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.


Fall 2012 Literary Gems
Though not every participant can win the Fall 2012 writing contest, we'd like to share some excerpts that caught our eye.
Dee Williams Response to Fall 2012 Essay Winners
Dee Williams, who downsized from a three-bedroom to an 84-square-foot house, responds to essay winners of the Fall 2012 writing competition.
Fall 2012 High School Winner Ritika Mazumder
Ritika Mazumder is a student at Houston High School in Germantown, Tennessee. She read and responded to the YES! Magazine article, "Living Large in a Tiny House," by Carol Estes. Read Ritika's essay about her desire to have a smaller home as long as she can spend time with the people she lives with.
Fall 2012 Middle School Winner Rowan Treece
Rowan Treece is a student at Catlin Gabel School in Portland, Oregon. She read and responded to the YES! Magazine article, "Living Large in a Tiny House" by Carol Estes. Read Rowan's essay about the sustainable dance community home she would build so she could live with her ballet sisters every day and save the planet.
Fall 2012 Powerful Voice Winner Paw Soe
Paw Soe is a student at New Tech Academy at Wayne High School. She read and responded to the YES! Magazine article, "Living Large in a Tiny House," by Carol Estes. Read Paw's essay about how her Burmese roots taught her that no matter the size of your home, an abundant garden is essential.
Curriculum & Resources: The Big Disconnect Infographic
by Jing Fong
The average American spends 90 percent of his or her time inside—a recipe for obesity, asthma, and other ill effects. The Big Disconnect Infographic, created by CottageCountry.com and the David Suzuki Foundation, spells out the benefits that the natural environment brings to human health.
Curriculum & Resources: TED-Ed
by Jing Fong
TED-Ed matches talented teachers and amazing animators to produce an impressive film library and platform for turning any video into a customized lesson.
Permaculture Helps Us Remember Who We Are
by Lilian Hill
Lilian Hill has a vision that the next generation of Hopi people will be healthy and find solutions to the challenges they face. Through Hopi Tutskwa Permaculture, she reconnects Hopi people of all ages to traditional farming and ecological wisdom.
YES! Recommends: Center for Ecoliteracy
by Jing Fong
YES! recommends the Center Ecoliteracy for its sustainable living resources. At the heart of the Center's work is the understanding that guidance for living abundantly is all around us through Mother Nature.
Net Zero’s Net Worth: How Renewable Energy Is Rescuing Schools from Budget Cuts
by Erin L. McCoy
Educators across the country are finding millions of dollars in savings through cheap and simple forms of renewable energy.
What Climate-Driven Hurricane Sandy Teaches about Cooperation
by Sarah van Gelder
It’s 3 a.m. and the wind’s howling. Do you know your neighbors?
Visual Learning: Lost Your Marbles?
by Susan Lloyd
This Visual Learning lesson plan will get your students thinking about community, public art, and why they can or can't buy spray paint.
YES! Recommends: Nourish
by Jing Fong
Nourish is an education initiative that celebrates food and community. Its food curriculum and lesson plans, short films and discussion guides, and powerful action ideas will help young people and their families, schools, and communities think about the food they eat and what they can do to make healthy choices for themselves and planet Earth.
Curriculum & Resources: Sugar Consumption Infographic
by Jing Fong
OnlineNursingProgram.com's jaw-dropping infographic on sugar consumption reveals the not-so-sweet truth—Americans eat way too much sugar. Data visualization puts the statistics into context. When sugar intake increases, so do the pounds and risks for high blood pressure, diabetes, and more. A clear case for changing our behavior.
Curriculum & Resources: Independent Television Service (ITVS) Lesson Plans
by Jing Fong
ITVS's Community Classroom engages teachers and students through film. Their collections of lesson plans and documentaries will launch students into a deeper level of understanding about a range of global issues, particularly involving social justice.