Curriculum & Resources

Curricula and lesson plans on topics ranging from climate change to happiness.

In each of the following categories, you'll find a variety of teaching tools for immediate use in the classroom or for building your own curriculum.  These resources include: lessons, curriculum, poetry, videos, projects, stories, and essays.

Treasure Chest

Photo by nezumichuu

:: Teaching Happiness

Discover the good life through resilience, creativity, and community.

:: Teaching Outside the Box

Meaningful learning pushes boundaries with action, inquiry, and innovation.

:: Teaching Peace & Justice

Paths to peace, inclusion, equality, and compassion for all.

:: Teaching Sustainability 

How to build a robust economy, healthy planet, and just world for all.

:: Visual Learning

Use the wonder of a photo to engage in deep discussions and understanding.

Visual Learning: NYC Pillow Fight
by Jing Fong
Images, photos, and pictures stimulate the mind. With this YES! lesson plan, you and your students can luxuriate—and pause—to truly understand an image, its message, and why it’s interesting (or not).
Connect and Engage: Happiness
by Jing Fong
These two top-notch resources offer opportunities for you and your students to truly understand the benefits of giving, and the strengths and virtues that make people and communities thrive.
Happiness in the Classroom and Beyond
by Jing Fong
Classroom resources from the Sustainable Happiness issue of YES! Magazine.
Connect and Engage: Addressing Fear
by Jing Fong
Here are lesson plans and how-to resources forcoming to terms with false assumptions about immigrants, the current economic crisis, and walls that separate important relationships. Simply put, it’s about addressing fear with clarity and calmness.
Speak Up!
by Jing Fong
Six Steps to Speaking Up Against Everyday Bigotry Teaching Tolerance's Speak Up! initiative helps individuals stand up to everyday prejudice. Learn not only about injustice, but how to stand up to it.
Connect and Engage: Elections
by Jing Fong
Use this election season to hone your students' skills in media literacy, deciphering political cartoons, and evaluating candidate voting records.
Debate Watching 101
by League of Women Voters
The League of Women Voters’ Debate Watching Tools include Debate Watching 101, How to Judge a Candidate, and a candidate scorecard. Watching a debate is more exciting as a group. So, gather your students and be part of history!
5 Ways to Make History
by Fran Korten
Elections aren’t until November. But the heart of the process is going on right now. Here are my top 5 ideas for making a difference—and staying sane—in the coming months.
Connect and Engage: Food and Water
by Jing Fong
Give your students more hands-on activities with these captivating lesson plans about life’s most basic means of survival: food and water.
Focus on Fair Trade
by Jing Fong
These three TransFair USA curricula are designed to help students understand the concept of fair trade and to highlight its values and significance to farmers and communities. Using familiar imported foods—chocolate, bananas and coffee—as the focus, your students will gain an appreciation for the hard work of the farmer and will feel empowered knowing their consumer choices have real impact on real people.
Connect and Engage: Foreign Policy
by Jing Fong
As a teacher, helping your students understand foreign policy requires that you explore other cultures and nations and how they relate to the United States. Here are a couple of curriculum options to help you make that connection.
Teaching with the News
by Jing Fong
The Choices Program’s Teaching with the News initiative provides online curriculum materials and ideas to connect the content of the classroom to the headlines in the news. Its twelve lesson plans cover a range of foreign policy and international issues, from analyzing U.S. efforts to combat terrorism to exploring policy alternatives for relations with Iran.
Teaching Climate: Scientists and Kids Explore Global Warming
by Gary Braasch, Lynne Cherry
Award-winning photo-journalist Gary Braasch has joined forced with kids author Lyne Cherry to tell the story behind the big climate change headlines and introduce 5-8 graders to the science of global warming.
Teaching Climate: Digital Story Telling
BRIDGES to Understanding has developed teaching tools around the issue of Climate Change that focus on journaling and digital story telling for your students. As your students develop their stories you can follow the work of other schools on-line.
Xavier Cortada: Artist’s Statement
by Xavier Cortada
To address global climate change, Cortada has created two related works. One focuses on global awareness, the other on local action. The artist says: "My work aims to challenge us to find deeper meaning in our present lives by exploring the paths of those who came before us and our relationship to the natural world."