Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Earth Day is April 22nd - see resources here tied to CC and more!

Just saw on the school calendar that Earth Day 2013 is coming up - Monday April 22nd!
Here's a set of good education resources from Earthday.org. There are also some other 'organizing' resources and other interesting materials found on that page. In the Education section, I looked closely at the 5th-8th grade Lesson Plan on Carrying Water. The author, Brenna Holzhauer, did a great job setting up the activities. These activities don't necessarily require computers, but could easily be extended to do so - using spreadsheets to track water usage, online maps and images when discussing water issues in Africa, and so on. The extension activities pointed to http://act.earthday.org/ where students could get involved in actions that actually help the planet. Cool stuff.

I also looked at the 9-12 grade lesson plan on Air Pollution. Similar to the Carrying Water LP above, it was very high quality, and thorough. Lots of extension opportunities to include more CC focus, and the use of technology, too.

Finally, this is a neat Footprint Calculator that you - and your students - could fill out in about 10 minutes or less. It shows, based upon your lifestyle info entered, how many "Plant Earths" it would take if everyone lived like you. I thought I was somewhat 'benign' in how I tred on the planet - boy, was I wrong... need to shape up.



Time to get started thinking about Earth Day and how you can inject some 'whole planet' thinking into your classroom. Whether you teach science or not, please consider it!

CC Connection: In the first 5-8th grade LP I evaluated, several core Math standards were referenced, including Content Standard: NM-NUM.6-8.1 - Understand numbers, ways of representing numbers, relationships among numbers, and number systems and Content Standard: NM-NUM.6-8.3 - Compute fluently and make reasonable estimates; note these are not CC standards (yet); pretty sure they'll translate!

The "Discussion" questions included could also easily be turned into writing prompts so students could practice Range of Writing - Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of tasks, purposes, and audiences. There are MANY more ELA standards that this assignment would cover, and so, with a little research on your part, you could adapt any of the high-quality lesson plans on the earthday.org site to include several ELA standards if desired.

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