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Beyond Feeling Sorry for the Earth

Bridging the Gap Between Environmental Knowing and

Environmental Doing – Lindsey Bingley, University of Calgary
Environmental Education in the Classroom

 Hands-on activities

 Opportunities to explore and


 Connect environmental issues

to students in a meaningful

 Empower students to change

the world around them
Environmental Literacy
  When learning about environmental
issues, students may feel confused,
upset, or hopeless

  Students are aware that the Earth is

experiencing an environmental crisis –
but what can they do?

-Service Projects

-Zero Waste or Boomerang Lunches

-Recycling or Composting Projects

(in class or school wide)
The R’s





Red Wigglers:
Climate Change

• Greenhouse Effect

• Greenhouse Gases

• Glaciers

• Polar Bears

• Oceans Rising

• Unseasonable Temperatures

• Changing Climate Patterns

Water Quality and Consumption
Edible Aquifer/Edible Earth Parfait (
Curriculum Areas
Alberta Education – Program of Studies

Grade 1 – Needs of Animals and Plants Grade 4 – Waste and Our World

Grade 2 – Exploring Liquids Grade 5 – Wetland Ecosystems

Grade 3 – Animal Life Cycle Grade 6 – Trees and Forests

Beyond Feeling Sorry for the Earth – Resource Guide

Online Resources:
David Suzuki – Environmental Education in the Classroom
-Resource list with classroom prep, lesson plan ideas, etc.
Earth Issues: Our Lifestyles and the Environment: An Environmental Education Manual for
Children Grades K Through 5 (free PDF). Cowichan Valley Regional District, BC.
-Teacher Resources, lesson plans, printables.
Ecological Footprint Calculators
Environment Canada – EC Educator Resources
-Provides access to featured lesson plans and links (divided for ages 6-12 and ages 13-18).
-Includes lesson plans and info about free educational programming that may take place in your
Environment Canada – Explore Water with Holly Heron
-Activity booklet provided by Girl Guides Canada, experiments. Suitable for grades 1-3.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
-Provides teacher resources on a variety of topics.
Global, Environmental, and Outdoor Education Council
-Free lesson plans, divided by grade.
Green Teacher Magazine
-Print or online magazine subscriptions, some free resources.
The Groundwater Foundation – Kids Page and Sample Educator Resources
-Groundwater and aquifer information and activities. **Includes directions for Edible Earth Parfait**
Learning for a Sustainable Future
-Teacher support, action program for youth.
One Simple Act – Alberta (Grades 1-6)
-Renewable energy project plans to build working models, teacher resources.
Resources for Rethinking
-Search function allows for province, grade, subject, theme and a large list of organization specific
Story of Stuff
-Free 20 min video explains the cradle to grave cycle of our “stuff,” from production to disposal.
Vermiculture – Rodale Institute: Worm Bin Construction Made Simple
-Instructions for building a worm bin out of plastic totes.
Waste Reduction Week Canada
-School resources, free posters, event listings by province. - Alberta
Waste Free or Zero Waste Lunches (great tips, lesson plans, and sample parent letters, etc) - British Columbia - Oklahoma - Ontario - USA
Provincial and Regional Resources:
Alberta Environment Teacher Resources
Green Calgary
-Workshops and courses, Eco-Store.
Inside Education
-Provides natural resources and environment education. Resource section by division.
-Provides posters, DVD, student activity booklet for teachers, interactive online games
British Columbia
BC Ministry of Environment - Environmental Education Resources
Nanaimo Recycling Exchange
-Provides free environmental education workshops on much of Vancouver Island.
Stream to Sea, Department of Fisheries and Oceans
-Educator support, classroom programs (salmon hatching, etc).
Education for Sustainable Development – Manitoba Education
-Includes Educator Resource list
Recycle Saskatchewan School Resources
Print Resources:
Worms Eat My Garbage by Mary Appelhof (Kalamazoo, MI: Flower Press, 1997).
Worms Eat Our Garbage: Classroom Activities for a Better Environment by Mary Appelhof, Mary Frances Fenton,
and Barbara Loss Harris (Kalamazoo, MI: Flowerfield Enterprises, 1993).
The Worm Café: Mid-Scale Vermicomposting of Lunchroom Wastes by Binet Payne (Kalamazoo, MI: Flower Press,
Diary of a Worm by Doreen Cronin, illustrated by Harry Bliss (HarperCollins, 2003).
The Down-to-Earth Guide to Global Warming by Laurie David and Cambria Gordon (New York: Orchard Books, a
division of Scholastic, 2007).
Ecological Literacy: Educating Our Children for a Sustainable World, eds. Michael K. Stone and Zenobia Barlow
(San Francisco: Sierra Club Books, 2005).
Greening School Grounds: Creating Habitats for Learning, eds. Tim Grant and Gail Littlejohn (Toronto: Green
Teacher, 2001).
Teaching Green: The Elementary Years, eds. Tim Grant and Gail Littlejohn (New Society Publishers, 2005).
Teaching Green: The Middle Years, eds. Tim Grant and Gail Littlejohn (New Society Publishers, 2004).
Teaching Green: The High School Years, eds. Tim Grant and Gail Littlejohn (New Society Publishers, 2009).
Teaching About Climate Change: Cool Schools Tackle Global Warming, eds. Tim Grant and Gail Littlejohn (Toronto:
Green Teacher, 2001).
Recycle This Book: 100 Top Children’s Authors Tell You How to Go Green, ed. by Dan Gutman (New York: Yearling,