Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Educational resources for Sustainability

Professional Development Topics and Descriptions

Facing the Future provides inservice workshops, consulting, and webinars for teachers at the state, district, school, and department level.

Workshops run from 1 hour to multi-day sessions and can be tailored to meet specific needs and interests. All Facing the Future's workshops are hands-on, interactive explorations of global issues and sustainability. Participants walk away with activity-based curriculum, ideas, and strategies they can put to immediate use in their classrooms.

Below is a list of sample workshop and webinar topics and descriptions. Email us for more information or pricing.

Sustainability and Global Issues Topics

 Curriculum Based Topics

Every child must eat, so food is an excellent way to teach children about sustainability issues. Below are ideas to incorporate The Meatrix into your classes and additional resources for teachers to use in their classroom. If you are a parent, feel free to pass this information on to your children’s teachers.

Meatrix Curricula
Our Meatrix Curricula Contest Winners
Meatrix Curriculum ContestIn 2005, Sustainable Table invited teachers from grades 5-8 to submit a Unit based on the topics covered in The Meatrix. The curriculum could cover all subjects mentioned in the film or could focus on one or two issues in detail.  Two winners were selected to receive cash awards: $1,000 for first place, and $500 for second place.
Melissa Bannister's Lesson Plan [PDF]
Melissa Bannister of Downey Elementary in Harrisburg, PA, developed a lesson plan around The Meatrix which incorporates Language, Science, Social Studies, Math, Technology and Art. The plan covers three weeks worth of 50 minute class periods, and allows students to research, debate and present the topic of factory farming in order to strengthen their questioning, essay writing and public speaking skills. Using library and internet research skills, students are able to investigate the topic after being introduced to it through The Meatrix, and come to their own conclusions. Key elements involve learning how to separate fact from opinion, and learning how to use statistics to construct an argument.
Not only do students learn about the issues, but they can apply them to their own lives, through scientific and intellectual analysis of their own food system and eating habits. The conclusion of the unit allows students to use multiple approaches, both scientific and social, to understand what they eat and why.
VaReane Heese's Lesson Plan [PDF]
In VaReane Heese's lesson plan, students imagine they have just been recruited by a company to research one of the issues relating to sustainable agriculture. The final result is the creation of a brochure and a commercial that is written, videotaped and produced by the students and that informs an audience about their chosen issue. Students are given the opportunity to sharpen their research, writing and communication skills while learning about media and new technologies.
This project is intended to build self-confidence through critical thinking, as students are given contact information for various experts in the field of sustainability and agriculture and asked to interview them. This empowers students to be proactive about information gathering and the research process.
Sustainable Kids!
VaReane Heese's Class
VaReane Heese's future sustainable agriculture experts show off their Meatrix gear.
More Ideas: Activities and Short Lessons
Additional Curricula