Environmental Education Resources

Every month we carefully select additional resources and new support materials to enhance Project Learning Tree’s lessons. These environmental education resources include videos, educational apps and other interactive online tools, books and posters, teacher-generated materials, and more!

Be sure to check back regularly as we continue to add more “EE Resources”.  You can also:

For resources that specifically support remote learning, check out this collection COVID-19: Resources, Tips, and Support.

 

Online Support Materials for PLT’s Explore Your Environment: K-8 Activity Guide

PLT’s new Explore Your Environment: K-8 Activity Guide includes 50 field-tested, hands-on activities that integrate investigations of nature with science, math, English language arts, and social studies. Get a copy today by attending a local PLT professional development workshop, or you can purchase it directly on shop.plt.org, from Amazon, and other places where books are sold.

My K-8 Guide

example pages to illustrate units of instructionThe new K-8 Guide is supported by a free online toolkit and resource hub found at plt.org/myk8guide.

For each activity, you’ll find links to:

  • Curated resources (see some examples below)
  • Downloadable student pages
  • Recommended reading
  • NGSS Correlations

Activities in the Explore Your Environment: K-8 Activity Guide provide students opportunities to explore the three dimensions of science–Science & Engineering Practices, Disciplinary Core Ideas, and Crosscutting Concepts. For each of the 50 activities, we’ve identified where science connections can be found in the activity, explicit NGSS correlations, and a Guiding Question to drive phenomenon-based, three-dimensional learning, which involves exploring the real world through learner-centered, multidisciplinary investigations that promote inquiry and problem solving.

Other resources at plt.org/myk8guide include:

  • Planning an Investigation student page
  • Assessment Rubric
  • Tips for using the Career Corners and Forest Facts
  • An online Glossary
  • 24 additional Units of Instruction
  • And lots more!

 

EE Resources for PLT Activities

Below are some examples of the many resources we’ve curated for activities found in the new Explore Your Environment guide.

 

VIDEOS

screenshot from video How to Make Paper

How to Make Paper

How to Make Paper is a 5:55-minute video that shows the industrial paper-making process from trees to the finished rolls of paper. It is one of a series of BeLeaf It or Not! videos by Michigan State University Extension, which are geared for students.

Resource for Explore Your Environment activities: Make Your Own Paper (K-2 Activity Variation for Grades 3–5), We All Need Trees (Grades K-2), and What’s in a Label? (Grades 6-8).

 

Wildlife Habitat

Wildlife Habitat is a 7:42-minute video that describes how the habitat requirements for different animals are diverse and ever-changing. For example, most vertebrate species in the Great Lakes’ States require or prefer at least one forest type for part of their lifecycle. It is one of a series of BeLeaf It or Not! videos by Michigan State University Extension, which are geared for students.

Resource for Explore Your Environment activities: Discover Diversity (Grades 3-5), Field, Forest, and Stream (Grades 6-8), and Nothing Succeeds Like Succession (Grades 6-8).

 

Species at Risk

A species at risk is a species that is either rare or declining due to various causes. In this 1:09-minute video from the Sustainable Forestry Initiative, Darren Sleep, Senior Director of Conservation Science & Strategies, explains that it’s a common misconception that an untouched forest is all we can do for species at risk. A well-managed forest can provide improved habitat for certain at-risk species.

Resource for Explore Your Environment activities: Discover Diversity (Grades 3-5), Invasive Species (Grades 6-8) and Life on the Edge (Grades 6-8).

 

Birds are my Peeps

This 30-minute recorded lesson Birds are my Peeps by Michigan DNR is part of the Nature at School Webinar Series developed for formal classroom teachers of grades 3-12, with a minimum of 10 students. The recorded lesson includes resources that can be found here.

Resource for Explore Your Environment activities: Adopt a Tree (Grades K-2) and Birds and Bugs (Grades K-2). 

 

 

INTERACTIVE TOOLS

screenshot of Sounds of the Forest interactive map

Sound Map of the Forest

Listen to the sounds of the forest with this interactive map by Timber Festival. This open-source library maps recorded sounds of woodlands and forests from all around the world. Tune into the sounds of nature with your students, then go outside and create a sound map together of the schoolyard or write a poem about what you hear.

Resource for Explore Your Environment activities: Backyard Safari (Grades K-2), Trees as Habitats (Grades K-2), and Poet-Tree (Grades 3-5).

 

Healthy Trees, Healthy Lives

screenshot of benefits of trees interactive poster

Healthy Trees, Healthy Lives is an interactive poster to learn about the many physical and mental health benefits trees provide in urban areas. Students can also read about how urban forests can improve our physical and mental health and promote healing.

Resource for Explore Your Environment activities: Get Outside! (Grades 3-5), Environmental Justice for All (Grades 6-8), and Forest In the City (Grades 6-8).

 

 

PODCASTS FOR EDUCATORS

Produced by Texas A&M Forest Service, Trees Are Key is a series of over 300 podcasts geared for adults. We’ve highlighted a couple below. See the full list.

 

Keys to Forest Therapy

In this 14-minute podcast, Episode 263: Keys to Forest Therapy, a certified nature therapist discusses the connection between trees, nature, and people and explains how being in a natural environment, like a forest, is good for mental and physical well-being.

Resource for Explore Your Environment activity: Get Outside! (Grades 3-5).

 

Water is Key 

The first 13-minute segment of this podcast, Episode 259: Water Is Key, explores several of the ways that water is vital for trees and for people.

Resource for Explore Your Environment activity: Water Wonders (Grades 3-5).

 

 

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