Celebrating EcoSchools resource introduction
Grade: All elementary grades
Introduction to the resource including: table of contents, resource overview, defining ecological literacy, planning and scheduling an environmental learning adventure, curriculum links, and ecological literacy in the curriculum.
Lesson 1 - Connecting with Our Actions: A Million Year Picnic
In this activity, children examine how long it takes certain items to decompose and, based on that information, they have an opportunity to make their own choices about what is best to take on a picnic.
Lesson 2 - Building Bird Feeders with Recycled Materials
Students will use recycled materials to make a bird feeder, reinforcing the idea that by reusing objects, rather than buying new ones, we can generate less garbage.
Lesson 3 - Food Chains: The Sun Powers All!
Grade: 1, 2, 3, 7
Through acting and singing the students will understand the connections between the components of a food chain and realize that all energy originates with the sun.
Lesson 4 - Connecting with Habitats: Home Sweet Home
Grade: 1, 2, 3
The activities in this session will give students an understanding of the concept of habitat, what animals need to survive, and the importance of preserving habitat.
Note: This activity is best for older primary and younger junior students
Lesson 5 - Creating a Mini-forest
Grade: 1, 2, 3
Children work together in small groups to create a large classroom mural of a forest, thus becoming familiar with the components of a forest ecosystem.
Lesson 6 - Water Water Everywhere
Grade: 2, 4, 5, 8
These activities help students understand that there is a finite amount of water available for human use, learn about how much water is needed for everyday activities, and communicate ideas for conserving water.
Lesson 7 - Ecosystems in Action: Web of Life
Grade: 4, 7
These activities will help students understand the concept of interconnectedness and that human activities can impact habitat and have serious consequences for the ecosystem as a whole.
Lesson 8 - Ecological Footprints: Human Wants and Needs affecting the Earth
Grade: 4, 5, 7
All species on the Earth need resources to survive. Most humans in Western society live beyond their needs. This activity allows students to explore their own personal needs for survival, and to draw connections to objects they own, have access to, or want, and the Earth’s resources that provide those products.
Lesson 9 - Embodied Energy: The Life of Fruits and Vegetables
Grade: 3, 4, 5, 7
This activity allows students to begin to understand how energy is embodied, or hidden, in food they eat every day.
Lesson 10 - Interpretive Hikes
Grade: connection dependent on type of hike
Exploring local places can help students to feel a connection to the natural world and develop a “sense of place.” Through the use of their senses and a variety of trailside activities, students will gain an appreciation for wildlife and its natural settings.
Lesson 11 - Connecting to the Everyday Things in Our Lives
Grade: 7, 8
This activity provides students with a perspective from which to explore the connections between certain products that they use or have and their social and environmental impacts. Following this exploration, students can create skits or board games to demonstrate the true impacts of items used in their daily lives and suggest possible alternatives.
Lesson 12 - Connecting School Issues and Action Opportunities
Empowering students to make change can create positive learning opportunities. Students will examine different types of actions and their effectiveness, and create an action plan to address an issue of concern.
Lesson 13 - Stakeholders and Perspectives: Force Field Analysis
Being able to see issues from all perspectives is a valuable life skill. Students identify an issue of interest, stakeholders and their different positions on the issue at hand. The activity concludes with a mock debate as students are separated into stakeholder groups and debate the issue.
This resource list contains books, teaching resources and websites that provide information on environmental education outings.