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!


Student shadows on pavement
Pikas Models + Climate Change lesson plan
"Albedo, Melting Ice, and Feedback Loops" lesson plan
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

California Education and the Environment Initiative

California Education and the Environment Initiative is free, state-sponsored K-12 curriculum that teaches science and history-social science standards through an environmental lens.

Facing the Future: Global Sustainability Curriculum

K-12 standards-aligned curriculum on global sustainability.

Facing the Future: Global Sustainability Curriculum

Green Education Foundation

The Green Education Foundation (GEF) is a national non-profit that offers challenges, lessons, and activities for K-12 on sustainability in all subjects including science, math, and language arts.


Encyclopedia of Earth Exploration

The Encyclopedia of Earth is a wonderful reference from the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society. For example, it has an excellent section on Biodiversity and many other topics in life science. The Encyclopedia of Earth is affiliated with The Encyclopedia of Life, another excellent resource being developed.