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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: Week of Nonviolence Visual Learning: Week of Nonviolence
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.
Connect and Engage: Making History Connect and Engage: Making History
To teach happiness, be happy. Teachers, in particular, need support to be passionate and content in a challenging profession. The Center for Courage and Renewal's "Courage to Teach" supports this belief with essays, articles, and a retreat program.
YES! Recommends: Project Happiness :: 7 Doors Project YES! Recommends: Project Happiness :: 7 Doors Project
Take your students on a journey of self-discovery that will ultimately lead them to understanding not only what is happiness for themselves, but also what is happiness for others. Each door represents a facet of your path to happiness, and hosts a multimedia array of interviews, photos, films, questionnaires, and activities.
Curriculum and Resources: Rescue the Planet Curriculum and Resources: Rescue the Planet
by Stephanie McMillan
A comic strip by Stephanie McMillan with additional curriculum materials on analyzing comics and cartoons.
Visual Learning: NYC Pillow Fight Visual Learning: NYC Pillow Fight
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 Connect and Engage: Happiness
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 Happiness in the Classroom and Beyond
Classroom resources from the Sustainable Happiness issue of YES! Magazine.
Connect and Engage: Addressing Fear Connect and Engage: Addressing Fear
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! Speak Up!
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 Connect and Engage: Elections
Use this election season to hone your students' skills in media literacy, deciphering political cartoons, and evaluating candidate voting records.
Debate Watching 101 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 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 Connect and Engage: Food and Water
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 Focus on Fair Trade
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 Connect and Engage: Foreign Policy
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.
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