources
Title: A Daunting Task: Cost/Benefit Analysis of Acting on Global Warming
Description: In this lesson, students will examine the costs and benefits of the continued use of fossil fuels, developing fuel-efficient vehicles and renewable resources. They will also analyze the political, economic and social costs and benefits of addressing issues surrounding global climate change.
Topic: Renewable Resources
Title: Hydrogen Fuel
Description: This activity page offers an introduction to the use of hydrogen as an automobile power source, a hands-on activity in generating hydrogen, and an opportunity to bleach food coloring.
Title: Creating the Future
Description: How do we create a just and humane world for ourselves and for future generations? Help students identify and plan what they want their future to look like. Using an action-planning model, students visualize their desired future, identify objectives, develop a plan to address local and global issues, and implement their vision through action and service learning.
Title: Global Issues Through Our Lens
Description: Encourages students to focus on current events through the lens of ten global issues: water, food, transportation, health, economy, education, energy, shelter, war and waste.
Topic: Sustainable Development
Title: Melbourne Reborn
Description: Students will examine Rob Adams, the Director of Design and Urban Environment in Melbourne, and how he led a movement to revitalize the city with a goal of making it more livable, and how he discovered along the way that livability and sustainability are actually the same agenda. Thanks to the vision and leadership of the City Council, the city has become more livable, more vibrant and more sustainable in the past 20 years.
Topic: Sustainable Solutions
Title: Engaging Students Through Global Issues
Description: An activity-based lesson book that contains 40 inspiring lessons. These lesson plans are designed to help students understand complex global issues and sustainable solutions. Each lesson offers creative tools for students to take action in their local and global communities.
Topic: Transportation/Alternative Energy
Title: AUTOMOBILE CHOICES AND ALTERNATIVE FUELS: Background, Activities and Critical Analysis
Description: Students will compare and make distinctions among 5 alternative fuels and examine the impact of different types of fuel on the environment, lifestyle, and the economy/personal finances.
Title: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Description: In this lesson, students share opinions about products that can be reused and recycled. They then investigate and create articles focusing on recycling issues for a newsletter.
Title: Toxic Technology
Description: Examining Materials Used to Make Computers and Persuading Local Communities to Recycle Them Properly
Title: Hazardous Chemicals In Your Neighborhood
Description: Students will understand hazardous chemicals, their effect on human health and the environment, explain the importance of cleaning up hazardous waste, identify facilities in their neighborhoods that deal with hazardous chemicals, and recognize local and federal agencies responsible for environmental hazards in their communities.
Title: Kids and Chemicals: Facts and Laws
Description: With an increasing number of childhood incidences of asthma, cancer, and learning and behavioral disabilities, scientists are turning their attention to understand what effect synthetic chemicals may be having on children. Using KIDS AND CHEMICALS, a special report with Bill Moyers that takes a look at some of these medical maladies affecting children, students will examine the links between childhood illness and the synthetic chemicals children come in contact with each day.
Title: Mercury in the Environment
Description: Students will look at the new EPA regulations on the emissions of mercury by coal-fire power plants, identify a major human-related source of mercury in the environment, summarize the dangers of mercury in humans, and identify regions in the United States that are affected most by mercury emissions.
Title: National Geographic Expeditions/ Lesson Plans
Description: This 2 hour lesson will give students a better idea of where their water comes from. They will create a list of places where fresh water is found around the globe. Then they will attempt to follow their water from its source to their taps in their kitchens.
Title: Learning to Give
Description: Learners will develop an understanding of the water cycle. They will then use this knowledge to create a tactile model of the water cycle and then relate these ideas to the importance of water conservation.
Title: Peace Corps
Description: This lesson is designed to get students to understand their own water use and how much water it takes to sustain their style of living. They will then compare that to water use in places that the Peace Corps have been working to ensure water sustainability.
Topic: Water/Developmental Desertification
Title: Eco-Challenges: Africa
Description: In this lesson, students will address two of the more pressing issues confronting continental Africa - the related concerns of growing desertification and the scarcity of clean water. Students will examine these issues within the context of Africa's development and the environmental, economic, and personal impact it has upon its citizens. More specifically, students will explore a variety of Internet resources, learn about Africa's geography and natural resources, read and respond to African art and literature, and write and produce a documentary-style news broadcast report.