Education and the Environment Initiative
Since 2003, legislation passed and required the state of California to offer environment-based curriculum to all public schools. That being said, schools statewide should be in the process or have already implemented environmental-related material in their schools agenda. However, there is always room for improvement. Presumably with a myriad of resources online, just like the Education and the Environment Initiative (EEI), innumerable educators are welcome to visit this website and gain some insight into a more profound way of teaching, and possibly learning for themselves!
Contributing to the assistance of environmental involvement, EEI is designed to bring curriculum-based teaching to students in order to further foster awareness of the world that we all live in. At the same time, meeting common course standards in the public school system.The California Environmental Protection Agency's EEI provides access to mostly K-8 grade levels that are most likely approved to be up to course standards. EEI does not only focus on curriculum that is environmentally-related; the EEI also provides resources on subject matters such as History, Economics, Biology etc.
For short summaries on EEI Curriculum:
Kindergarten students are finding a better sense of "the world around [them]" and the various ecosystems that Earth is comprised of. One of Earth's main reasons for sustaining itself is the uncountable amount of resources it provides its inhabitants, including us humans! We all may or may not remember being a kindergartener ourselves, but we do know that curiosity is what consumed our brains while we were that age. This course catalog also includes a simple historic timeline of events, people, and places that change over time.
Students will get a better understanding of their surroundings. They will become more aware of several animals needs. There are also connections that 1st Graders can make in appliance with human and animal occurrences. Units in this grade level are even introducing and relating California locations so students can learn about human activities and how humans can help positively impact Earth's natural and physical systems.
Adaptation is the main focus for the 2nd grade curriculum. Providing a brief foundation for the life cycles of animals, 2nd graders are adapting to plant and animal reproduction patterns to further understand a human's and an animal's place in the system. Gaining a better understanding of Earth's resources and incorporating California lands into this lesson plans, will enable students in the 2nd grade to follow relationships between human needs, the food production system, and what the ecosystems serve to do. This study will introduce knowledge of natural systems to improve the quality, quantity, and reliability of food sources.
Students learn organism survival tactics in these lessons, in which the process of growth and reproduction is discussed to teach students about several species survival mechanism in the surrounding ecosystem. Living things cause changes to the environments that they live in, therefore it is beneficial to learn about habitat restoration efforts for these certain species. As living things, ourselves, humans are discussed in a way where students can study some of the California Indian nations and be familiar with the interactions of these people and how humans have changed the natural systems.
Here the several 4th grade lesson plans focuses on food chains, energy flow, and the circle of life. Albeit that these are broad topics, however going into depth with a species primary and secondary resources, a species survival due to which foods they get to survive and grow, and even a species subliminal reliance on decomposers and microorganisms. Relating an entire lesson plan back to our roots, there are a couple sections on the California Indian nations management of natural resources as well as a unit of the infamous California Gold Rush!
The 5th grade unit is mainly composed of water information. Here students will read about Los Angeles and Southern California's increasing demand for water from other terrestrial sources. Providing intertwined history lessons of human settlement in certain regions and how the source of water has helped sustain ones livelihood is greatly expressed. More importantly, this unit discusses the changing states of water, which is already covered in all or almost all public elementary schools.
The 6th grade unit brings a combination of sorts, in terms of lessons. There is a variety of topics ranging the study of Paleolithic people to the ancient civilizations era, and even to the ancient empires of China and India. From lesson plans of a rivers role to the roles of different organisms in different systems, there is complex relationship between the two. Energy and energy use is analyzed in a couple lesson plans so students can engage themselves and learn about energy conversion so they can view the resources that are being used today.
Evolution and extinction is discussed in great detail within this unit. Students will understand the past developments and extinctions on the geologic time scale in order to make conclusions of the future. There is also a lesson on Chinese inventions and discoveries that have influenced the modern world today. The diverse geography and natural resources of Central and South America set the stage for the rise of the first urban societies. Students will not only understand the rise of the Mayan, Aztec, and Incan civilizations, but they will also understand the decline.
Students will go into much greater depth with the term natural resources. They will learn that the consumption of natural resources relates to expansion. Federal land policy and the politics that go into this deals with land ordinances. Once again, we focus on natural systems. However, during this unit there are lessons on how these systems influence human social systems, which led to immigration and the growth of America.
This is not limited to just a 9th grade curriculum, and is specified as High School. These units are comprised of Earth Science and Biology. Lessons of Earth Science are topics on the greenhouse gases, ocean currents, geography of deserts and rainforests, carbon reservoirs, and more! Lessons of Biology are topics on genetic engineering, biodiversity, changes in ecosystems, roles of geographic isolation in animal species, and more! Within these two subjects, there is plenty to explore about and analyze over.
The Industrial Revolution involved a dramatic change in social and even economic entities. There is examination of problems that arose due to the growth of these industrial cities, in which students can analyze. Students will also get to study the search for natural resources in the mid-1800s as well as, the control of India's and South Africa's resources.
With a mixture of history lessons leading to some environmental issues we face today, the units that comprise of the 11th grade curriculum provide broad, yet retentive facts that will help students understand past events. Although there has been plenty "history" lessons in the previous grades curriculum, this unit explores the 1920s and the postwar industries. In this unit, students will also be going over contemporary environmental issues to help them think analytically and bring them to awareness of the many natural resource issues.
The curriculum books that EEI provides 12th graders are for Economics and American Democracy. During each of these lessons, there are obvious significance points relating to conservation and sustaining the economy with an environmental perspective. When it comes to American Democracy, there is a lesson plan about environmental laws and the federal, state, and local governmental processes.
To get access to the curriculum catalog on the EEI website, follow this link!
Please feel free to visit the EEI website (link located below) and browse through the various efforts they seek out to accomplish!