Powerful and practical ways to bring outside learning inside your classroom, featuring curriculum resources from the No Impact Project. Also, new featured YES! Exemplary Essays.
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YES! Education Connection Newsletter YES! Education Connection Newsletter
Powerful Ideas, Practical Actions    January/February 2010
You can never have an impact on society if you have not changed yourself.” —Nelson Mandela

Graphic from No Impact Man blog
Dear Educators,

As you rang in the new year, perhaps you had a resolution or two. Eat more vegetables? Audition for a play? Switch to refillable ink cartridges?

In this newsletter you’ll find the story of a family with a remarkable resolution. For one year, “No Impact Man” Colin Beavan and his family tried to unplug, produce no trash, and buy nothing. We are excited to share the newly released No Impact Project Curriculum to get your students thinking about the effects of ordinary actions on the environment. You’ll also find valuable teaching resources on green building, energy alternatives, and climate heroes.

Our newsletter bonus is two YES! Exemplary Essays. Check out these student-written essays—one on a Parker Palmer article and the other on the gifts each of us have and what that might mean for our school systems. Let me know if you'd like to join the Exemplary Essay project—teachers tell us their students love the prospect of getting an essay onto the YES! Website.

Jing Fong, Education Outreach Manager, YES! MagazineBest,
Jing's signature
Jing Fong
Education Outreach Manager, YES! Magazine

P.S. Is your free teacher subscription ending? Renew today, and we'll send you our inspiring 13-month 2010 quotes calendar FREE.

Your Stories

Photo Courtesy of Warren Wilson College
Growing Good People Through Work, Study, and Community
Organic gardens, eco-friendly dorms, and vegetarian eateries are not all that make up Warren Wilson College—an environmentally conscious work college in the rolling hills of Asheville, North Carolina. Rather, as Margo Flood, director of the Environmental Leadership Center puts it, this campus is all about the liberal arts. Learn how Warren Wilson students and teachers strive for a complete education through work, study, and community. This is Margo’s story.

MORE YOUR STORIES: Beauty of Teenagers. Free to Be Me. Starting with Place. Anthropology 101. Hands-on Sustainability. Chicken Soup for the Soul in the Classroom. Local food in schools.

SEND US your own story to share with our growing network of YES! educators.

YES! Recommends

image from The No Impact Project. noimpactproject.org
When Colin Beavan and his family decided to try living for a year in New York City without doing any harm to the environment, many people responded, Are you kidding? But it wasn’t just a year of “not’s.” It was a year of discovering they could actually be happier, healthier and live more abundantly by trading their old habits for new, environmentally-friendly ones.

The No Impact Curriculum’s five stand-alone lesson plans help middle and high school students explore the effects their everyday behavior has on the environment, their health, and their well-being, and guide them to make relevant behavior changes. We’ve also included No Impact’s “how to” manual for a one-week carbon cleansing. No Impact makes a point that you don’t have to be a hippie, activist, or granola eater to participate. This is for anyone wanting to make realistic changes in how they live.

YES! Classroom Tools

Beyond Lightbulbs. YES! Magazine Poster
Carbon-Free Poster
A year-by-year guide for how the Jones family (and your students) can go carbon-free in 10 years without turning their lives upside down.

13 Best Energy Ideas. YES! Magazine graphic
13 Best Energy Ideas
Biofuel or nuclear power, planting trees or buying a hybrid? YES! Magazine offers a baker’s dozen of energy policies and technologies that lead us to a brighter, sustainable future.

Climate Heroes. YES! Magazine
Climate Heroes
From Katrina survivors to grandmothers to nonprofit leaders these 7 climate heroes are sure to inspire your students with their bold and innovative actions to save the planet.

10 Ways to Change Your Life. YES! Magazine poster
10 Ways to Change Your Life
Using less energy is key to lowering atmospheric CO2 to 350 parts per million. But how willing are we to change how we live? No Impact Man gives his suggestions.

Curriculum and Resources
Lesson plans, hands-on activities, and award-winning projects on green building and green economies will demonstrate to your students that a better, sustainable future is possible and that they can help build it.

logo for the Ella Baker Center
Ella Baker Center Green Learning Activities
The Ella Baker Center for Human Rights offers a compelling collection of activities (written for high school but easily adaptable for middle school, college, and adults) that explore the rapidly growing green economy and how it can solve two crises—climate change and social inequality. Your students will be researching and asking the hard questions about sustainable communities and justice.

image from the U.S. Green Building Council
U.S. Green Building Council
The U.S. Green Building Council uses the built environment to bring sustainability education to your classroom. Award-winning curricula and projects on green building (how about a green dream house?) from other teachers—secondary through university—are spotlighted. Also offered are teaching tools on green schools and the LEED rating system.
YES! Exemplary Essay Project
Exemplary Essay graphic. YES! Magazine graphic.
The YES! Exemplary Essay Project demonstrates how teachers can use YES! stories as the basis for thought-provoking writing. It also gives students an opportunity to voice their opinions and show off their stellar writing.

Read featured essays from our latest classroom participants who responded to YES! articles “Blessings Revealed,” by Puanani Burgess and “Know Yourself, Change Your World,” by Parker Palmer.

Want an opportunity for your students to step up their writing and write for a real audience? Learn about how to join the YES! Exemplary Essay Project here.

Questions about the Exemplary Essay Project? Email us.

Words that Inspire

Cell phones #2, Atlanta. Photo by Chris Jordan
Cell phones #2, Atlanta. Photo by Chris Jordan
The Once-ler
from The Lorax, by Dr. Seuss

“I meant no harm. I most truly did not.
But I had to grow bigger. So bigger I got.
I biggered my factory. I biggered my roads.
I biggered my wagons. I biggered the loads …”

For the complete quote and a companion
classroom activity, click here.

YES! Magazine logo
INDEX: in this issue
How to Get More YES!
example pages from the 2010 YES! Calendar RENEW: SPECIAL OFFER
Renew today and get our beautiful, inspiring 13-month 2010 calendar FREE.
Featuring full-color photos and inspiring quotes from the pages of YES!
Artist Robert Shetterly's beautiful book.
How a Community Food System Works poster.

YES! Posters
School Library Offer
YES! School Librarian subscription offer
Free 1 Year Subscription to YES!
Thanks to the generosity of YES! donors, we are able to provide middle school, high school, college, and university librarians with a one-year introductory subscription at no cost.

YES! Web Picks
Image from Sundance Channel: Big Ideas for a Small Planet series episode on Carlos Salgado and Bart Bettencourt of SCRAPILE, a Brooklyn, New York furniture company. Silk Purse from Sow’s Ear
Your students will be inspired by two men who make high-end furniture from scrap wood. Now that’s sustainable!

The Fun Theory's Piano Stairs Stairway to Fun
The fun theory boasts, “If you want something done, make it fun.” Watch this delightful video on how to get people to take the stairs instead of the escalator.

Image from Yes Men Take on the World “Yes Men” Trailer
Watch how YES Men Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno comically impersonate company executives and expose the shortcomings of large corporations.

PLUS … Film Review

YES! in Spanish
Visual Learning
Bicycle from the Bamboo Bike Studio
Have Wheels Will Travel
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.

Visual Learning Lesson Plan
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