Green Teacher 88, Spring 2010
First Person Singular: Documenting Climate Change by Lauren G. McClanahan
Yup’ik high school students in Alaska, disturbed by the signs and symptoms of climate change in their far northern village, came up with a creative ways to communicate these concerns to a group of student teachers in Washington state. Similar projects elsewhere could serve to strengthen the writing skills of middle and high school students, while giving pre-service teachers exposure to real student writing, and voicing local environmental issues to a wider audience.
Sustainable Futures: An Interdisciplinary Unit at the Australian Science and Maths School by Cat Stone and Andy Stone
Students at a specialized senior science and math high school in Australia enjoy an interdisciplinary curriculum, within a new building where more than half of the floor spaces is comprised of open-concept Learning Commons. The authors describe in detail the sustainable gardens project that asks students to consider local conditions in choosing their design and which flora and fauna to include. Includes a rubric which can be applied to similar projects elsewhere.
Introducing Biomimicry by Dorna L. Schroeter
Activities for elementary, middle, and high school students which examine products that use less energy and have fewer toxic components because they are inspired by designs in nature. Integrating the hopeful science of biomimicry into the curriculum provides opportunities for creative problem-solving exercises that challenge them to think, to ask questions and to create in a collaborative setting.
Stop the E-Waste Crisis: Engaging the Technological Generation by Kenji O’Brien
An introduction to the topic of electronic waste, created by technological obsolescence. A condensed 90-minute lesson plan on e-waste for grades 7 – 12 uses multiple media to analyze the e-waste crisis from the perspectives of environmental justice, toxicology, civic engagement and ‘green’ chemistry.
Bringing Children Back to Nature by Janet Barlow
Five activities for children aged 4 – 13 developed by outdoor educator Joseph Cornell. The activities follow the principles of Cornell’s “Flow Learning” to gently guide participants into deeper and more profound experiences of nature through the following principles: “awaken enthusiasm”; “focus attention”; “direct experience”; and “share inspiration”.
Map Interpretation and the Language of Maps by Bert Murphy
A basic introduction to maps in environmental education, and the techniques of how to map a natural area.
Getting Down and Dirty: Studying Soil Samples from Around the Country by Nanette L. Avery
An activity for upper elementary students in which soil samples from around the country are exchanged and evaluated. Students gain knowledge of the correlation between soil composition and different kinds of terrain, and why different soils have greatly varied qualities.
Developing a Sense of Place Through Native Science Activities by Clifford E. Knapp (free article)
Downloadable student worksheets are available for some of the activities in this article.
Click here to download the worksheets.
Twenty five basic activities inspired by the writings of people who have lived close to the land. These activities aim to develop a deeper sense of place by going beyond Western science to observe and interact with nature qualitatively as well as quantitatively.
Educational Resources Reviewed
Our Incredible World video series (Pinegrove Productions)
Walden: The Ballad of Thoreau documentary and theatrical play (Michael Johnathon)
Native American Games book and activity kit (Nature Watch)
Water Detectives (National Film Board of Canada)
Weird Weather (Kate Evans)
101 Kid-Friendly Plants (Cindy Krezel)
The Hero’s Trail (T.A. Barron)
A Kids’ Guide to Climate Change & Global Warming: How to Take Action (Cathryn Berger Kaye)
This is My Planet: The Kids’ Guide to Global Warming (Jan Thornhill)
Nature’s Playground: Activities, Crafts, and Games to Encourage Children to Get Outdoors (Fiona Danks)
The 175 Best Camp Games: A Handbook for Learners (Kathleen Fraser, Laura Fraser, Mary Fraser, Bernice Lum)
Travels with Music DVD (Listen for Life Productions)
Night of the Spadefoot Toads (Bill Harley)
Leaving Simplicity (Claire Carmichael)
Waste = Food DVD (Rob Van Hattum)
A Native American Thought of It (Rocky Landon and David MacDonald)
The Inuit Thought of It (Alootook Ipellie and David MacDonald)
The Earth Charter in Action (Peter Corcoran et al., ed.)
Wind Wisdom Educator’s Guide (Northeast Sustainable Energy Association)
The Migration of Birds: Seasons on the Wing (Janice M. Hughes)
Resisto Dancing: Songs of Compassionate Revolution Audio CD (Raffi Cavoukian)
Journey for the Planet (David Gershon)
Natural: Simple Land Art Through the Seasons (Marc Pouyet)