The Way We Live

...and how our choices impact our environment

Educator Resources 

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Find educational resources easily. The full list of resources is available in alphabetical order by title. You may also search by grade levels, subjects and topics. To search for multiple grades, subjects or topics, press and hold the CTRL key (Windows) or Command key (Mac) on your keyboard then click to select the materials you need. Many of the educational resources can be downloaded from the website.

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Educator Resources Materials Available Grade Level Content Areas Topic
We love "stuff"

We love "stuff" graphics can be used in the classroom to acknowledge that the environmental issues around our "stuff" are complex. Many of us love to consume, yet we also recognize it's hard on the environment. This graphic can be printed off and placed on a bulletin board. Then students can cross out "stuff" and handwrite in what they really love. Other graphics can be used when you do community engagement projects, write e-newsletters for parents, or in other creative ways! Consider using one of these graphics especially around the winter holidays to help remind your students and anyone who walks into your school what matters most.

Other PreK-2, 3-5, 6-8, 9-12, Post-secondary Language Arts, Social Studies, 21st Century Citizenship/Service, Reduction/Consumption, Living Well
What are Things Made Of? (by Roca, Nuria)

Check your library or store for this resource.

The 35-page nonfiction makes connections between natural resources and the products made from them. Hands-on activities are included.

 2007: Barron’s Educational Series 0-7641-3651-8 (35 pgs. Nonfiction)

Book/Reading PreK-2, 3-5 Science, Social Studies Natural Resources/Life Cycles
Who Polluted the Potomac? from Population Connection

See activites and lesson plans here

This website contains a variety of activities and lesson plans for grades from 3 through 8.  Who Polluted the Potomac uses an interactive story to help students learn how our rivers have been affected by our growing population. This includes the impact of toxic materials on the environment.

Activity, Other 3-5, 6-8 Language Arts, Science, Social Studies Citizenship/Service, Natural Resources/Life Cycles, Waste/Pollution
Who Polluted the River? (from Population Connection)

See lesson plan and activities here.

As the lesson's website says, Grades 1 and 2 "students participate in an interactive story and learn how, as human populations have increased and land uses have changed, many of our rivers have become polluted. This example demonstrates that just as we each contribute to the problem, we can also each be part of the solution."

Activity, Book/Reading PreK-2 Language Arts, Science, Social Studies Citizenship/Service, Natural Resources/Life Cycles, Waste/Pollution
Why "Stuff" Matters

See Why "Stuff" Matters Part I here  (5:58 video)  See Why "Stuff" Matters Part II here (9:11 video)

The Part I, 7-slide PowerPoint gives the definitions of three waste management strategies (recycling, reusing and reducing), and explains why reduction is the most preferred strategy. 

The Part II, 8-slide PowerPoint shows the impacts of "stuff" on the environment, specifically in terms of greenhouse gas emissions. It also emphasizes the importance of looking at the full life cycle of products, not just looking at waste and disposal. Educator Susan Salterberg also concedes that she loves to buy, like most Americans. She is working to reconcile her desire to consume with her desire for a healthy environment.  Susan shares the "fulfillment curve" concept as one approach to inspire smart shopping.

Other 3-5, 6-8, 9-12, Post-secondary Math, Science, Social Studies Reduction/Consumption, Natural Resources/Life Cycles, Recycle/Reuse/Compost, Waste/Pollution
World Population Video

See video here.

This seven minute film depicts the history of human population growth and distribution from 1 AD through the present, then projects future growth to the year 2030.

Activity, Videos 3-5, 6-8, 9-12 Language Arts, Social Studies Global Studies, Population