Preparing an environmental exchange box will give your students a chance to learn more about their own region and the things that are special about it. Then, when they receive an exchange box from another region, they can compare environments, people, and much more.
This is one of 96 activities that can be found in PLT’s PreK-8 Environmental Education Activity Guide. To get the activity, attend a training either in person or online and receive PLT’s PreK-8 Guide. Below are some supporting resources for this activity.
Every month we carefully select new tools and resources that enhance PLT’s lessons. These include educational apps, videos, posters, interactive websites, careers information, and teacher-generated materials. Browse a chronological listing below:
This printable cutout of Smokey Bear, courtesy of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, can be colored, shared on social media, and sent through the mail to help teach kids about preventing wildfires. Created in 1944, the Smokey Bear Wildfire Prevention campaign is the longest-running public service advertising campaign in U.S. history. Learn the Story of Smokey, find more activity ideas for kids and resources for elementary and middle school educators at SmokeyBear.com, and review these fire safety tips.
Native Land Digital
Curated and designed by an Indigenous-led team, Native Land Digital is a tool that maps Indigenous territories, treaties and languages. Download The Land You Live On Education Guide for some exercises to increase students’ awareness of the history of the land around them, and for help with discussions about Indigenous history, geography, and the rich and diverse cultures that have evolved from the land. Learn how to connect with local Indigenous organizations and communities to engage in cross-cultural exchanges about the land we live on and the importance of Indigenous land acknowledgment. Please note,while it provides a general sense of an area, the map does not represent or intend to represent official or legal boundaries of any Indigenous nations. Use it to spur discussion on the topic and as a first step to pursue more research.
The FreshAiR App
Download the FreshAiR app to explore the world around you with augmented reality. FreshAiR™ is a location-based storytelling and gaming app that reveals hidden stories about the areas around you as you drive, walk or play! In Hidden History, discover amazing stories as you drive down the interstate. Or use Search To Survive, an interactive mobile game to see if you can survive in 1607 Jamestown. The app couples hands-on outdoor learning with educational content about the location you are investigating such as a National or local park. You can also challenge students to create their own Reality to share with others. For example, create a tour of your local park or playground by adding images, text, or videos and use an in-app assessment tool to help assess your students’ learning.
EPA’s EJSCREEN: Environmental Justice and Mapping Tool is an interactive tool that combines data about environmental and demographic indicators in maps and reports. Use this mapping tool to display information about geography, air and water quality, education, and 11 environmental justice (EJ) indexes and make comparisons between state data vs. regions or the nation.
Leafsnap is a free app that can be downloaded onto the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad (Andriod version in development). Leafsnap uses visual recognition software to help identify tree species from individual leaf photographs you take in the field. This application contains high-resolution images of bark, flowers, fruit, seeds, and more. Currently Leafsnap specializes in tree species found in the Northeastern United States, but expansion to include all US regions is underway.
Using Scratch, educators of all ages and levels can program interactive stories, games, and animations and share their creations in an online community. Click on For Educators to access tips and resources for using Scratch in the classroom, including an introductory video, how-to tutorials, and a webinar. Teachers can also join the ScratchEd community to connect and collaborate with other educators using Scratch.