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Curriculum and Resources: Climate Action

Newsletter snapshot, Dec 2009

Great Resources for Teaching
from the December 2009 YES! Education Connection Newsletter

Read the newsletter: How to be a climate hero: small steps to living differently

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.

:: Climate Change Curricula
:: Botany of Desire


Climate Change Curricula

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SEE WEBSITE:
Will Steger Foundation

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Will Steger wears many hats: author, writer, photographer, and educator. But he is probably most well known as an explorer. Steger reached the North Pole in 1986, leading a team of six, by dogsled. Because he has seen firsthand the environmental and human effects of global warming, Steger was motivated to establish the Will Steger Foundation to solve the climate change challenge.

Steger's curricula focus on thought-provoking interactions and practical solutions for students of all ages (grades K-university). Lessons were developed in collaboration with the Narioanl Education Association (NEA), Union of Concerned Scientists, and National Geographic. Check out the following curricula that deliver a strong knowledge base on climate change, accompanied by a framework that encourages and supports older students to articulate their positions on climate policy.

  • Global Warming 101 (grades 3-6): The subject of climate change may be overwhelming, but if young children are hearing about it in the news and from people they know, they need to understand it in a thoughtful, appropriate way. Five lessons are devoted to basic background information on climate change.
  • Global Warming 101 (grades 6-12): In these six lessons cover climate change basics, using the Arctic as the focus for understanding global warming and its effects. Students will also learn about possible solutions.
  • Citizen Climate Curriculum (grades 9-12): This new unit takes students to the next level of understanding and action: critical thinking and civic engagement. Lessons build on the information background gained in Global Warming 101, and explore more sophisticated topics such as the carbon cycle, greenhouse targets, cap and trade, and carbon tax. Students will acquire the knowledge they need to critically assess what they hear or read about in the news. They will also learn how to formulate written position statements and policies on what they feel is needed to tackle global warming.

DOWNLOAD: Educator Resource Binder

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The Botany of Desire

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SEE WEBSITE :: The Botany of Desire

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Botany of Desire tells the story of four everyday plants and their relationship with humankind. In this colorful collection of PBS lesson plans and interactive tools, your students will gain a greater appreciation for these plants and their influence on both human and natural worlds.

Lesson plans include: measuring and comparing sweetness of different apples; shapes and patterns of tulips and other flowers; history and use of mind-altering plants; and biodiversity and genetic-based engineering. Video clips, engaging experiments, compelling charts, discussion guides, and clear objectives accompany each lesson plan.

Want to travel the globe? With each click, A Plant's-Eye History of the World (from ancient history to present) takes you on a plant's historic journey through time.

Explore the lesson plans:

DOWNLOAD: Botany of Desire Teacher Guide (pdf)

Visit the Botany of Desire website for more activities and information.

PBS Teachers offers a rich collection of classroom resources and professional development opportunities to pre-K through high school educators. You'll find lesson plans, peer communication, and webinars on a range of subjects, from the arts and sciences to fitness to technology.

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