Sustainability Education Resources

Sustainability Education Resources

Climate Change, Climate Justice + Sustainability lesson plans and supporting resources:

 

 

Environmental + Sustainability Education Organizations + Publications

 

Educator Professional Development: Workshops + Support

 

California and Bay Area Sustainabilty Initiatives

 

Other Environmental + Sustainability Education Resources

Have feedback about the resources or more you’d like to share?
We’d love to hear from you!

CLEAN: Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network
Understanding Climate Change
A People's Curriculum for the Earth
Extreme Weather and what to do about it
Green Teacher magazine
Project Learning Tree Environmental Education Guide
UN Sustainable Development Goals
The EverGreen Twins Activity Book
The Story of Stuff
Integrating Climate Change + Other Earth Science Topics with Biology + Physical Science

Integrating Climate Change + Other Earth Science Topics with Biology + Physical Science

BAESI is developing a series of lesson plans designed to help teachers integrate climate change and other Earth science concepts with the other sciences. Part of our motivation stems from a desire to help high school teachers integrate these critically important topics with biology, chemistry, and physics using the NGSS High School Three-Course Model being implemented in many secondary schools today. The lessons also link to the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) in language arts and math and California’s Environmental Principles and Concepts.

The lessons are adaptable for students in grades 4-12, with numerous adaptations and extensions to help meet the needs of all learners.

Presented in the 5E Instructional Model, the impactful framework helps you and your students:

  1. Engage
  2. Explore
  3. Explain
  4. Enrich / Extend
  5. Evaluate

Each lesson contains these elements to help you integrate them into your instruction:

  • Overview
  • Guiding questions
  • Standards alignment: Next Generation Science Standards, CCSSs, and California’s Environmental Principles and Concepts
  • Teacher background
  • Materials and preparation
  • Teaching suggestions for engaging students in the 5E Model
  • Links to resources to help you and your students expand your knowledge and skills

Each lesson seeks to engage students with one or more scientific phenomenon. Students also gain experience with the scientific method while conducting investigations and/or researching the phenomena. (A good list of other phenomena you might incorporate is here.)

The free lesson plans that connect to climate change issues include:

We hope you and your students enjoy the simulations, investigations, and wide-variety of other activities. We’d love to hear your feedback, including ideas for improvements as the lessons continue to evolve!

 

Iceberg
Student shadows on pavement
Pikas Models + Climate Change lesson plan
"Albedo, Melting Ice, and Feedback Loops" lesson plan
Carbon Travels—Then and Now

Carbon Travels—Then and Now

In BAESI’s new “Carbon Travels–Then and Now” lesson plan and simulation, students play the role of carbon atoms to learn about the carbon cycle and how it is changing. Adapted from the Carbon Travels activity at STEM Earth Central, students create two carbon cycle diagrams—visual models of the cycle before and after the Industrial Revolution. They reflect on the game and how scientists believe humans are impacting this critical Earth system. Numerous Enrich / Extend activities are listed to help you meet the needs of all learners, including ideas for student projects and a detailed reading titled
“The Fast and Slooow Carbon Cycles” that is appropriate for high school chemistry classes and other more advanced students.

Guiding Questions

  • How is the carbon cycle changing due to human activities?
  • How are changes in the carbon cycle altering
    Earth’s climate and other systems?
  • How can we help restore balance to the carbon cycle?

Objectives

  • Students will participate in two simulations of the carbon cycle: before and after the Industrial Revolution.
  • Students will create two models of the carbon cycle representing how it has changed since the Industrial Revolution.
  • Students will create written explanations of their models to demonstrate their learning.
  • Students will explain how human activities have been changing the carbon cycle orally and in writing.

The lesson is aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) & Common Core State Standards, as well as California’s Environmental Principles and Concepts. It can be easily adapted for other grades and non-formal education settings, as well. We hope you and your students enjoy the simulation and other activities and we’d love to hear your feedback!

Model showing storage and flows of carbon on Earth in gigatons
commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Carbon_cycle-cute_diagram.svg

Pika Models + Climate Change Lesson Plan

Pika Models + Climate Change Lesson Plan

BAESI’s new “Pika Models + Climate Change” lesson plans are adapted from the 2016 Science Framework for California Public Schools (pp. 839-841). Students explore the life of pikas, tiny mammals that live in alpine areas, and how they are being impacted by climate change. After a brief introduction which includes a reading, short video, and story which includes a mathematical model, students engage in a kinesthetic simulation to gain first-hand experience of life as a pika, and how the animals can be impacted by shrinking habitat. Students then create line graphs with data from the simulation and analyze it.

Part II of the lesson allows students to create their own model to teach others about pikas and their connections to their ecosystem, and/or how the pika or another organism is being impacted by climate change and/or other human activities. Numerous adaptations/extensions are listed at the end of the lesson, including ways to explore additional data from online computer simulations and how they can incorporate current and projected climatic data into their models.

There are two versions of the lesson that are both highly adaptable to meet the needs of all learners:

Both versions of the lesson are aligned to NGSS & Common Core State Standards, as well as California’s Environmental Principles and Concepts. They can be easily adapted for other grades and non-formal education settings, as well. We hope you and your students enjoy the simulations and other activities and we’d love to hear your feedback about it!

Pika gathering plants to make hay

Are We Related? An Evolution Memory Game

In this activity, students explore incidents of homology in nature and analyze similarities and differences in body structures of animals.

Are We Related? Lesson plan (.PDF)
Are We Related? Student worksheet (.PDF)
Birds and T-rex: Evidence (.PDF)
Sharks and Rays: Evidence (.PDF)
Whales and Wolves: Evidence (.PDF)
Lobsters and Insects: Evidence