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Building a Just and Sustainable World January/February 2008
If you're wondering how to get your students thinking creatively about sustainability, I have the answer: The Story of Stuff.
Since seeing this 20-minute film last month, I'm convinced it's a one-of-a-kind resource for engaging students of all ages to think about the stuff we buy and throw away.
If you do nothing else this year on sustainability in your class, show this lively film, explore our YES! teaching resources, and get your students thinking about their own stuff and how they can help shape a more satisfying, just, and sustainable world that works for all.
Education Outreach Manager, YES! Magazine
P.S. Forward this newsletter to friends and colleagues, and help expand the network of teachers saying YES!
Read about an innovative university teacher workshop on cultural diversity that integrated readings on immigration and human rights from the Is the U.S. Ready for Human Rights? issue of YES!
MORE OF YOUR STORIES: See students campaigning for a Department of Peace; listen to high-schoolers take the lead on climate change in the Cool School Campaign; hear sixth-grade girls talk about Immigration, and read about innovative teaching methods in action on Sustainability.
Please send us your stories of inspiring teaching to share with our growing network of YES! teachers.
The Story of Stuff shows how everything is interconnected—from the production and disposal of stuff to the disastrous impact that over-consumption has on our environment and developing countries. And it’s not just about consumption—the film raises questions and issues about the role of government, the purpose of an economy, and what makes us happy.
10 Little and Big Things You Can Do, to share with your students.
See The Story of Stuff, read our review of the film, and explore our selected YES! articles that address the complex issues that relate to our material economy and how we can choose to live differently.
More in-depth curriculum resources on sustainable choices for all of our… "stuff."
Facing the Future offers innovative curriculum for teaching about global issues and sustainability. We've picked eight of their free lesson plans for grades 5-12 that you can use with The Story of Stuff including Shop Till you Drop, Watch Where you Step, Livin’ the Good Life, and Is it Sustainable?
In addition to information about the systems-thinking values, skills, and competencies needed to teach education for sustainability, The Center for Ecoliteracy offers examples of schools they work with and support that embody processes and practices for effective education for sustainability.
UNESCO offers a broad range of multimedia and interactive lesson plans on interdisciplinary issues related to sustainability for grades 6-12. Their lesson plan on consumption has David Suzuki explaining the human dependence on natural resources and the impact of resource consumption on the world.
In partnership with Earth Day Network, Redefining Progress offers environmental education lesson plans for K-12 educators. Their Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI) presents an alternative to the gross domestic product (GDP). Get your students talking about what would happen if policymakers measured what really matters to people.
Here is poetry for thought to share with your students: Ask whether they agree with what award-winning poet Martin Espada says about the role poets can play in creating a more just world:
INDEX: in this issue
How to Get More YES!
Teach about Chocolate for Valentine’s Day
Help your students learn about chocolate, fair trade, and how they can make a difference. Global Exchange offers curriculum materials and action guides.
YES! in Spanish
Maestros y profesores de español
Get your students thinking and talking in Spanish about the story of stuff: La buena vida: el consumismo se quedó en los ‘90’s por Holly Dressel; Independencia de la economía global corporativa por Ethan Miller.
YES! Web Picks
Top 10 Youth Activism Stories of 2007
Young Americans are putting their energies into remarkable actions for their communities, and for the world.
A low-consumption lifestyle can be comfortable, supportive and even provide a route to freedom: life at the Emma Goldman Finishing School.
Detail from 'cell phones #2, Atlanta'. Photo by Chris Jordan
Chris Jordan's photo series on American mass consumption is a stunning view of what happens when we as a nation have too much stuff.
"My hope is that these photographs can serve as portals to a kind of cultural self-inquiry. It may not be the most comfortable terrain, but I have heard it said that in risking self-awareness, at least we know that we are awake." — Chris Jordan
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