Lesson Finder

Global Sustainability Lesson Finder

The Global Sustainability Lesson Finder allows you to identify curriculum resources that pertain to the grade, subject, and global sustainability topic that you select. You can also find more information about the issues by visiting our Global Sustainability Resources webpage.

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CurriculumDescriptionTypeTimeDownload
Are You Buying This?!

Students work in groups to create and present mock television commercials for products linked to unsustainable or unhealthy behavior.

Hands-on Lesson1-2 (50 min) class periods
Area & Transformations: Wildlife Habitats

Students compare the sizes of different habitats where the endangered snow leopard lives and practice transforming a trapezoid on a coordinate plane.

Hands-on Lesson1-2 (50 min) class periods
Bears in the Air

Through a game in which an object is tossed as fast as possible around a circle, students experience the limits of success, redesign their "tossing system," and identify assumptions that drive behavior.

Hands-on Lesson1-2 (50 min) class periods Download
Biodiversity Connections

Students simulate biodiversity within an ecosystem by assuming the identities of resident plant and animal species in a forest stream ecosystem.

Hands-on Lesson1-2 (50 min) class periods
Climate Change: Connection and Solutions, Grades 6-8

An interdisciplinary, self-contained two-week unit that lays the foundation for understanding some of the forces behind climate change and its connections to numerous social, economic, and environmental factors.

1-2 Week Unit1-2 Weeks Download
Climate Change: Connections and Solutions, Grades 9-12

An interdisciplinary, self-contained two-week unit that lays the foundation for understanding some of the forces behind climate change and its connections to numerous social, economic, and environmental factors.

1-2 Week Unit1-2 Weeks Download
Connections All Around: Me, My Food, and My Environment

Students identify connections, cause and effect, and surprising results in our food, lives and nature as they explore how staple foods are produced. They visually display what it takes to bring an everyday food item to our table.

Hands-on Lesson3-4 (50 min) class periods
Creating Our Future

Using an action-planning model, students visualize their desired future, identify objectives, develop a plan to address local and global issues, and implement their vision through action and service learning.

Hands-on Lesson3-4 (50 min) class periods
Creating Our Future

Students consider what they want the world to be like in the future, and how the can help to make their vision of the future a reality. They begin by learning vocabulary related to personal and structural solutions to sustainability challenges. Students then practice identifying character traits as they read about people and organizations who are working toward making our world more sustainable. They will write a letter to themselves about their personal visions of the future and how they can make those visions become reality. The chapter culminates with a collaborative activity in which students set specific goals for alleviating a problem and then develop a plan to take action.

Hands-on Lesson1-2 (50 min) class periods
Crossword Puzzles

Introduce your students to global issues and sustainability vocabulary words and concepts.

Hands-on Lesson1-2 (50 min) class periods
Data & Graphs: Youth Conflict

Students examine recent trends in youth violence by creating a variety of graphs to represent different statistics.

Hands-on Lesson1-2 (50 min) class periods
Data Analysis: Quality of Life

Students develop indicators to measure quality of life and conduct a survey of peers and adults. They analyze the survey data using measures of central tendency and charts.

Hands-on Lesson1-2 (50 min) class periods
Deep Space 3000

Students envision and create a sustainable environment through the design of a "closed-system" spaceship that will be in outer space for 3000 years, and then bring healthy and happy future generations back to Earth.

Hands-on Lesson1-2 (50 min) class periods
Engaging Students in Conservation: Protecting the Endangered Snow Leopard

This interdisciplinary 1-2 week unit that includes five dynamic lessons and culminates with a service learning project. The unit is designed for 5-8th grade students in science and social studies. Though the lessons are designed as a comprehensive unit, each lesson can stand alone.

1-2 Week Unit1-2 weeks Download
Environmental Issues and Solutions

Brainstorm and writing activities introduce students to thinking about environmental resources and possible problems. After learning vocabulary related to current environmental issues, students engage in a dialogue about freshwater scarcity. Students learn to identify cause and effect statements, and then use this skill during a jigsaw activity in which they read about three environmental issues: climate change, deforestation, and freshwater scarcity. Students are asked to consider their perspectives on climate change solutions by writing a persuasive essay. The chapter culminates with a hands-on collaborative activity in which they consider the impacts of everyday items on the environment.

Teacher Guide1-2 Weeks Download
Envisioning Our Future

Through brainstorm, dialogue, and writing activities, students reflect on issues affecting the world today and what can be done to create a sustainable future. After learning vocabulary relevant to sustainability, students read about three young people who are working to improve their lives and communities. Students work to identify the main idea of the reading passage and answer a variety of comprehension questions. After the reading activity they will write a poem about their vision of the world. The chapter culminates with a kinesthetic activity that illustrates how global issues are connected.

Hands-on Lesson1-2 Weeks Download
Every Drop Counts!

A series of water-related lessons beginning with a water trivia game and a short demonstration of how much of the earth’s water is available for human and other species’ needs.

Hands-on Lesson1-2 (50 min) class periods
Everyone Does Better When Women Do Better

Students take on the roles of citizens and government representatives from various countries at a “town meeting” forum. Concerns are prioritized and potential solutions are generated.

Hands-on Lesson3-4 (50 min) class periods
Farming for the Future

Through a simulation activity, students experience the challenges faced by subsistence farmers in the developing world.

Hands-on Lesson1-2 (50 min) class periods
Fishing for the Future

Students model several consecutive seasons of a fishery and explore how technology, population growth, and sustainable practices impact fish catch and fisheries management.

Hands-on Lesson1-2 (50 min) class periods Download
From Issue to Opportunity

Students develop criteria for determining what makes an issue global in scope and then brainstorm, categorize, and prioritize the interconnections among the issues and explore solutions.

Hands-on Lesson1-2 (50 min) class periods Download
Fueling the Future

Students compare energy use and CO2 emissions by sector in the United States and China (and optionally in another country).

Hands-on Lesson1-2 (50 min) class periods
Global Issues and Sustainable Solutions: Population, Poverty, Consumption, Conflict, and the Environment

Intermediate textbook designed for classroom and community use that you can use to inform, inspire, and motivate students. This is an ideal resource to supplement core subjects using global issues and sustainability as a contextual framework or as a stand-alone global issues and sustainability course. This full color 52-page book, including graphs, photos, glossary, and comprehensive endnotes, makes these issues come alive in your classroom.

Student TextbookN/A
Global Issues Trivia

Use this trivia game to test your students’ knowledge of global issues.

Hands-on Lesson1-2 (50 min) class periods
How Big is a Billion?

A short demonstration of what 1 billion looks like, using increasing amounts of rice to represent the world’s population. Students then create their own representations of one billion.

Hands-on Lesson1-2 (50 min) class periods
Improving Our Quality of Life

Students consider factors that contribute to a good quality of life and how these factors might differ between adults and young people. They contemplate their own ideas about quality of life during a dialogue. After learning vocabulary related to quality of life, they read a fictional story of three children struggling to improve their quality of life. Students are asked to draw conclusions to comprehend the reading. A writing activity asks students to write a conclusion to a realistic fictional story. The chapter culminates with students creating, administering, and analyzing a survey to measure quality of life based on peer responses.

Hands-on Lesson1-2 weeks
Introduction to Algebra: Poverty & Microcredit

Students learn about microcredit lending – a financing structure designed to help people rise out of poverty – while solving algebraic equations.

Hands-on Lesson1-2 (50 min) class periods
Is It Sustainable?

Students define and discuss sustainability and its three key components: the economy, the environment, and society.

Hands-on Lesson1-2 (50 min) class periods
It's All Connected: A Comprehensive Guide to Global Issues and Sustainable Solutions

This advanced textbook can be used as a stand-alone text for a global issues course or as a supplemental text for other classes, including social studies, science, environmental studies, mathematics, ESL, and language arts. The 150+ page book provides a thorough overview of global issues, as well as in-depth explorations of particular topics, debates, and solutions.

Student TextbookN/A
Let them Eat Cake!

Through cutting and distributing pieces of cake, students see the inequitable distribution of resources around the world.

Hands-on Lesson1-2 (50 min) class periods
Life: The Long and Short of It

Students compare life expectancy (a common indicator of good health) among several countries and discuss possible explanations for the differences.

Hands-on Lesson1-2 (50 min) class periods
Linear Functions: Systems & Global Education

This two-day lesson begins with a lively introductory activity in which students examine how a system works. Then students use systems thinking to analyze global trends in primary school education.

Hands-on Lesson1-2 (50 min) class periods
Livin’ the Good Life?

Students develop indicators to measure quality of life and conduct a survey of peers and adults to obtain data for their indicators.

Hands-on Lesson3-4 (50 min) class periods
Making Connections: Engaging Students in Language, Literacy, and Global Issues

Through nine chapters, students gain the skills and knowledge necessary to excel academically while becoming informed about important issues and ways they can contribute positively to their communities. Language learning is purposeful as students learn language skills and directly apply these skills to current, relevant topics. Students learn about a wide range of interconnected topics, including building community, current environmental issues, population growth, and quality of life.

Teacher GuideN/A
Making Global Connections

Students demonstrate the interconnectedness of global issues and solutions through a kinesthetic exercise using global issue cards and a ball of yarn.

Hands-on Lesson1-2 (50 min) class periods Download
Map of Myself: Identity and Culture

Students explore personal and cultural identity through nonverbal activity, songs, personal maps, and a story. They also explore the hopes and challenges presented by diverse identities.

Hands-on Lesson3-4 (50 min) class periods Download
Metaphors for the Future

Students use metaphors describing different degrees of control we have over our future to explore how worldviews and mental models influence and shape our actions.

Hands-on Lesson1-2 (50 min) class periods
Microcredit for Sustainable Development

Students research a developing country and then apply for a $100 microcredit grant to start a small business, as if they were a person living in that country.

Hands-on Lesson3-4 (50 min) class periods
Midpoint & Distance Formulas: Resource Distribution

Students calculate distances and midpoints using coordinate geometry in order to consider how the location of community resources affects sustainability.

Hands-on Lesson1-2 (50 min) class periods
Modeling Integers: Population Growth

Students examine growing and declining populations and predict future population growth based on current population growth rates.

Hands-on Lesson1-2 (50 min) class periods
Now Hear This!

Students literally see and hear a comparison of an average U.S. citizen’s and sub-Saharan African citizen’s ecological footprint.

Hands-on Lesson1-2 (50 min) class periods
Number Patterns: Waste & Recycling

Students explore number patterns and graphs related to waste disposal and recycling.

Hands-on Lesson1-2 (50 min) class periods
Number Theory: Consumption Choices

Students evaluate their personal consumption choices by analyzing the embodied energy and resources in cups made of different materials.

Hands-on Lesson1-2 (50 min) class periods
Partners for Health

Students learn about the impact of today’s most urgent global health issues (such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis), and practical solutions to help address these issues.

Hands-on Lesson1-2 (50 min) class periods
Peace and Conflict

Students think critically about the meaning of conflict during introductory speaking and writing activities. After learning vocabulary relevant to a study of peace and conflict, students work to understand the meaning of a poem. In a jigsaw activity, students read about four different examples of real-world conflicts, identifying the theme of each reading section. Students take on the role of an advice columnist in a final writing activity. The chapter culminates with an activity in which students role-play different scenarios and resolve conflicts.

Hands-on Lesson1-2 weeks
Population around the World

During speaking and listening activities, students think critically about the potential impacts of population growth. After learning vocabulary relevant to population, students read about trends and effects of population growth and resource consumption around the world. Students predict the main idea of various reading passages, and then complete a writing exercise in which they write a five-paragraph essay detailing a community plan for growth. A culminating kinesthetic activity models the impact of changes in population growth rates and consumption patterns over time.

Hands-on Lesson1-2 weeks
Proportion, Percent, & Probability: Global Health

Students explore reasons for differences in life expectancy among several countries by correlating life expectancy with other national statistics.

Hands-on Lesson1-2 (50 min) class periods
Rational Numbers: Financial Decisions (student version)

Students work through calculations to analyze financial choices made by individuals and nations.

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Rational Numbers: Financial Decisions (teacher version)

Students work through calculations to analyze financial choices made by individuals and nations.

Hands-on Lesson1-2 (50 min) class periods Download
Scavenger Hunt for Global Issues and Sustainable Solutions

Scavenger hunt and answer key for students to investigate information in the Global Issues and Sustainable Solutions textbook.

Hands-on Lesson1-2 (50 min) class periods Download
Seeking Asylum

Through a simulation, students experience the difficult choices and struggles facing refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) when they are forced to leave their homes.

Hands-on Lesson1-2 (50 min) class periods
Shop Till You Drop?

In this simulation, students experience how resources are distributed and used by different people based on access to wealth.

Hands-on Lesson1-2 (50 min) class periods
Sides Debate

Students debate a controversial global issue standing on opposite sides of the room, organized by whether they agree or disagree with a statement provided by the teacher.

Hands-on Lesson1-2 (50 min) class periods
Solving Algebraic Equations: Food Choices

Students examine how choices in daily activities and nutrition affect individual well-being and sustainability.

Hands-on Lesson1-2 (50 min) class periods
Solving Inequalities: Carbon Emissions (teacher version)

Students work with algebraic inequalities to consider how many and what types of activities can be performed while staying within a limited carbon budget.

Hands-on Lesson1-2 (50 min) class periods Download
Solving Inequalities: Carbon Emissions (student version)

Students work with algebraic inequalities to consider how many and what types of activities can be performed while staying within a limited carbon budget.

Hands-on Lesson1-2 (50 min) class periods Download
Spatial Thinking: Solar Power

Students use geometric and trigonometric formulas to optimize the amount of solar energy captured by solar panels.

Hands-on Lesson1-2 (50 min) class periods
Splash But Don’t Crash

Students see the effect of population growth rates on the earth’s carrying capacity through an exercise in which they move water from a container representing births and deaths into another container representing the earth.

Hands-on Lesson1-2 (50 min) class periods
Surface Area & Volume: Sustainable Design (teacher version)

In a real-world application exercise, students connect geometric properties to sustainable design principles.

Hands-on Lesson1-2 (50 min) class periods Download
Surface Area & Volume: Sustainable Design (student version)

In a real-world application exercise, students connect geometric properties to sustainable design principles.

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Systems Are Dynamic

Students experience the dynamic, interconnected, and self-organizing nature of systems through an exercise in which they move around an open space trying to stay an equal distance between two other people.

Hands-on Lesson1-2 (50 min) class periods
Systems: Problems and Fixes

Students identify and experience a variety of systems dynamics and concepts by reading children's stories, singing songs and through a a group game. Students then apply systems thinking to a scenario from their own lives.

Hands-on Lesson3-4 (50 min) class periods
Take a Step for Equity

Students are randomly assigned an economic class, and then hear poverty and wealth statistics describing their economic class as they step forward in a line.

Hands-on Lesson1-2 (50 min) class periods
Taxes: Choices and Trade-offs

In this federal tax simulation lesson, students representing “special interest groups” discuss, recommend, and lobby for a budget allocation for federal tax spending.

Hands-on Lesson1-2 (50 min) class periods Download
The Natural World

This chapter guides students in exploring how we use natural resources and the ability of the environment to provide these resources. Students begin by creating a caption for an environmental cartoon. Then, a writing warmup prompts students to contemplate their daily use of natural resources.

Teacher Guide1-2 weeks
Thinking about Consumption

Students use Venn diagrams to brainstorm similarities and differences in consumption around the world. In a writing activity, they contemplate the relationship between buying things and happiness. Students analyze an advertisement during a dialogue activity. After learning consumption-related vocabulary and derivatives, students learn more about consumer issues by reading about the life cycle of an everyday product: running shoes.

Teacher Guide1-2 weeks
Three Faces of Governance

Students create a national energy policy via cooperation and negotiation among the three faces of governance: the State (government), civic organizations, and the private sector.

Hands-on Lesson1-2 (50 min) class periods Download
To Fight or Not to Fight?

Students examine a variety of international and intra-national conflicts through a role-playing activity. They learn to identify the roots of conflict, how to separate positions from interests in a conflict, and experience mediating a conflict.

Hands-on Lesson1-2 (50 min) class periods Download
Toil for Oil

In this oil extraction simulation, students experience the increasing difficulty of extracting a limited, nonrenewable resource over several years.

Hands-on Lesson1-2 (50 min) class periods
Watch Where You Step!

Students identify the components of an ecological footprint by creating a web diagram of all the resources they use in their everyday lives and the mark or “footprint” this consumption leaves on the environment.

Hands-on Lesson1-2 (50 min) class periods Download
What's Debt Got to Do With It?

Working in “very poor country” groups, students choose how to allocate limited funds to different sectors of their country's economy while facing the obstacle of debt repayment.

Hands-on Lesson1-2 (50 min) class periods
What’s In the News?

In this media literacy activity, students use an “iceberg model” to analyze the global patterns and underlying structural causes that drive events in the news.

Hands-on Lesson1-2 (50 min) class periods Download
What’s Up With the GDP?

In this economics simulation, students graph changes in the personal incomes of different community residents and in the community’s proportion of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) following an oil spill.

Hands-on Lesson1-2 (50 min) class periods
When the Chips Are Down

Students model three patterns of ecological footprint growth over four generations, using poker chips to represent ecological footprints and maps they create to represent countries.

Hands-on Lesson1-2 (50 min) class periods
Who Are the Nacirema?

Students read a short story about the body related rituals of a cultural group called the Nacirema, and then use the same literary device to write their own short stories about rituals of the Nacirema.

Hands-on Lesson1-2 (50 min) class periods
Woods, Water, and Wild Things: Biodiversity in the Forest-Stream Habitat

Students understand the importance of biodiversity and the role that humans play in the health of ecosystems as they role play connections and needs of species in a forest-stream ecosystem.

Hands-on Lesson3-4 (50 min) class periods
Worldview Mingle

With identity labels attached to their backs, students participate in an exercise in which they experience what it is like to stereotype and to be stereotyped

Hands-on Lesson1-2 (50 min) class periods
A Sound Introduction (middle school)

Through an interactive slideshow activity, students are challenged to determine connections among various images of Puget Sound. Students distinguish different types of ecosystems in the region. In a mapping activity, students learn about physical features of the region while identifying their own location within the region.

Hands-on Lesson1-2 (50 min) class periods Download
A Sound Introduction (high school)

Through an interactive slideshow activity, students are challenged to determine connections among various images of Puget Sound. Students distinguish different types of ecosystems in the region. In a mapping activity, students learn about physical features of the region while identifying their own location within the region.

Hands-on Lesson1-2 (50 min) class periods Download
Ecosystem Services and Sustainability (middle school)

Students discover the importance of ecosystem services in the Puget Sound region. Working in small groups, students critically analyze how various ecosystem services support environmental, social, or economic systems in the Sound.

Hands-on Lesson1-2 (50 min) class periods Download
Pollution in My Backyard? No Way!

Students learn to distinguish between point and nonpoint source pollutants while they learn about real pollutants in Puget Sound. Through a demonstration exercise, students understand how stormwater runoff can carry nonpoint source pollution to Puget Sound. Students then determine how this pollution could be prevented.

Hands-on Lesson1-2 (50 min) class periods Download
Town Hall Meeting (middle school)

Students take on perspectives of different stakeholders to explore how to decrease the amount of pollution in Puget Sound. Stakeholder groups are encouraged to form alliances in order to reach consensus on the plan that will be the best for the entire community.

Hands-on Lesson1-2 (50 min) class periods Download
Make a Sound Impact! (middle school)

Students develop strategies to prevent pollution and improve water quality in Puget Sound and create digital public service announcements (PSAs) that inform others of how they can be part of solutions.

Hands-on Lesson3-4 (50 min) class periods Download
Ecosystem Services and Sustainability (high school)

Students discover the importance of ecosystem services in the Puget Sound region. Working in small groups, students critically analyze how various ecosystem services support environmental, social, or economic systems in the Sound.

Hands-on Lesson1-2 (50 min) class periods Download
Nonpoint Source Pollution in Puget Sound

Students learn to distinguish between point and nonpoint source pollutants while they learn about real pollutants in Puget Sound. Students then learn about how nutrient pollution is affecting South Puget Sound. They develop research questions and strategies for addressing the problem of low dissolved oxygen in Hood Canal.

Hands-on Lesson1-2 (50 min) class periods Download
Town Hall Meeting (high school)

Students take on perspectives of different stakeholders to explore how to decrease the amount of pollution in Puget Sound. Stakeholder groups are encouraged to form alliances in order to reach consensus on the plan that will be the best for the entire community.

Hands-on Lesson1-2 (50 min) class periods Download
Make a Sound Impact! (high school)

Students develop strategies to prevent pollution and improve water quality in Puget Sound and create digital public service announcements (PSAs) that inform others of how they can be part of solutions.

Hands-on Lesson3-4 (50 min) class periods Download
Garbology

Students first analyze typical contents of a North American trash can in order to define "luxury" and "necessity" for themselves. They read a short article about trash typically found in a modern dump in North America. Using information from this reading, students will draw conclusions about how these artifacts reflect the lifestyle of those who used and disposed of the items.

Hands-on Lesson1-2 (50 min) class periods Download
Mapping the Impact

Students create a web diagram to illustrate environmental, social, and economic impacts associated with everyday items. This activity expands the concept of “ecological footprint” to consider impacts of a given lifestyle on people and societies. Students develop ideas to reduce the ecological footprint and associated impacts related to an everyday item.

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Drilling down to Sustainability

Students define and discuss sustainability and its three key components: the economy, the environment, and society. In a warm-up activity, they evaluate two seemingly identical apples through the lens of sustainability. Students then discuss and debate the sustainability of various resource extraction methods. Finally, they determine if alternatives would be more sustainable.

Hands-on Lesson1-2 (50 min) class periods Download
The Cost of Production

Students consider where most of our imported material goods are assembled and the environmental and social impacts of production. In small groups, students develop policies that a company might use in working with foreign manufacturers, considering pros and cons of each policy. The class votes on the most essential policy and advocates for business and government leaders to adopt or enforce this policy.

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On the Road to Retail

Students read about different components of product distribution in a scenario. They analyze information related to environmental and social impacts of distribution to determine opportunities for making distribution more sustainable. This lesson also provides an opportunity for students to explore the concept of externalities, or “hidden costs” of a product.

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Why Buy?

Students begin by considering the purpose of advertising. Each student critically analyzes an advertisement that appeals to him or her, weighing advertised information against their needs as consumers. Students discuss whether additional information should be included in product advertisements and how advertising connects to consumption choices.

Hands-on Lesson1-2 (50 min) class periods Download
Defining Happiness

Students individually decide what types of things positively contribute to their quality of life. They compare their ideas about quality of life to national statistics related to how Americans spend their time, and determine how Americans could restructure their time to improve quality of life. Students also evaluate their own progress toward "the good life" and how their personal consumption habits impact their progress.

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It’s a Dirty Job

Students take on perspectives of different stakeholder groups involved in determining how to deal with a community’s growing trash. Stakeholder groups are encouraged to form alliances in order to reach consensus on the plan that will be best for the community.

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A System Redesign

Students recall the hidden impacts associated with various components of the materials economy (the system of producing and consuming goods). They then brainstorm points of intervention in order to redesign the system. Students work in pairs to determine ways to make the materials economy more sustainable.

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Analyzing the Message

Students critically analyze The Story of Stuff by identifying the overall message of the film, persuasive techniques used, and bias. In an extension activity, students further examine data presented in the film, cross-checking references to analyze the accuracy and reliability of the film.

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Buy, Use, Toss?

Buy, Use, Toss? is an interdisciplinary unit that includes ten fully-planned lessons. This unit is correlated with national science and social studies standards and will lead your students through an exploration of the system of producing and consuming goods that is called the materials economy. Students will learn about the five major steps of the materials economy; Extraction, Production, Distribution, Consumption, and Disposal. They will also be asked to analyze the sustainability of these steps, determining how consumption can benefit people, economies, and environments.

1-2 Week Unit1-2 Weeks Download
Water, Science, and Civics: Engaging Students with Puget Sound, Grades 6-8

This series of five lessons is available in PDF and SMART Board format. This engaging unit leads your students through an exploration of the significance of Puget Sound and the impact humans have on this valuable resource. Students creatively use technology throughout the unit and the culminating lesson is an action project in which students create a digital public service announcement to educate others about the significance of the Sound and ways to address pollution.

1-2 Week Unit1 Week Download
Water, Science, and Civics: Engaging Students with Puget Sound, Grades 9-12

This series of five lessons is available in PDF and SMART Board format. This engaging unit leads your students through an exploration of the significance of Puget Sound and the impact humans have on this valuable resource. Students creatively use technology throughout the unit and the culminating lesson is an action project in which students create a digital public service announcement to educate others about the significance of the Sound and ways to address pollution.

1-2 Week Unit1 Week Download
The Carbon Link

Students take on roles as part of an interactive carbon cycle model, then witness a demonstration of the greenhouse effect and explore its role in global climate change.

Hands-on Lesson1-2 (50 min) class periods Download
Carbon Dioxide Trends (middle school)

Students graph data to examine atmospheric carbon dioxide trends during the past 45 years and predict future carbon dioxide emissions. The activity closes with a discussion of ways to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

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Effects of Climate Change on Living Things (middle school)

In small groups students learn about potential impacts of climate change on living things and communicate these impacts to the class through skits.

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My Carbon Footprint

Students calculate their carbon footprint using an online carbon calculator, compare their results to average carbon footprints from around the world, and discover ways to decrease their carbon emissions.

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Energy Explorations (middle school)

In small groups, students read about various sources of energy used for electricity production, identify pros and cons of these energy sources, and take a position on whether these sources should be used or not.

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Making Climate Change Connections

Students read about impacts of climate change experienced by people living in different environments around the world and then discuss how these impacts are connected.

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How Much Does Carbon Cost? (middle school)

Students evaluate structural solutions to regulate carbon emissions and play a cap and trade game, finding ways to reduce emissions in the most cost-effective manner.

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Shopping Heats Up (middle school)

In this simulation, students experience how resources are distributed and used by different people based on access to wealth, paying attention to various impacts of resource consumption.

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Energy Policies for a Cool Future (middle school)

Students discuss energy impacts and suggest policies for addressing global climate change related to energy use at a “World Climate Change Summit."

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Greenhouse Gas Investigations

Through an experiment, students explore Earth’s greenhouse effect and graph results of 3 scenarios to draw conclusions about how greenhouse gases affect air temperature.

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Carbon Dioxide Trends (high school)

Students graph data to examine seasonal and long-term atmospheric carbon dioxide trends during the past 45 years and predict future carbon dioxide emissions.

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Effects of Climate Change on Living Things (high school)

In small groups students learn about potential impacts of climate change on living things and communicate these impacts to their school community through informative posters or other media.

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It All Adds Up!

Students calculate their carbon footprint using an online carbon calculator and compare their results to the carbon footprint of an average person in the United States.

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Energy Explorations (high school)

In small groups, students read about various sources of energy used for electricity production, identify pros and cons of these energy sources, and take a position on whether these sources should be used or not.

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Changes All Around: Geographic Impacts of Climate Change

In small groups, students examine the climate of countries in different environments and then predict what might happen to the climate of a particular country as the earth warms.

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How Much Does Carbon Cost? (high school)

Students evaluate structural solutions to regulate carbon emissions and play a cap and trade game, finding ways to reduce emissions in the most cost-effective manner.

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Shopping Heats Up (high school)

In this simulation, students experience how resources are distributed and used by different people based on access to wealth, paying attention to various impacts of resource consumption.

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Energy Policies for a Cool Future (high school)

Students discuss energy impacts and suggest policies for addressing global climate change related to energy use at a "World Climate Change Summit."

Hands-on Lesson1-2 (50 min) class periods Download
The Cat’s out of the Bag!

This lesson begins with a word splash activity in which students explore environmental features of the snow leopard’s mountain habitat. In a hands-on group activity, students assemble puzzles in order to construct four distinct cat species. Students consider how these cats are uniquely adapted to their ecosystems. The activity concludes with a focus on snow leopards in particular, including photos and videos of the cat in its natural habitat, and an expansion of the word splash to include snow leopard adaptations.

Hands-on Lesson1-2 (50 min) class periods Download
Mountain Mixer

In a lively “mixer” activity, students take on the roles of organisms in the environment where snow leopards live in order to understand relationships among species. Students are then able to construct a food web that includes wild species, domestic livestock, and humans. Extension activities utilize mathematics skills to further investigate food webs and energy pyramids.

Hands-on Lesson1-2 (50 min) class periods Download
It Takes All Kinds of People

Students consider ways in which humans and wildlife interact, including how poverty can lead to human-wildlife conflicts. A town hall meeting is held to determine how a protected area for snow leopards and their prey should be managed. In small groups, students take on different identities. Student groups have an opportunity to form alliances in order to develop guidelines for the protected area that encompass multiple points of view.

Hands-on Lesson1-2 (50 min) class periods Download
What’s the Plan?

This lesson begins with a simulation activity in which students learn what daily life is like for a livestock herder in the mountains of Mongolia. Students then work in small groups to develop solutions that would support both snow leopards and humans. Solutions are presented through skits or in other engaging presentation styles. A final kinesthetic activity requires students to make connections among complex issues such as poverty, conservation, and sustainability.

Hands-on Lesson1-2 (50 min) class periods Download
Taking Action!

This project allows students to participate in a proven solution to help snow leopards, while also supporting people living in poverty who share the snow leopards’ habitat. Students determine how they could most effectively support Snow Leopard Enterprises, a conservation project of Snow Leopard Trust. By participating in this service learning project, students can also earn money to support any conservation, community, or school project of their choosing.

Hands-on Lesson1-2 (50 min) class periods Download
Connecting Students to the World

Connecting Students to the World is an interdisciplinary teacher lesson plan guide for grades K-3 that engages students desire to learn through hands-on exploration of real-world issues and sustainable solutions. The lessons are designed to develop the critical thinking skills and developmental assets that young people need to thrive at school, at home, and in the world. This research based, teacher-tested resource is aligned with language arts, science, social studies, and Common Core standards in all fifty states for easy integration into core classroom teaching.

1-2 Week Unit1-2 Weeks
Biodiversity & the Natural World

In this series of four activities, students explore the concept of needs versus wants. Through a kinesthetic game, students come to understand how organisms in an ecosystem are connected by their particular needs. The game allows them to experience firsthand the differences between an ecosystem with high biodiversity and one with low biodiversity. In a closing activity, students categorize a variety of ecosystems by their level of biodiversity.

Hands-on LessonFour 30-45 minute sessions
Humans & the Environment

In the first of three activities, students consider how everyday items like water and wooden blocks are made from materials in nature. During a nature walk, students identify both natural and human-made materials and consider how humans impact our environment and why it is important to protect natural resources.

Hands-on LessonThree 30-45 minute sessions Download
Culture & Diversity

The first of four activities in this unit helps students to develop a definition of culture by viewing a variety of cultural images. During a kinesthetic activity, students explore their commonalities and differences. The unit closes with students interviewing each other to learn more about their own culture and the cultures of other students in the class.

Hands-on LessonFour 30-45 minute sessions
Responsibility & Teamwork

This series of three activities begins with a role-play in which students work as a group to devise rules to solve a problem. Students explore the ideas of responsibility and teamwork by identifying a problem at their school and determining how they can solve the problem together.

Hands-on LessonFour 30-45 minute sessions
 
About Us

We equip and motivate students to develop critical thinking skills, build global awareness, and engage in positive solutions for a sustainable future through hands-on curricula and professional learning.

Facing the Future is a
self-sustaining program of WWU
.