These resources can be used in conjunction with other Faculty Resources, or on their own for further exploration on Green Topics. (Compiled by Student Sustainability Researcher, Paul Slocum)
Portals/Collections of Lesson Plans
- Energy Literacy: Essential Principles and Fundamental Concepts for Energy Education
- EPA’s resource guide for educators detailing a vast array of different lesson plans which focus on particular environmental/sustainability concentrated topics. Topics range from air quality, climate change, ecosystems, and energy usage to human health, waste, and water management
- The Field Guide to Teaching Sustainability through Penn State is a constantly evolving platform for faculty to share assignment ideas, introduce new topics to curriculum, offer and receive feedback on activities that have been tried and find new ways to introduce content to your courses.
- List of more than 170 syllabi for courses revised through the Chesapeake Project, University of Maryland’s “integrating sustainability across the curriculum” workshop and faculty learning community. Courses range from art history to engineering to business.
- The Science, Education, and Research Center at Carleton College has a wealth of information, toolkits, syllabi, lesson plans, and project ideas for incorporating sustainability into discussions on Energy, Climate Science, Geosciences, Teaching Quantitative Skills, Societal Learning and more.
- The SEED Center offers over 200 different sustainability curricula ideas covering a wide variety of topics including:
- American Climate Values: Insights by Racial and Ethnic Groups–This resource analyzes how specific American racial and ethnic groups understand and respond to climate change differently from each other and from the national averages.
- Climate Deception Dossiers–In an effort to hold companies accountable for their actions and stop misinformation regarding climate change, these seven dossiers reveal deceptive tactics employed for decades by the fossil fuels industry to create uncertainty about climate science facts and possible solutions.
- Health and Climate Benefits of Different Energy-Efficiency and Renewable Energy Choices–This report discusses how different renewable energy sources can benefit public health and the climate by displacing emissions from fossil-fuel based energy generation.
- Local Food System ToolkitsThese publications offer guidelines for developing successful local food systems that can be incorporated into sustainability education programs and community outreach activities.
- Transforming our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development–This sustainable development UN plan of global action seeks to strengthen universal peace and eradicate all forms of poverty for a more resilient future by solving current economic, social and environmental issues.
Individual Lesson Plans/Activities
Here you will find a number of lesson plans/activities created by educators at Oakton and other institutions. The name and College of authors/creators is included when available.
Sustainability Science & Full Cost Analysis
- The David E. Shi Center for Sustainability at Furman University is proud to announce the launch of a free, open-source, online learning module for undergraduate and introductory graduate level courses. This online learning module explores Sustainability Science and Full Cost Analysis (FCA). Full Cost Analysis (FCA) is a method of problem solving which uses systems thinking to account for the economic, societal, and environmental costs of a problem. The materials are designed to be easily incorporated into preexisting course syllabi or as the foundation for new courses. The content in this learning module includes:
- A 15-minute video primer on Sustainability Science and Full Cost Analysis
- Six five-minute case study video documentaries
- Worksheets for each video documentary to facilitate course dialogues and student understanding
- Assignments that can be used to develop case studies on your campus and in your community
- Additional readings and links to online resources
This free and publicly available online module can be accessed here.
- This module was developed with generous multi-year funding from the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations. This material is open-source and can be used by anyone for educational purposes.
Web of Life–Great Lakes Version
From Stephenie Presseller, Moraine Valley College
I like activities that really drive home the systems thinking component of sustainability– in that, sustainability is a methodology or a problem solving/solutions generating tool to be applied as we think of things in systems and understand how they interrelate or are interdependent on one another… So I offer a variation of the classic web of life game: http://www2.epa.gov/sites/production/files/documents/weboflifeactivity.pdf And highlight the local Great Lakes Fisheries as a system focus point.
I set it up with a conversation about the great lakes. What do you like about the lakes? What do you think is important about them? Do people use them for recreation, as a means of making a living, to get drinking water, to exploit, to…? Then I list the things the students offer into 3 different columns or circles (social, economic, environmental). Then, applying the Web game strategy I pass out a bunch of index cards. And instead of just plants and animals (yes, they are still included & specific to the great lakes flora/fauna) on the cards, there are also things like “climate change” “sea level” “air temperature” “water temperature” “weather” “commercial fisher-people” “recreational activities” “tourism” “flooding” “stormwater runoff” “water quality” “human health” “erosion” and so on (hopefully they also identified many of these things in their brainstorm). Each of the cards also has a brief explanation on it about what the topic is (they won’t brainstorm them all and some students may not understand some of the terms or how they might connect without a brief prompt). After everyone is connected it’s easy to start to articulate our different systems (social/cultural, economic and environmental) as actually not separate but integrated.