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: Have Wheels, Will Travel
by Alyssa Austin
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). In this case it's all about bikes.
Words That Inspire: The Once-ler, from The Lorax with photos by Chris Jordan
by Jing Fong
Quote from The Lorax by Dr. Seuss and images from Chris Jordan's stunning series on America's obsession with consumption, Intolerable Beauty, with a note to educators.
Visual Learning: Gone Fishing
by Alyssa Austin
Use this photo to ask your students what they notice and are wondering. Then share the facts behind the image to connect to greater understanding and discovery.
Americans Who Tell the Truth
by Jing Fong
Robert Shetterly's remarkable collection of portraits reminds us of the dignity, courage and importance of America's truth tellers. Here we offer curriculum tools to support the series.
Climate Action
by Jing Fong
These curricula are bursting with impressive lessons, experiments, and visual tools to guide your students in their exploration of climate change and the influence of common plants on human kind.
2009 Brower Youth Awards
by Jing Fong
Earth Institute's Brower Awards annually recognize young people who create a project or campaign with positive environmental and social impact. Meet this year's outstanding recipients.
10 Little and Big Things You Can Do
by Annie Leonard
There is no one simple thing to do to change our consumption patterns, because the set of problems we’re addressing just isn’t simple. But everyone can make a difference, and the bigger your action the bigger the difference you’ll make.
Teaching With The Story of Stuff
by Annie Leonard
Watch 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 materials economy and how we can choose to live differently.
Service-Learning and Life Philosophies
by Jing Fong
Here are two dynamic organizations that offer your students opportunities and engaging resources to express and act on what they believe. Encourage your students to take on a service-learning project or submit a personal essay to "This I Believe."
Visual Learning: Walking Slowly
by Alyssa Austin
Use this photo to ask your students what they notice and are wondering. Then share the facts behind the image to connect to greater understanding and discovery.
Facing the Future
by Jing Fong
Here is a range of lessons from Facing the Future for grades K-12, including some projects for university level students.
Nurturing Creative Thinkers
by Jing Fong
In this entertaining talk, Sir Ken Robinson asserts that to get the best out of people, schools need to nurture creative thinkers rather than good workers.
Bringing Power Home
by Jing Fong
Be inspired by Malawian teenager William Kamkwamba. After being forced to drop out of school, William teaches himself how to build a windmill to bring power to his village.
Visual Learning: Art Cars at Burning Man
by Alyssa Austin
Images, photos, and pictures stimulate the mind. For the viewer, they offer a chance to connect and question. They also offer potential for play and imagination, and pulling the observer into purposeful messages.
Rethinking Schools
by Jing Fong
Like YES! Magazine, Rethinking Schools strives to be both visionary and practical. We are delighted to share three of many lesson plans from Rethinking Schools that get to the heart of a real-world education.