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Conducting a Classroom Energy Audit
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Sustainability Education Resources

The following resources have been gathered to help classrooms explore sustainability. Favorite lesson ideas have been submitted by the following organizations. Click here to suggest your favorites!

  
 
  
 
 

Lesson links for all students PK-16+

 
 
 
 



Green Your School



 

US Partnership LogoThe Education for Sustainability (EfS) standards were developed by the K-12 and Teacher Education Sector of the USPESD with input from K-12 educators in public, private, and pre-service (teacher education) fields. Version 3 of the standards includes content updates and clarifications in response to expert and general public review and comments.

 
 
 
Lower Elementary: Grades PK-2
  • Integrated Pest Management and Environmental Science Curriculum. The University of Connecticut has developed a comprehensive curricula for students in grades K through 8. These curricula are intended to illustrate the application of the science, math, and language arts taught in our schools to learn about the environmental and human health concerns facing society and to introduce the concepts of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to students, their families, and their communities. The program invites interested teachers in Connecticut schools to participate in a pilot project of the IPM and Environmental Science curriculum during the 2010-2011 school year. Curriculum kits and training workshops would be provided to your school at no charge.They would also work with your school district to promote the project to the entire school community. Please contact Donna Ellis , phone (860) 486-6448 to participate or if you have any questions.
  • The Needs and Growth of Plants and Animals, a unit for Kindergarten developed by Shelburne Farms' Sustainable Schools Project. A 45 page packet of activity and literacy links, including: We All Have Needs; The Needs of Seeds; The Growth of Plants; The Growth of Animals; The Frog's Lifecycle; and Intervale Field Trip.

Upper Elementary: Grades 3 – 5
  • Facing the Future.org - Go to Map of myself: Identity and Culture lesson (pdf). Helps students to understand how their world around them shapes who they are.
  • Sustainable Schools Project.org - Go to Unit 'Baby Animals', A Unit for K-4. Explores what animals and plants need to grow and survive.
  • Start a Green Team to make your school more sustainable. Join Keep Connecticut Cool to learn more, share your successes and win cash awards. Keep Connecticut Cool is open to all students in grades 4-12 in Connecticut.
  • Check out the Earth Day resourcesat CT Climate Change. There are a number of activities that work well with grades 3-adult, including Earth Day 40 video, Climate Action Pledge Tool, Earth Day Jeopardy, Climate Change Jeopardy, 100 Mile Diet Game, Ecological Footprint Calculator and Board Game, and Climate Solutions Bingo.

 

 

  • Climate Kids Website NASA’s Eyes on the Earth (resource for PLT’s PreK-8 activities, “The Global Climate” and “Our Changing World”)  targeting grades 4-6, demystifies global climate change science using simple illustrations, humor, interactivity, and age-appropriate language.  The interactive Climate Time Machine shows how global changes affect the Earth over time.  Animated "Climate Tales" follows a quirky polar bear and monkey as they cope with climate change and humans.  Interactive games deliver climate science concepts, and career role models give kids ideas to help build a greener future.

 

  • Junior Energy Website(resource for PLT's PreK-8 activites “Energy Sleuths,” “Renewable or Not?” and PLT's GreenSchools! program) Junior Energy's mission is to work in classrooms and schools to help children discover how they can positively impact the planet by engaging their parents, family, friends and neighbors in small, simple actions.  With separate sections for students and parents, visit the Junior Energy Websiteto learn about simple actions you can take at home to reduce energy consumption.  There is also a section where students can submit success stories and their own unique ideas for saving energy.

 

 

 

  • Integrated Pest Management and Environmental Science Curriculum. The University of Connecticut has developed a comprehensive curricula for students in grades K through 8. These curricula are intended to illustrate the application of the science, math, and language arts taught in our schools to learn about the environmental and human health concerns facing society and to introduce the concepts of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to students, their families, and their communities. The program invites interested teachers in Connecticut schools to participate in a pilot project of the IPM and Environmental Science curriculum during the 2010-2011 school year. Curriculum kits and training workshops would be provided to your school at no charge.They would also work with your school district to promote the project to the entire school community. Please contact Donna Ellis , phone (860) 486-6448 to participate or if you have any questions.

 

  • Connecticut’s Beardsley Zoo  has two special programs for National Sustainability Week. “Global Climate Change and its Effects on Wildlife”.  In this program students learn how the major causes of global climate change are affecting habitats around the world.  They will also meet animals that are being threatened by climate change and animals that can survive and even thrive during this global issue.  “Make Wise not Wild Choices” In this program students learn about responsible pet ownership and how the exotic pet trade affects the environment from non-native invasive species to threatened ecosystems from over collection.  

 

 

 

  • Visit a material recovery center and follow the paper trailfrom the recycle bin back to the shelf. This Video is from Teachers Domain (4m 02s) Grades K-8 Also includes background essay, questions, match to CT standards, and link to another related unit on how students can make recycled paper.

Middle Grades:Grade 5 – 8

  • Eco Literacy. Org - Needs and Wants lesson (pdf). Participants can distinguish between personal wants and needs and learn how to use things more sustainably.     

 

  • Facing the Future.org - Go Lesson 40 'Creating our Future' Lesson. Empower your students as they learn how they can plan for sustainable futures.

 

  • Keystone Curriculum.org – Defining Sustainability(pdf). Students will identify long and short term ideas of sustainable practices.

 

 

  • From EcoHealth at  Birds, Mosquitoes, and Viruses
    Students distinguish between direct and indirectly transmitted diseases and participate in a group game to simulate the spread of vector-borne diseases. They then research a particular pathogenic disease to learn how global warming—and biodiversity loss—can affect disease transmission.

 

  • From EcoHealth at Globalization: How and Why, From Here to There Through these three activities students will have the opportunity to explore today's globalization and its effects, both good and bad. They will have fun while building upon Our Small World and the importance of natural resources, free trade and the spread of disease. 

 

 

 

  • Teachers' Domainis an online library of more than 1,000 free classroom media resources from public television from NOVA, Frontline, Design Squad, American Experience, and other partners. They are "easy to use" and include correlations to CT and national educational standards. Among many useful curricula the site includes special collections in the areas of Climate Change and Global Warming and Alaska Native Perspectives on Earth and Climate.

 

  • Also at Teachers Domain,  another set of resourcs is organized under "Global Connections." It includes:Belief Systems (27 resources) Conflict (9) Economic Systems (18) Factors of Production (13) Human Rights (15) Migrations (11) Political Systems (7) Power (8) Social Structures (14) If you look up "Human Influence on Ecology" there are 84 separate curricular units available--this is a rich resource. The site requires registration to use the materials but there is no charge.

 

 

  • Teachers Domain's Environmental Public Health Special CollectionThe medical and technological advances of the past few centuries have helped improve human life on Earth, but technology has also had some unintended, harmful effects on human health and the health of other living things in our environment. This collection highlights these issues, examines how we are identifying the causes and effects of these health problems, and how public health works to improve conditions.(Videos and interactives, Grades 6-12)

 

 

  • Check out http://www.ecoliteracy.org/  for the following guidelines: Rethinking School Lunch Guide, What is a Green School?, School Lunch Initiative Evaluation. And fun activities: Make a Mini Greenhouse from a CD Case, and Needs and Wants Activity.

 

  • Start a Green Team to make your school more sustainable. Join Keep Connecticut Cool to learn more, share your successes and win cash awards. Keep Connecticut Cool is open to all students in grades 4-12 in Connecticut.

 

 

 

 

  • Integrated Pest Management and Environmental Science Curriculum. The University of Connecticut has developed a comprehensive curricula for students in grades K through 8. These curricula are intended to illustrate the application of the science, math, and language arts taught in our schools to learn about the environmental and human health concerns facing society and to introduce the concepts of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to students, their families, and their communities. The program invites interested teachers in Connecticut schools to participate in a pilot project of the IPM and Environmental Science curriculum during the 2010-2011 school year. Curriculum kits and training workshops would be provided to your school at no charge.They would also work with your school district to promote the project to the entire school community. Please contact Donna Ellis , phone (860) 486-6448 to participate or if you have any questions.

 

  • Connecticut's Beardsley Zoohas two special programs for National Sustainability Week. “Global Climate Change and its Effects on Wildlife”. In this program students learn how the major causes of global climate change are affecting habitats around the world. They will also meet animals that are being threatened by climate change and animals that can survive and even thrive during this global issue. “Make Wise not Wild Choices” In this program students learn about responsible pet ownership and how the exotic pet trade affects the environment from non-native invasive species to threatened ecosystems from over collection.

 

  • The Nourish Middle School Curriculum Guideoffers a rich set of resources to open a meaningful conversation about food and sustainability. Beautifully designed and brimming with big ideas, the materials contain a viewing guide, six learning activities, action projects, student handouts, suggested resources, and a glossary.

 

  • Climate Literacyat Teachers Domain offers resources for teaching climate science literacy. Including Climate Systems, Causes of Climate Change, Measuring and Modeling Climate, Impacts of Climate Change, and Human Responses to Climate Change.

 

  • CLEAN (Climate Literacy & Energy Awareness Network). This site includes essential teaching principles that can be used to increase student awareness of the earth's climate. Each principle includes teaching ideas for middle, high and undergraduate education.

 

 

High School: Grade 9 -12

  • Facing the Future.org - Go to 'Climate Change Connections and Solutions'. This is an interdisciplinary curriculum unit giving students a comprehensive understanding of the effects of climate change. Available for grades 6-8and 9-12.

 

  • Facing the Future.org- Go to Lesson 6 'Is it Sustainable?'  Enables students to define what sustainability means and how humans influence the environment.

 

  • Facing the Future.org - Go to Lesson 3 'Drilling down to Sustainability'.  Students define and discuss sustainability and the various resource extraction methods.

 

 

  • CT Energy Education - Ecological Footprint lesson. Students will calculate their own ecological footprint and find out how they might use resources more sustainably.

 

 

  • CT Energy Education – 12 Steps to a Sustainable School  lesson. Does your school use a comprehensive method toward sustainable practices? Learn how 12 steps could make your school more sustainable than it is now.

 

  • Teachers Domain's Environmental Public Health Special CollectionThe medical and technological advances of the past few centuries have helped improve human life on Earth, but technology has also had some unintended, harmful effects on human health and the health of other living things in our environment. This collection highlights these issues, examines how we are identifying the causes and effects of these health problems, and how public health works to improve conditions.(Videos and interactives, Grades 6-12)
  • Play the Fish Gamewith Cloud Institute. This online game will help students explore the concepts of "carrying capacity" and resources use.

 

  • Check out www.ecoliteracy.org  for the following guidelines: Rethinking School Lunch Guide, What is a Green School?, School Lunch Initiative Evaluation. And fun activities: Make a Mini Greenhouse from a CD Case, and Needs and Wants Activity.

 

  • Start a Green Team to make your school more sustainable. Join Keep Connecticut Cool to learn more, share your successes and win cash awards. Keep Connecticut Cool is open to all students in grades 4-12 in Connecticut.

 

 

College

  • Second Nature.org – Resource links, book links, article links  Education for Sustainability aimed for institutes of higher education.
  • CT Energy Education.com – Stabilization Wedgeslesson. Have your students understand the scale of reducing emissions to avoid drastic future changes in climate.
  • CT Energy Education - Ecological Footprint lesson  Students will calculate their own ecological footprint and find out how they might use resources more sustainably.