Making Curriculum Pop


I'm a big fan of Earth Day. Of late, I've been living that cliché of making every day Earth Day. I've gotten so eccentric that every time I go for a run, I manage to find a plastic bag blowing in the "prairies" by my house. During my three mile course I fill said bag up with garbage and throw it away to mark the completion of my workout. Odd, I know, but since I started doing work on climate change with teachers I tend to see my immediate surroundings a bit more like this collection of very teachable photos from The Guardian.

That said, we can all do something as small as picking up garbage or as large as engaging our students in environmental issues. To those ends, I’m excited share a New York Times Learning Network blog I contributed to with a team of educators (including MC POPPER Carolyn Harris) and scientists from the NASA-Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in NYC. We curated a powerful collection of resources to help teachers in every discipline explore the science and cultural issues surrounding global warming.

Please check out the full New York Times Learning Network blog HERE or click on the image below.

Also, please consider retweeting or favoriting info on this epic resource. We’re hoping to share the blog with as many educators as possible. The link above or the picture below will take you to the tweet ... 

One of the resources collected at the blog is from Dr. Gavin Schmidt - the director of NASA-Goddard Institute for Space Studies (and blog contributor). IMHO he has one of the best, most teachable TED talks ever on math and science modeling that I’ve ever seen. It is so strong, short, and frankly profound that I also use it to teach argumentative writing

In addition to the @NYTimesLearning Blog, those of you looking for a more literary bent on Earth Day you might consider reading (or listening to) professor David Orr’s famous 1992 Schumacher Society lecture “Environmental Literacy: Education as if the Earth Mattered.” In it presciently outlined some of the most pressing challenges facing the planet and our education systems ... 

. . . there are better reasons to rethink education [than the development of a “world class labor force”] that have to do with issues of human survival, which will dominate the world of the twenty-first century. The generation now being educated will have to do what we, the present generation, have been unable or unwilling to do; stabilize a world population that is growing at the rate of a quarter of a million each day; stabilize and then reduce the emission of greenhouse gases, which threaten to change the climate—perhaps disastrously; protect biological diversity, now declining at an estimated rate of one hundred to two hundred species per day; reverse the destruction of rainforests (both tropical and temperate), now being lost at the rate of one hundred and sixteen square miles or more each day; and conserve soils, now being eroded at the rate of sixty-five million tons per day. Those who follow us must learn how to use energy and materials with great efficiency. They must learn how to utilize solar energy in all its forms. They must rebuild the economy in order to eliminate waste and pollution. They must learn how to manage renewable resources for the long term. They must begin the great work of repairing, as much as possible, the damage done to the earth in the past two hundred years of industrialization. And they must do all of this while addressing worsening social and racial inequities. No generation has ever faced a more daunting agenda.

And that was written almost 20 years ago! There are also tons of related resources being shared at the Ning on a regular basis. Here are some from our sustainable / green education group for you to explore:

COLLECTION: Lessons on the Environment from the Zinn Education Project

CURRICULUM: Via the Nature Conservancy & PBS

Greening Media Education

TED-ED VIDEO: Why the Arctic is climate change's canary in the coal...

VIDEO/SERIES: Wait, how do strawberry pesticides relate to WWI?

CONTEST: National STEM Video Game Challenge

ACTION POEM ... about air actually gets rid of pollution

VIDEO: Climate change - Earth's giant game of Tetris - Joss Fong

CONTEST: Recognize Excellence in Science Writing

TED + NYTLN: 'Is the Wolf a Real American Hero?' and 'Hunting Habit...

VIDEO:Teen to government - Change your typeface, save millions (+ R...

TV (FULL MOYERS SHOW): Neil deGrasse Tyson on Science Literacy

AUDIO: Sir David Attenborough, Heroes and Scientific Expertise

ARTICLE: Eight Pseudoscientific Climate Claims Debunked by Real Sci...

TED-ED: Bats via "I'm Batman"

COMICS: Science and Sustainability, Stuart McMillen

NYT BLOG: The Mathematics of Climate Change

BOOK/SATIRE: Science ... For Her!

PIX: 26 Pictures Will Make You Re-Evaluate Your Entire Existence

Fellowship Program - U.S. Dept of Energy Office of Science: Albert ...

TED ED VIDEO: The nurdles' quest for ocean domination

POEMS: The Entire Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) ...

FILMS / TED KID: Nature Deficit Disorder

TED + NYTLN: 'Is the Wolf a Real American Hero?' and 'Hunting Habit...

ARTICLE: Sustainable farming needs math as much as mulch, says one ...

ARTICLE: Can New Materials Help Build A Better Planet?

COLLECTION: HS Students Do The Lexicon of Sustainability

NYTLN LESSON: Water: Teaching About the World’s Most Valuable Subst...

FAUX SITCOM: The Climateers!

Have a Groovy Earth Day (and see y'all online)!


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Replies to This Discussion

I really appreciate this collection of green and sustainable teaching resources! I am a current student teacher gettin gmy Masters of Education through the University of Michigan, and previously lived in Seattle a few years doing AmeriCorps. The sustainability practices I picked up there have already started to carry over into my teaching and I am constantly striving to find more resources. I also believe that Earth Day is every day, and do similar things when I see garbage on the ground. Have you seen a growing interest in students towards sustainability with the recent media attention climate change and other environmental concerns have been gathering? Thanks again for the post!



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