This ten-week series of articles first appeared in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer's Newspapers in Education series Skills for Everyday Living from April 9 to June 13, 2008.
Written for grades 5-10, the series can be used in full or in part to study specific topics. Each week features two articles on a particular topic. All articles include a student activity and "take action" idea. The articles complement specific Facing the Future lessons, many of which are available to download for free.
Click on the links below to download the complete articles and corresponding lessons.
What Are Global Issues?
Read about climate change as a global issue that affects people locally all over the world. Use the "iceberg model" to look for patterns, underlying structures, and root causes. Download complete article.
Lesson link: Shopping Heats Up
The Seventh Generation
Is wind energy a sustainable solution to climate change? Learn how to determine whether a solution is environmentally, economically, and socially sustainable. Download complete article.
Lesson link: Is It Sustainable?
People and the Planet
Everyone has an Ecological Footprint, but not everyone's footprint is the same size. What can we do to reduce our footprints and enhance Earth's carrying capacity? Download complete article.
Lesson link: Watch Where You Step!
Energy in the Sustainability Puzzle
Everything we do – from cooking to heating our homes to getting around – requires energy. Read about renewable and nonrenewable sources of energy, as well as steps we can take to conserve the energy we use. Download complete article.
How Much Water Is Available?
Water is a renewable resource because it can be replaced as it is used – but there is a fixed amount of water on Earth. Learn about freshwater sources, causes of water stress, and conservation methods. Download complete article.
Lesson link: Every Drop Counts!
The Ocean Planet
The oceans are so big that it would seem like humans couldn’t significantly impact their health. Unfortunately, the facts tell a different story. The good news is that you have the power to protect our "blue planet." Download complete article.
The Source of Our Stuff
How we use a resource determines whether it will remain available for years and generations to come. Why is it especially important to protect common resources such as oceans? Download complete article.
Lesson link: Fishing for the Future
The health of the planet depends on the health of its many ecosystems. As humans, we can make personal choices that help the planet continue to meet our needs while sustaining its biodiversity. Download complete article.
Lesson link: Biodiversity Connections
Populating the Planet
Without the pressure of population growth, perhaps none of the issues facing humanity today would be large enough to qualify as global. Explore historic and modern population trends. Download complete article.
Lesson link: Splash But Don't Crash
How Are We Growing?
Each year, the earth has to "carry" more and more people. Read about personal and structural solutions to increase Earth's carrying capacity. Download complete article.
Lesson link: How Big is a Billion?
Food for All
Over the last half century, global food production has grown even faster than the earth’s rapidly growing population. Yet, people around the world are still going hungry and suffering from malnutrition. How can we ensure that all people have access to the basic food they need? Download complete article
A Growing Food Supply
Explore ways that people around the world are protecting the systems that support all life on Earth by growing and eating food with sustainability in mind. Download complete article.
Lesson link: Farming for the Future
Poverty in Numbers
The effects of poverty are also often the causes of poverty. Governments, organizations, and individuals all have important roles in combating poverty. Download complete article.
Lesson link: Take a Step for Equity
It's Not Just About Money
One key to reducing poverty is improving people's quality of life. Structural solutions such as microcredit can work in tandem with personal solutions to alleviate global poverty. Download complete article.
Lesson link: Microcredit for Sustainable Development
A Global Checkup
Even though we all want to be healthy and most people in the world are living longer lives, many continue to suffer from poor health. How are the health challenges facing people in poorer countries different from those facing people in wealthier countries? Download complete article.
What Is Good Health, Anyway?
Is health more than the absence of illness? Explore economic, environmental, and social challenges to health – and think of some solutions! Download complete article.
Lesson link: Partners for Health
Everything we buy has an impact on the economy, environment, and society. How can consumers, producers, and governments make these impacts positive rather than negative? Download complete article.
Lesson link: Are You Buying This?!
Thinking critically about the media messages we take in – and also the messages we give out – is essential to ensuring that the media plays a constructive role in society. Download complete article.
Lesson link: What's In the News?
One step to improving personal well-being is to think about what we need and how we want to spend our time and money to meet these needs. If each of us focused on meeting our basic needs, might quality of life improve for everyone? Download complete article.
The Right to a Good Life
Are there some things that all people should have the right to do? It is everyone’s responsibility to stand up for the rights we value and work toward the future we want to see. Download complete article.
Lesson link: Livin' the Good Life?