Washington (GGM) Analysis
by Noreen Wise
With Italy’s official announcement at the beginning of the new year, that all schools will now teach sustainability & climate change, many American educators are looking for ways to incorporate climate change lesson plans into their curriculum.
This is a big deal. Education will curb the fears that many young students harbor when they hear repeated warnings about the future. News flashes on phones about apocalyptic wildfires that killed a billion animals, and destroyed thousands of homes, is massively anxiety provoking. Lack of information fuels their concern, and action oriented facts curb it.
With this in mind, it was very exciting to see the impactful event at the US Botanic Garden on Capitol Hill Thursday evening January 30, 2020 for teachers in the Washington DC and outlying suburbs. Interactive tables, featuring climate change lesson plans, were spread throughout the breathtaking flora. Sustainability, the environment and nature were also included. Very inspiring. Nature itself is therapeutic. Studying nature along with climate action will improve the mental health of our youth as we rush to adapt to the crushing reality of the climate crisis.
Modeling the importance of composting was powerful, especially on Capitol Hill where Mitch McConnell is blocking compositing in the dining halls in the Senate and House office buildings.
The following are several of the innovative lesson plans featured at the event:
- Renewables and Nonrenewables, Oh My!
- Waste Less, Recycle More
- Greenhouse Manual by the US Botanic Garden: “exploring ways to incorporate a greenhouse as a hands-on learning environment for students of all ages.”
- School Tree Planting Program
- Native Knowledge, Teaching America’s Whole Story – created by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian
- Living Earth Teach-In: Sustaining our Future through Indigenous Knowledge
- Air Quality Action Guide
- What You Should Know About Ground Level Ozone and Particle Pollution
- An Educators Guide to the Meaningful Watershed Educational Experience (MWEE)
- Oh, and creating seed pizzas that will make spring planting so much easier (this was amazing)
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