EDN Curriculum

Earth Day Network’s Environmental Education Program provides interdisciplinary lessons, activities and tools for integrating environmental issues into curriculum for educators, in both schools and out-of-school time programs. The resources include lessons for all grade levels, aligned to the National Science Education Standards from the National Academies of Science, and can be integrated into other subject areas, such as social studies, language arts and mathematics.

  • Ready, Set, Stop Idling Lesson Plan Jul, 3, 2013
  • Water Conservation Action Plan Jan, 5, 2012

    This student-focused action plan seeks to inform and empower students to create and implement a school-wide water conservation plan.

  • Nutrition & Wellness Tips for Young Children: Provider Handbook for the Child and Adult Care Food Program Jan, 16, 2013

    A new resource for young children.

  • Color in Nature Jul, 17, 2013
  • An Ocean of Plastic Jul, 17, 2013
  • Ecosystem Exploration Jul, 17, 2013
  • ABC Book of Green Living Aug, 5, 2013

    This Book is created after we visited the Earth Day Fair in 2012. It is called ABC of Green Living and is a picture description of some Green ideas. This is useful for children above the age of 10 years. This is a fun book and can be used create awareness and fun activities enabling learning.

  • Biodiversity: Earth’s Most Valuable Resource Jun, 17, 2011
  • Environmental Jeopardy Apr, 11, 2011
  • Innovation in the Ocean Jun, 16, 2011

    Though humans have been interacting with the ocean for food and trade for tens of thousands of years, we have only begun to realize the full potential of these vast waters. Beneath the waves, there are potential sources of energy for human benefit. Yet, the ocean is also a delicate ecosystem that necessitates protection. In this lesson, students will learn about and be able to visualize how humans have used the ocean in the past. They will discover novel ways to use the ocean for energy and learn about existing and cutting edge technologies involving the ocean.

  • Medicine from the Ocean Jun, 16, 2011

    In this lesson, students will investigate how marine organisms have a significant role in humans’ everyday health. Students will examine how the marine realm provides medicinal benefits that can improve and prolong human life. Students will also learn why the ocean is an important tool in the development of new medicines, and they will consider both the benefits and the hazards of utilizing the ocean’s resources to improve human lives.

  • To Drill or Not to Drill? An Examination of the Reliance and Risk Jun, 16, 2011

    This lesson seeks to impart scientific and historical knowledge surrounding the recent Gulf of Mexico oil spill in addition to other past spills. Moreover, students will examine how much oil was spilled into the Gulf and then perform an assessment activity involving specific details about the reliance and risk of oil extraction from the ocean. This lesson will also provide students with an opportunity to further explore the multifaceted debate surrounding oil drilling.

  • Rachel Carson: Sounding an Environmental Alarm Apr, 15, 2011
  • Using Real-Life Data to Understand Climate Change Jun, 16, 2011

    This lesson is aimed at increasing students’ general knowledge of climate change on local, national, and global scales, and how such changes in climate will affect humans. This lesson provides data detailing the average annual temperature over time recorded at a climate station in Greenland. Students will use this information to practice their math and analytical skills and relate to average temperature change over time. A follow-up discussion is provided to help focus students’ comprehension of the material as related to global climate change.

  • Cool Globes and Climate Change Jun, 16, 2011

    This lesson plan will introduce high school science classes to the greenhouse effect and examine the connection between the greenhouse effect and climate change. Students will focus on identifying the causes and solutions to climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and will brainstorm solutions and ways to raise awareness of environmental issues. In the final activity, students will use public art as a medium to raise awareness about climate change and environmental issues.

  • Using Real Life Data to Understand Deforestation Jun, 16, 2011

    This lesson provides data detailing the forest cover of select countries. Students will use this information to practice math skills and data analysis to understand trends in global deforestation.

  • Water: An Amazing and Precious Resource Jun, 16, 2011

    In this lesson, students will begin with a water audit pre-lesson to determine their own personal water usage. They will then participate in a class activity to learn how water’s physical properties and chemical composition are essential to life on Earth. Once they understand water’s importance, they will debate water distribution issues, have an understanding of the consequences of water scarcity, and come up with ways to conserve water in their own lives.

  • Carrying Water Jun, 16, 2011

    In this lesson, students will audit their personal daily water usage, and will participate in a class discussion about water use and conservation. Through an introduction to the Kenyan village of Kapsasian, group mathematical problem solving, and class discussions, they will have a better understanding of the problems faced by those with lack of access to water.

  • Conserving Water through Art! Jun, 16, 2011

    In this lesson, students will learn about the scarcity of water and begin to think of ways that they can conserve water in their own homes. They will make a pledge to personally use less water, and will use their creativity to make items that will remind them to conserve in their home.

  • Filtering Water Jun, 16, 2011

    This lesson will introduce students to the concepts of water pollution and access to clean water through class discussion and a water filtration experiment. Note: The filtration methods used in this activity are a simple demonstration and the water should not be considered safe for drinking.

  • Hydroelectric Dam Debate Jun, 16, 2011

    In this lesson, students will take on the role of a U.S. senator who has to decide whether or not to support a proposal to build hydroelectric dams across the nation. S/he will have to weigh the pros and cons of both sides and write a letter of response explaining why s/he has chosen to vote one way over the other. (Note: The dam used as an example in this lesson plan is fictional, however the story of a real dam controversy could be used in its place, such as Aswan, Three Gorges, James Bay dam, etc.)

  • Melting Mountains: Climate Change and Glaciers Jun, 16, 2011

    In this lesson, students will learn how increases in CO2 production influence climate change and increase Earth’s temperature. They will also gain an understanding of how glaciers are affected by rising temperatures through a case study of Glacier National Park in Montana, USA. A basic understanding of climate change and the greenhouse effect would be helpful to students before starting this lesson.

  • Water Scarcity (Grades 2-4) Jun, 16, 2011

    In this lesson, students will learn about water scarcity and how much of the earth’s water is actually available for daily human use. By examining situations in various countries, students will learn the high demand for water around the globe, and compare the ways in which it is distributed and used in different countries.

  • Water Scarcity (Grades K-2) Jun, 16, 2011

    In this lesson, students will learn about water scarcity and how much of the earth’s water is actually available for daily human use. They will learn the importance of water to humans and brainstorm ways that they can reduce their own water usage.

  • The Connection Between Water Use and Energy Use Jun, 16, 2011

    Many people realize the importance of conserving water and conserving energy; however, there are many links between energy use and water use that are not directly obvious to consumers. In this lesson, students discover these connections by learning how sources of energy require substantial amounts of water and how energy is used in the process of providing tap water to millions of homes. They will also understand that a sustainable future requires us to use both of these resources very wisely and be able to name specific actions they can take to reduce their use of water and energy.

  • Where Does Your Drinking Water Come From? Jun, 16, 2011

    In this lesson, students will first learn about surface and ground water sources for drinking water. Then, they will learn about the processes and procedures of a water treatment center – either by taking a fieldtrip to a treatment plant or by conducting online research via websites such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Geological Survey’s Water Science for Schools. Students will learn where their drinking water comes from, how the water gets to the treatment center, what is done to treat the water and where the water goes once it leaves the treatment center.

  • Understanding the Energy Demand of Bottled Water Jun, 16, 2011

    The production of bottled water uses huge amounts of energy compared to the production of tap water. Students will illustrate the steps required to produce bottled water and the relative amounts of energy used at each step. They will then debate the pros and cons of drinking bottled water and actions they can take at school to reduce their drinking water-related energy footprints. Finally, students will reflect upon what they have learned and write an “op ed” piece for their school newspaper.

  • Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining (K-12) Jun, 16, 2011

    This lesson will inform students about coal mining and its connection to energy use, while empowering them to reduce energy in their own lives.

  • A Breath of Poor Air: Inspecting Indoor Air Quality in the Classroom Jun, 16, 2011

    In this lesson students will learn about IAQ (indoor air quality) and the substances that could be polluting the air in their school. They will check the classroom for possible pollutants and then brainstorm ways to improve the quality of their air.

  • Composting In the Classroom Jun, 16, 2011

    In this lesson students will be able to understand what composting is, why it is important, and how to begin composting themselves. They will apply these concepts by designing and proposing a composting program at school.

  • Don’t Be Idle—Take Action to Prevent Diesel School Bus Idling Apr, 15, 2011
  • E-cycling for Environmental Justice Jun, 16, 2011

    In this lesson, students will examine the problem of e-cycling (recycling electronics) and how it relates to environmental injustice in China where most of the waste is taken. They will then use legislation examples from states across the nation to write their own bill proposal for a federal law regulating e-cycling.

  • Forms of Energy Jun, 16, 2011

    This is a five-part series of lessons that will serve as an introduction for students about the nature of energy and electricity. Students will realize that energy exists all around us and we are constantly witnessing the transformation from one form to another. They will become aware of our sources of energy and recognize the primary sources for electricity in the form of renewable and non-renewable resources. Students will be able explain the formation of fossil fuels and explore alternative technologies we have available to us as a primary source of energy.

  • Staying Green while Being Clean – Green Cleaning and Green Chemistry Jun, 16, 2011

    Green chemistry is an emerging trend in industry working to develop environmentally-friendly chemicals and to create fewer hazardous byproducts. This lesson introduces green chemistry, and uses it to look at the science behind green cleaning products. It also discusses Persistent Organic Pollutants, how they are related to cleaning supplies, and the effect they have on the environment.

  • Green Inside, Outside and Above: Green and Cool Roofs Jun, 16, 2011

    This lesson will introduce students to the heat trapping characteristics of roofs and how the sun’s heat increases the urban “heat island” effect, substantially heating buildings. Students will learn the benefits of green roofs – how they save cooling costs for buildings, provide habitat for wildlife, filter pollutants, and drain rainwater.

  • Illuminating Climate Change: Connecting Lighting and Global Warming Jun, 16, 2011

    This lesson will introduce students to the basics of global climate change and build their understanding of the connection between lighting and global warming.

  • Cost Effectiveness of Sustainable Building Jun, 16, 2011

    Over the course of approximately two 50-minute classes, students will become familiar with the basic concepts of sustainable building. They will learn which changes can be made to a building for the smallest upfront cost and what reaps the largest long term benefits, financially and environmentally. The students will do this by beginning to design their own sustainable building on a tight budget.

  • Let It Rain: The Benefits of Rain Gardens Jun, 16, 2011

    This lesson introduces students to the concept of rain gardens and why they are beneficial in cleaning up polluted waterways. Students will learn how and why rain gardens are created and then use their knowledge to build a model rain garden as part of a group.

  • Light Pollution: Lighting our Path or Leaving Us in the Dark? Jun, 16, 2011

    This lesson will explore the concept of light pollution and its implications for modern society. Students will read an article about light pollution and then conduct their own research before writing a persuasive letter on whether or not light pollution legislation should be implemented in their town.

  • Recycling and Waste Reduction Jun, 16, 2011

    This lesson introduces students to the concept of recycling and waste reduction. Students will investigate how materials are recycled, what materials can be recycled and why recycling is so important to protect our environment. Through a hands-on activity students will be able to create their own recycled paper using old newspapers.

  • Reduce, Reuse, and Create Art! Jun, 16, 2011

    In this lesson, students will use art to convey a message about an issue of their choice. Students will learn about green art supplies and create their own art project out of recycled materials. They will also write a reflection on their project and display their art for others to view.

  • School Food: What Did You Have For Lunch? Jun, 16, 2011

    This lesson will inform students about the food pyramid and how to use it to ensure healthy eating habits. It will explore the food served in most cafeterias and educate students on how to choose the healthier foods at their school. Students will learn about the portions of food groups they should be eating on daily basis as well.

  • Life, Death, Dirt and Walt Whitman Nov, 7, 2011

    This lesson includes an analysis of Walt Whitman’s poem “This Compost” from his famous collection of poetry, Leaves of Grass. Through a literary lens, students will discuss and understand the rebirth of organic materials through composting.

  • Sustainable Materials Jun, 16, 2011

    This lesson explains alternative building supplies that are not only better for the environment but also healthier for the occupants of the building. Students will discover the cost difference between conventional wood and FSC-certified wood.

  • What Makes A Building Green? Jun, 16, 2011

    This lesson unit will introduce and examine the concepts of green building and green jobs by researching terms, methodologies and benefits of green construction and renovation.

  • What is the Food Pyramid? Jun, 16, 2011

    This lesson will inform students about the food pyramid and how to use it to ensure healthy eating habits. It will explore the food served to students and educate them on how to choose the healthier options. Students will learn about the portions of food groups they should be eating on a daily basis as well.

  • What Does A Farmer Do? Jun, 16, 2011

    This lesson will inform students about farming and introduce them to common objects found on a farm. Students will also have the opportunity to be a farmer and observe the growth cycle of a plant.

  • The Process of Ratification: The Start-to-Finish Tale of the 2007 Energy Bill Jun, 16, 2011

    This lesson delves into what goes into passing a bill. In order to get a realistic look at the process, we will be examining it in the context of the 2007 Energy Bill and the development of that unique legislation.

  • This Little Light of Mine: Understanding Light Bulbs Jun, 16, 2011

    This lesson will introduce students to the basic mechanics of how light bulbs work. Students will explore the different types of light bulbs available and the relationship between light, electricity, and heat. Finally, they will build their own flashlights and reflect on this process.

  • Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence and Climate Change (K-12) Jun, 16, 2011

    In this lesson plan, students will use their kinesthetic intelligence to choreograph and perform a dance about climate change. Students will learn the basic principals of movement and will experiment with choreographing their own creative movement in guided practices. Then, students will learn what climate change is, how it happens, theories as to why it happens, and what they can do to help. Finally, students will use their multiple intelligences to combine their knowledge about climate change with their newly acquired dance skills by choreographing a dance about climate change.

  • Using Spatial Intelligence to Make Earth-Friendly Art Jun, 16, 2011

    In this lesson plan, students will focus on using visual-spatial intelligence. They will combine the study of the environment with spatial intelligence use in eco-friendly visual art projects. Students will also use observations of plant chemistry and chromatography to study the natural colors found in leaves and other objects in nature. From making their own all-natural art supplies to using them to paint natural works of art, students will engage in fun, interdisciplinary lessons to strengthen both their artistic skills and their knowledge about the environment.

  • Using Spatial Intelligence to Make Earth-Friendly Art Apr, 15, 2011
  • Using Spatial Intelligence to Make Earth-Friendly Art Jun, 16, 2011

    In this lesson plan, students will build upon their knowledge of multiple intelligences by focusing on their visual-spatial intelligence. Students will combine the study of the environment with spatial intelligence through eco-friendly visual art projects. Students will learn about the history of natural dyes and how different cultures make and use them. Students will then make their own natural dyes and use them to make their own naturally dyed clothing. This fun, interdisciplinary lesson will strengthen students’ artistic skills and their knowledge about history and the environment.

  • Healthy Earth, Sick Earth Jun, 15, 2011

    This lesson uses the book “Planet Earth Gets Well” by Madeline Kaplan to introduce students to concepts related to climate change and properly caring for the Earth. Students will learn what they can do to help make the Earth “healthy” and what others are doing that is making the earth “sick.”

  • Native Fauna Scavenger Hunt Jun, 15, 2011

    This lesson will demonstrate how native grasses, flowers, trees and plants provide natural, complex habitats for wildlife. Students will have the opportunity to search for native fauna, or signs of fauna, and record their observations.

  • The Bigger Meaning of Recycling: Green Play Structures Jun, 15, 2011

    This lesson is designed to show students the bigger meaning of recycling by focusing on what is created from the process. Many commonly recycled materials such as tires, scrap metal, and cardboard are converted into materials used in the construction of green play structures.

  • Naturescaping Jun, 15, 2011

    This lesson will explore landscaping with native plants – also known as naturescaping – and how this promotes a healthy environment including improved air and water quality and increased biodiversity. Students will create a site plan and carry out actual site improvements.

  • Soil Basics Jun, 15, 2011

    Soil is often referred to as the foundation of life because nearly every material we use comes from it. In this lesson, students will have the opportunity to learn about different types of soil. They will also have the opportunity to learn how vital soil is to their way of life.

  • Food and Water Supplies Under Stress Jun, 16, 2011

    Students will understand how our needs for food and water are fulfilled and how climate change will impact the agriculture industry and our freshwater supplies.

  • Per Square Meter Jun, 15, 2011

    Biodiversity represents the beauty and complexity of the earth’s living organisms. However, pollution and environmental degradation have progressively reduced biodiversity in ecosystems across the globe. The decrease of biodiversity has obvious consequences for the health of the planet, such as climate change and the extinction of major species. This lesson, as part of the Adopt a Square Meter Program, will aid students in conceptualizing how humans affect biodiversity.

  • The Truth about Plastic Bags Jun, 15, 2011

    This lesson will inform students about the scope of the worldwide plastic bag problem, and provide them with ways to reduce plastic bag generation and waste.

  • The Role of Livestock Production in Global Deforestation Jun, 15, 2011

    This lesson will examine the relationship between large-scale farming and ranching methods and global deforestation.

  • Energy Sources and Water Usage Jun, 15, 2011

    Every source of human-based energy requires water during the extraction, production, processing, transportation, and consumption of energy. In this lesson, students will examine the major ways that water is utilized for a variety of energy sources. They will also participate in a photographic matching activity that compares energy usages to further understand the role water plays in energy consumption. Lastly, students will analyze the amounts of water used by various energy sources through a graphing activity.

  • Green Jobs: A History Jun, 15, 2011

    With increasing concern surrounding climate change, the 2008-09 economic collapse, and exceeding dependence on fossils fuels, the American people are looking to the green work force to find solutions for today’s environmental and economic crises. Although green jobs have had a place in society for a while, such jobs are currently playing a more integral role than ever before.

  • Green Jobs: What’s Next? Jun, 15, 2011

    Not only is there a great need for environmentally-conscious innovations, but there are many gaps in research needed for the production of environmental products. The increasing need for innovation in this area will require the collaboration of bright thinkers worldwide to research climate change, design and produce products, and enter the government sector to implement policies to curb climate change.

  • Green Jobs and Economics Jun, 15, 2011

    Increasing the number of green jobs available and working towards energy efficient and renewable energy innovations will be some of the strongest assets we have to combat economic crisis. Therefore, it is imperative that we educate students about the importance of green jobs and green business practices, especially as these will play an integral role in rebuilding and strengthening our economy and environment.

  • Green Jobs and Environmental Justice Jun, 15, 2011

    Not everyone has fair, equal access to clean natural resources or economic opportunities with safe, well-paying employers. Oftentimes what ultimately determine people’s ability to access such resources are their socio-economic and racial backgrounds. The following activities will educate students on how climate change and pollution often affect those from different backgrounds and bring them to understand how green jobs are a pathway out of poverty for people affected by environmental injustices.

  • What is a Green Job? Jun, 15, 2011

    As our economy continues to struggle, and while job loss is on the rise, Americans are in dire need of new sources of employment. Green jobs will ultimately make the American economy more competitive in the international market, curb climate change, fight outsourcing, and rejuvenate manufacturing in the U.S.1 The following activities will introduce students to green jobs by defining the sector and outlining what qualifies as a green job and will help students to understand why green jobs are important.

  • Coal Mining and Mountaintop Removal Jun, 20, 2011

    This lesson will inform students about Mountaintop Removal coal mining in Appalachia and its connection to environmental issues, economic issues, and public health. Students will also conduct research and give presentations to the class in groups.

  • Mountaintop Removal Coal Mining Jun, 14, 2011

    This lesson will inform students about coal mining and its connection to energy use, while empowering them to reduce energy in their own lives.

  • Where Do Recyclable Materials Go? Jun, 16, 2011

    This lesson plan supplements the book Where Do Recyclable Materials Go? Where Do Recyclable Materials Go? (Garbology Kids™) begins with Tiana sharing with her class what she learned about recycling while trying to catch her dog Bubbles, who had chased after the recycle truck. When Tiana, her Mom and her brother set out to find Bubbles, they end up following the recycle truck, just missing it and Bubbles at each pickup stop until they arrive at the MURF—The Materials Recovery Facility (MRF).

  • Biodiesel Transportation Fuels Curriculum Jun, 20, 2011

    To teach Students about biodiesel and encourage them to evaluate its economic, social, and environmental advantages and disadvantages with correlations to National Science Standards. Reinforce: critical thinking; math & graph analysis; cooperative learning; cost/benefit analysis; compare & contrast; evaluation of multiple factors; research and writing; and presentation.

  • Every Breath You Take Jul, 14, 2011

    In this lesson, students will explore the respiratory system and specific effects that air pollution has on the human body. Students will learn the parts and functionalities of the respiratory system by building working models of the lungs and diaphragm. Students will explore adverse health effects of air pollution by modifying their lung models to demonstrate pollution–related health effects.

  • Future of the School Bus Jul, 14, 2011

    School buses across the country bring 24 million students to school every day. They are a constant presence in our children’s lives, and yet they have scarcely changed at all in the past thirty years. In this lesson plan, students will think about ways that school buses might be different in the future, and learn about a new kind of biodiesel, made from algae. Students will then evaluate the economic value of having buses in their hometown switch to algae biodiesel in the future.

  • Lung Power and Air Pollution Jul, 14, 2011

    In this lesson, students will use online data for air quality in their area and convert this data into an Air Quality Index value. They will investigate the impact of air pollution by measuring and comparing their own vital lung capacity on days with healthy and unhealthy air quality and brainstorm strategies for protecting their respiratory systems from the harmful effects of air pollution. It is recommended that students complete “Every Breath You Take” before beginning these activities.

  • Major Types of Air Pollution and Their Global Distribution Jul, 14, 2011

    In this lesson, students will study types of air pollutants and use maps to explore how they are distributed throughout the world. After engaging in a class discussion, students will research several causes behind different types of air pollutants. Students will then use a map to identify geographic locations where air pollutants are most concentrated and determine what sources are responsible for each type of pollution. Though air pollution can be made up of a variety of chemicals, this lesson will focus on the six that are most commonly found in pollution in the United States.

  • No Idling Young Lungs at Work Jul, 14, 2011

    Students will participate in peer conferencing and develop a point of view regarding no idling of vehicles. Students will also develop a public awareness campaign to encourage a no-idling policy on their campus. Students will use an inner circle-outer circle system to debate vehicle idling. Students will also write an opinion essay and help develop a no-idling awareness campaign.

  • Powering the World with Biodiesel Jul, 16, 2014

    In the emerging discussion of energy dependence and sustainability, biofuels are often touted as the ideal solution for the world’s energy insufficiencies. Their low net carbon footprint and domestic production potential make them a prime candidate in the alternative energy market. One type of fuel, biodiesel, is made from oil and can be easily produced at home by anyone who has access to the materials and is willing to learn the process for making it. In this lesson plan, students will learn about biofuels and what role they play in the energy market.

  • Pump it Up! Tire Pressure Jul, 14, 2011

    Tires are a ubiquitous part of transportation. An essential component of the wheel, the tire helps ensure safe traveling for ground vehicles. However, tires must be periodically checked and maintained at a proper pressure to guarantee optimal performance. In this lesson, students will learn why pumping tires to the correct pressure is important. They will also understand why using the wrong tire pressure is detrimental. Students will learn about the variables that determine optimal tire pressure. During the class discussion, students will learn about how often pressure should be checked.

  • Ridesharing: Working Together to Get Where We Need to Go Jul, 14, 2011

    In this lesson plan, students will gain a preliminary understanding of how greenhouse gases are released and why they are harmful to the environment. Students will closely examine ridesharing as one way to decrease their own carbon footprint. They will map out individual routes and discover why rideshares can sometimes be problematic. At the end of the lesson plan, they will be able to actively create a rideshare route and determine whether or not it is efficient.

  • Signed, Sealed, Delivered: A History of the United States Postal Service Jul, 14, 2011

    Students will follow the evolution of the postal service from 1775 to today, exploring interesting and little-known milestones in its development. They will learn about the advent of new technologies and how they changed the way we send and receive mail. After reflecting on the environmental impacts of the mailing industry, they will brainstorm ways the negative impacts could be minimized, while preserving the integrity and significance of the postal service. Finally, they will write their own creative story, envisioning futuristic and environmentally responsible methods of sending mail.

  • Tailpipe Emissions Jul, 14, 2011

    Tailpipe emissions are a serious threat to human and environmental health. The combustion of petroleum-based fuels results in the release of noxious chemicals into the air. Before the Clean Air Act of 1970, tailpipe emissions were not regulated by the U.S. government. In the time since, great strides have been made, yet the use of automobiles inherently retains serious side effects. In this lesson plan, students will focus on the consequences exposure to tailpipe emissions has for human health. They will learn how combustion creates these emissions, and what they can do to reduce them.

  • The Changing Auto Industry Jul, 14, 2011

    In the early twentieth century, the automobile achieved such rapid popularity that surely even Henry Ford could not have anticipated it. A century later, the auto industry continues to evolve as manufacturers try to put out the most energy efficient car faster than their competitors. For both economic and environmental reasons, these new technology cars are gaining traction. This lesson plan will have students explore the future of the auto industry and the many careers that help power it.

  • The Green Teen Driver Jul, 14, 2011

    In recent years, the market for green cars has expanded enormously. In 2011, Chevrolet released its extended range electric vehicle, the Volt, to the high praise of critics and eager wallets of consumers. More recently, Toyota sold its millionth Prius in the United States, and as price of fuel continues to rise, the demand for more fuel-efficient vehicles increases to. In this lesson plan, students will learn about alternative fuel cars and the energy sources that power them. Students will use critical thinking skills to foster the decision-making process for buying a car.

  • The Rise of the Automobile Jul, 14, 2011

    During this lesson students will critically analyze the time period that saw the rise of the car, as well as the current move towards fuel-efficient vehicles. By the end of this lesson students will understand the circumstances and events that led to the rapid increase of the automobile in the United States in the early 1900’s. Students will also examine current events to understand why fuel-efficient cars nowadays are gaining popularity and compare and contrast the two different historical periods.

  • The Six Infamous Pollutants Jul, 14, 2011

    Students will work in groups to research and “get to know” the six major air pollutants. Students present information in creative ways to make an invisible and intangible entity (air pollution) a bit more visible and real to them through a “Meet the Pollutants” Press Conference. Students will use their imaginations to present their findings to fellow classmates. Students will also play a game, similar to tic-tac-toe, to reinforce knowledge of the six major pollutants. Students will discover ways to help reduce air pollution in their own lives.

  • Transportation and the Food Industry: Past, Present and Future Jul, 14, 2011

    This lesson plan will help students explore the role of non-local vs. local food in their daily life. They will discover the origins of the common foods they eat, and how far that food must travel to reach their local grocery stores. Students will also learn what food their local regions have to offer, and will understand what it means to eat locally. By the end of the lesson plan, students will be able to use the information that they learned to make their own decisions when buying food, and can evaluate for themselves whether local food is a better solution.

  • Transportation in a Global Market Jul, 14, 2011

    During this lesson, students will learn how to measure distances on a map and practice finding countries on a world map. Students will examine the global market by tracing the supply chain for a single pair of jeans from raw materials to a store in their home state. Students will gain an in-depth understanding of the supply chain by estimating the distance products travel and calculating the estimated fuel consumption in this process.

  • Transportation Policy: An Examination of High-Speed Rail Jul, 14, 2011

    This lesson will provide students with an opportunity to explore the multifaceted debate surrounding high-speed rail development in 21st century America. Students will be evaluated on their ability to develop and demonstrate informed opinions on the various economic, political and environmental issues related to high-speed rail development in several areas of the U.S. Students will also be offered a chance to further examine the legislative process and its potential ramifications on one or more communities.

  • Transportation, Film and Advertising Jul, 14, 2011

    In the United States, advertising and entertainment have always been closely linked. In this lesson plan, students will scrutinize the role that cars, and their branding, have played in popular media. They will examine the junction between advertisement and storytelling to understand how the two can be used together as an effective method of building a certain mystique. Historical advertisements will be paired with films of the same era to help students gain an appreciation of the historical partnership between Hollywood and Madison Avenue.

  • Using Alternative Fuel Sources to Reduce Emission Pollutants Jul, 14, 2011

    Air pollution is a problem of growing importance and its long term effects have serious consequences. In this lesson, students will be introduced to air pollution emissions and where they originate through the evaluation of graphs, working in groups, and engaging in critical discussions. They will investigate the advantages and disadvantages of using alternative fuel sources and begin to discuss what measures can be taken to reduce harmful emissions in everyday life.

  • Air Pollution 101 Jul, 14, 2011

    Students will gain background knowledge of the basic sources of air pollution, along with the overview of how air pollution affects our health and our environment. They will participate in a hands-on demonstration to visually demonstrate that everyone has an impact on air pollution. Students will also write a description of each pollutant, as well develop their own ideas of the most dangerous and most significant pollutants. They will form ideas of how these pollutants can be reduced and how their air can be revitalized and the negative impacts of air pollution can be reduced.

  • Air Quality Index Jul, 14, 2011

    Ensuring that we have the healthiest quality of air is an issue that can sometimes be overlooked because it is an inescapable, and often times invisible, part of life. However, air pollution affects the lives of all living things. In this activity, students will examine air pollution and its causes. Students will discover why scientists find it crucial to closely monitor daily air pollutants. Students will also discuss air quality standards, and search for practical ways to lower air pollution emissions.

  • Alternative Forms of Transportation: The Bicycle Jul, 14, 2011

    This lesson explores the role bicycles play in students’ lives. Students will compare and contrast their personal experiences with bicycles with those of typical Americans and Europeans. This lesson plan will give students experience working in groups as they assess the positive and negative aspects of a bicycle-centered infrastructure. Students will use the knowledge they gain to propose ways for bicycles to be incorporated into their communities.

  • Analysis of the Human Lung Jul, 14, 2011

    Students will be introduced to the structure and workings of the human lungs through the use of models, class generated data, and engaging a series of questions. Students will investigate how the respiratory system works, the uses and limiting attributes of models, and the form and function of the human lung. In addition, a brief explanation as to how the respiratory system and the circulatory system are related is introduced.

  • Before We Drove Cars We Rode Animals Jul, 14, 2011

    Before the time when we could hop on a plane for a few hours to get to the other side of the world or take a quick drive to the store, humans relied on animal-based transportation. In this lesson students will examine the history of animal-based transportation and discover why many cultures increasingly rely on machines for transportation. Students will contrast modern methods of transportation with those of the past to examine the pros and cons how transportation has developed in the modern world.

  • Corn: Food or Fuel Jul, 14, 2011

    As increasing evidence points to the fact that the world’s addiction to fossil fuels actually creates more problems than it solves, scientists all over the globe race to find new, sustainable fuel sources. Many ideas have been suggested, such as wind, solar or hydro power and each has varying levels of support, protest, financial and political backing, research and exposure. Perhaps one of the better known fuel types, largely because it has sparked a very heated debate, is ethanol: a liquid fuel made from plant matter.