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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Teaching Resources

Teaching Resources

Related Tags: Environmental Education
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What are some resources that add depth to lessons and broaden student understanding of environmental content?

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Jason Flom's picture
Jason Flom
Director-Elect in Tallahassee, FL

Here are a few TED Talks that address some Green/Environmental Issues:

1. Carolyn Steel: How Food Shapes Our Cities
2. Michael Pritchard: Water Filter that Turns Filthy Water Clean
3. James Balog's Time Lapse Proof of Extreme Ice Loss
4. Janine Benyus on Biomimicry in Action (This is one of my favorite TED talks. It points to the potential future of sustainable business, design, and problem solving.)

Jeff Goldstein's picture

Hi Jason,

Got your tweet requesting input! I would love to share here the Blog on the Universe posts I wrote on climate change and the environment. The Blog is dedicated to teachers and science education, and the goal is conceptual understanding at an emotional level. Each post is designed to be used as a lesson, and each is outlined in the Blog's Teachers Lesson Planner with essential question(s), key concepts, learning objectives, math skills, and any special features.

Here is the one stop shop for the Climate Change Posts:
http://bit.ly/1oE3K

Here is an added piece I wrote that addresses the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen: bit.ly/HHgif

Folks should also read "About This Blog" at:
http://blogontheuniverse.org/about

ENJOY!!

Dr. Jeff Goldstein, Center Director
National Center for Earth and Space Science Education
USA

Michael Kirk's picture
Michael Kirk
Grad Student

I'm a huge proponent of learning by doing. Get the students to interact with the environment is what comes to mind for me. I have recently picked up a new hobby called Geocaching. Geocaching is where people hide GPS units outside and give clues to where to find them. I personally have found several around my area. It was a great way to explore areas around me I've never been to before. Here is the official Geocaching website for more information: http://www.geocaching.com/ Also I found a website which has some great lesson plans centered around geocaching: http://www.gis2gps.com/GPS/lessonplans/gpsplans.htm
I hope this helps!

Becky Tessier's picture
Becky Tessier
Co-Founder, Get Out and Lead!

Hey Jason,

Just read your post... that's what we do! My husband Marcus and I are starting up a company that takes kids (middle and high school age) outdoors to teach leadership, confidence, outdoor skills and environmental science. Soooo very important to get out and use what nature provides for us! Check us out www.getoutandlead.com
Good luck!

Becky Tessier, co-founder
Get Out and Lead!
www.getoutandlead.com

Sarah Walton's picture
Sarah Walton
Librarian from Portland Elementary

I'm new to environmental. I'm working on a mini grant and need innovative ideas on teaching the kids about the environment inside a traditional elementary library. Mostly when I asked kids how the library should be now that we have an environmental focus, they came up with ideas about building individual reading nooks and lofts, treehouse like within the library. Also I wonder about if we could do something indoors that would make students more prepared to go outdoors, overcoming ecophobia by learning about nature through technology or literature. Does anyone have pictures or ideas of great resources indoors that support outdoor learning?

Beth Diesch's picture
Beth Diesch
Educator for Soil & Water Conservation District

Love the thought!! I've not seen this thought/application but my ideas revolve around "pretend" play areas based on a nature theme..for our themes we have pitched a tent in the classroom, built a teepee, made Max's Room out of trellises & paper leaves/vines, made a den out of a box, built a bird nest out of brown bags & newspapers and have made ponds & streams with kiddie pools and blue rolled paper. These play areas are used in the classroom while the theme is being taught and then dismantled for another time and replaced with something else.

We work with preschoolers, but I think it'd be great to "assign" themes to a class to research & design a place in the library. Our preschoolers always help with the building but our staff brainstorm the design stage. What better way for the students to learn than to teach others!! It also helps with respect of the project if the students play a major part in building it.

Many times the kids were given ideas for role play (and came up with their own); made up songs, poems, stories about what could happen in their play place, we also include changing seasons by using white sheets (snow) to cover the area, silk leaves for fall, etc. There are TONS of pic books that we incorporated into each theme too.(I'm sure you can think of a few too!)

By setting up these play areas and allowing the kids to explore, inquire and manipulate they can become familiar with the theme indoors and then feel more comfortable basically in the same place, only outdoors. It also takes time to build their trust of the outdoors!! Start your excursions as short (5-10 min) trips and build up to the desired length of outdoor lesson.

I am very interested in how this goes and where you're submitting to. My mom is our community librarian and I work with many schools that are developing outdoor learning areas, I love the idea of linking the 2 even further!!

[quote]I'm new to environmental. I'm working on a mini grant and need innovative ideas on teaching the kids about the environment inside a traditional elementary library. Mostly when I asked kids how the library should be now that we have an environmental focus, they came up with ideas about building individual reading nooks and lofts, treehouse like within the library. Also I wonder about if we could do something indoors that would make students more prepared to go outdoors, overcoming ecophobia by learning about nature through technology or literature. Does anyone have pictures or ideas of great resources indoors that support outdoor learning?[/quote]

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