Environmental Education Resources

ee resources

Every month we carefully select new tools and resources that support and enhance Project Learning Tree’s lessons.

 

GRANTS AND DONATIONS

Fruit Tree 101 Program

The Fruit Tree Planting Foundation’s Fruit Tree 101 program brings high-quality fruit trees and shrubs, equipment, on-site orchard design expertise and oversight, horticultural workshops, and aftercare training and manuals to schoolyards across the country. By planting fruit trees, students will improve the surrounding air, soil, and water and provide a local source of healthy nutrition. There is no deadline to apply; applications are accepted on a rolling basis. Recipients must be public schools, nonprofits, or government entities that own the planting site, showcase commitment to caring for the trees in perpetuity, have a source of irrigation nearby, and can help coordinate local volunteers to participate on the day of planting.

(resource for PLT’s PreK-8 activities: “Plant a Tree,” “We All Need Trees,” “Adopt a Tree,” “Pass the Plants, Please,” “Air We Breathe,” and “Name that Tree,” plus PLT’s Early Childhood activities: “Get in Touch with Trees,” “We All Need Trees,” “Adopt a Tree,” and “Three Cheers for Trees,” as well as PLT’s GreenWorks! grants and GreenSchools program)

 

VIDEO CHATS

Skype a Scientist

The Skype a Scientist program matches more than 500 scientists with classrooms worldwide. Available for any level along the K-12 spectrum, a typical Q&A-style video chat lasts between 30 to 60 minutes and covers topics in the scientist’s area of expertise and what it’s like to be a scientist. Follow the link to browse scientists and sign up!

(resource for PLT’s PreK-8 activities: “A Forest of Many Uses,” “Who Works in this Forest?,” “How Big is Your Tree?,” “Forest for the Trees,” and “Soil Stories,” as well as PLT’s secondary module Focus on Forests: “Monitoring Forest Health,” “Tough Choices,” “The Nature of Fire,” “Forest to Faucet,” and “Forest Invaders”)

 

INTERACTIVE MAPS, WEBSITES AND APPS

SeedSmart

Teachers and students can use SeedSmart to find answers to basic questions about a site you might be wanting to restore. Some of these questions include: Which species are native here? What are the important soil characteristics I should know about? Which plants grow best in this setting? Which plants will be more likely to thrive under changing climatic conditions? The tool is compatible with any smartphone or browser and allows users to zoom in to their local ecosystem and determine the mix of native species that are best suited for a particular site. This first of its kind, all-in-one web application was developed by NatureServe, an international biodiversity conservation organization.

(resource for PLT’s secondary modules Focus on Forests: “Forest Invaders” and “Climate Change and Forests;” Forests of the World: “Mapping the World’s Forests” and “Analyzing Patterns of Forest Change;” and Places We Live: “Mapping Your Community Through Time;” as well as PLT’s GreenWorks! grants and PLT’s GreenSchools program)

WikiWatershed

This web toolkit is designed to help middle, high school, and college educators and students – as well as citizens, conservationists, municipal decision-makers, and researchers – advance their knowledge and stewardship of fresh water. Developed by the Stroud Water Research Center, the toolkit enables users to share watershed-model scenarios, watershed-monitoring data, and watershed-management stories as an open, collaborative community. Learn more and access archived training webinars for educators at www.wikiwatershed.org.

(resource for PLT’s PreK-8 activities: “Water Wonders,” “Watch on Wetlands” and “Every Drop Counts,” PLT’s secondary modules Focus on Forests: “Forest to Faucet” and Places We Live: “Mapping Your Community Through Time” and “Regional Community Issues: The Ogallala Aquifer”)

 

SIMPLE TEACHING TOOLS

Foldable 3-D Fire Triangle Model

Simply print out and then fold this 3-Dimensional fire triangle model to help teach the 3 elements of the fire triangle, as well as to show the important connections between weather and how it influences fire behavior.

(resource for PLT’s PreK-8 activities: “Forest for the Trees,” “Nothing Succeeds like Succession,” and “Living with Fire”)

 

FACT SHEETS

Top Ten Things You Didn’t Know About… Wind Power

Developed as part of Energy.gov’s informational “Top 10 Things You Didn’t Know About…” online series, Top 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Wind Power presents facts and resources describing the growth, development, current status, and future potential of the wind power industry. Most appropriate for middle and high school levels (grades 5-12), the educational resources include diagrams showing how a wind turbine functions, as well as extensive wind maps from the US Department of Energy.

(resource for PLT’s PreK-8 activities: “Renewable or Not,” “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle,” and “Energy Sleuths,” and PLT’s Energy & Society kit: “Energy Detectives,” “May the Source Be with You,” and “Energy Chains”)

 

POSTERS

Animals at Risk from Climate Change Poster

This poster captures the complex interaction of biological traits and environmental conditions that cause a species to be susceptible to climate change. Thoroughly documented to studies from reliable sources, including the IUCN Climate Change Specialist Group, NASA, NOAA, the US EPA, and the IPCC, the poster features 25 animals that highlight the fundamental impacts of greenhouse gases—causes, effects and risk of extinction—on all forms of life on the planet.

(resource for PLT’s PreK-8 activities: “The Global Climate,” “Life on the Edge,” and “Our Changing World,” and PLT’s secondary modules Biodiversity: “Global Invaders” and “Protected Areas: Issues and Analysis” and Focus on Risk: “What Is Risk?” and “Weighing the Options: A Look at Tradeoffs”)

 

CHILDREN’S BOOKS

Free Interactive E-book of the Month

Each month, Arbordale Publishing provides children a new free, dual-language, interactive e-book. Check out this month’s title. Adjust reading speed to suit and tap animals to hear them they roar, chirp, and howl! The e-book will read aloud in both English and Spanish with word highlighting.

 

GAMES

Disneynature Explore

The free Disneynature Explore application for iPads and iPhones combines an augmented reality experience with animal behavior gameplay to encourage young students (grades preK-3) and their families to get outside and connect with nature. In the app, 3D images of animals appear in the camera’s viewer, providing students with “wild adventures” in their own backyard. For example, students can see their surroundings through a butterfly’s eyes, follow tracks with a bear to find its cub, and crack a nut like a chimpanzee.

(resource for PLT’s PreK-8 activities: “The Forest of S.T. Shrew,” “Trees as Habitats,” “The Fallen Log,” “Schoolyard Safari,” “Web of Life,” “Tropical Treehouse,” and “Life on the Edge,” as well as PLT’s Early Childhood activities “Sounds Around” and “Trees as Habitats”)

 

VIRTUAL FIELD TRIPS

Denali National Park, Virtually

Denali National Park and Preserve in Alaska is a great place to learn about many different types of landscapes and climates, but it may not be accessible by every classroom. Try bringing Denali to you with a virtual tour! Explore some of the research happening in Denali, paired with some striking images of plants and landscapes in the park.

(resource for PLT’s PreK-8 activities: “Loving It Too Much” and “I’d Like to Visit a Place Where…,” and PLT’s secondary module Places We Live: “Far-Reaching Decisions”)

 

 

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