Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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National Environmental Education Week (April 14-20)

HabPlanet_earthDiscuss current and future environmental problems, including possible solutions, with your students. The following resources provide ideas for science, social studies, and literature classrooms:




  1. Hear thought-provoking views and research findings from experts in the field, including entomologist E.O. Wilson in The Habitable Planet, unit 13 video, “Looking Forward: Our Global Experiment.”
  2. Two interactives in The Habitable Planet allow you and your students to manage an energy crisis. The Carbon Lab explores how human influence on carbon output affects the future health of the Earth’s atmosphere.  In the Energy Lab interactive, try developing a portfolio of energy resources that cuts back on CO2 and considers the pros and cons of multiple sources of energy.
  3. Gage Reeves asks his 5th graders to relate their reading about global warming and climate change to events and products in their community in Teaching Reading 3-5 Workshop, classroom program 13, “Reading Across the Curriculum.”
  4. Consider the possible conflicts that arise when living in a future society affected by significant global warming and other challenges by reading “Parable of the Sower” by Octavia E. Butler.  The Expanding Canon: Teaching Multicultural Literature, session 7, “Critical Pedagogy,” includes an audio clip of the author and a synopsis of the story.
  5. Learn about where oil comes from, how it is extracted and used for energy, and the effects of using oil as an energy source on the environment in Earth Revealed, program 26, “Living With Earth, Part II.”
  6. Explore environmental mysteries like the causes of ice ages and consider how life shapes the earth in Planet Earth, program 3, “The Climate Puzzle,” and program 7, “Fate of the Earth.”
  7. Economic stories show how pollution is a “negative externality” that can have serious consequences for economic efficiency in Economics U$A, unit 8, “Pollution and the Environment.”
  8. The World of Chemistry, program 17, “The Precious Envelope,” explains ozone depletion and the greenhouse effect on the earth’s atmosphere.

6 Ways to Get to the Bottom of the Ocean

earth revealed_wavesWhy are the oceans that cover over 70% of the Earth’s surface so enchanting? Many people head to the seaside to relax in the sun and listen to the waves roll in and out. Others use beaches as playgrounds for volleyball, building sandcastles, and swimming in the surf. A chance to glimpse fascinating ocean life draws visitors to aquariums all over. The smell of salt in the air and the rustling of grasses on the dunes inspire poets of all ages.  Celebrate National Week of the Ocean by exploring and appreciating the ocean with your students using the following resources:

1. Learn about the large-scale ocean circulation patterns that help to regulate temperatures and weather patterns on land, and the microscopic marine organisms that form the base of marine food webs in Habitable Planet, unit 3, “Oceans.”

2. Dive into Earth Revealed, program 4, “The Sea Floor,”  to learn how scientists use technology to study the geology and biology of the bottom of the sea.

3. Explore the relationship between rocky landmasses and the energy of the ocean. See illustrations of wave movements and their impact on the shores, and study how the greenhouse effect could impact sea level and coastal lands in Earth Revealed, program 24, “Waves, Beaches and Coasts.”

4. Use cyclic functions to track the height of tides as they come in and go out in Learning Math, session 8, part A, Cyclic Functions, Tides.

5. Understand global water distribution, the cycle of water from ocean to atmosphere to land, and the effects of human activities on our finite supply of usable water in The Habitable Planet, unit 8, “Water Resources.”

6. Peer into the future of energy by examining how experimental ocean power systems harness energy and the challenges of using such systems in The Habitable Planet, unit 10, “Energy Challenges,” section 8, Hydropower and Ocean Energy.