It’s almost over for this year, but the lesson plans at the site for National Environmental Education Week don’t have to be done in April only. Texas will have a new beefed up science requirement kick in, in a couple of years. Until then, however, this is a good set of ideas, even for social studies, especially if no other class is delivering the material well.
Environmental protection weaves science — biology, chemistry, geology, meteorology, and more — with applied social studies, especially history, economics and government, to make changes. For younger students studies of recycling can be a lot of fun and give students something to take with them for the rest of the life. Similarly, a study of migratory birds and the policy issues related to them (tall buildings, cellular communications towers, oil well sumps, lights in cities, hunting and the Treaty of 1948, etc., etc.) offers a lot of ways to get kids interested, if not excited, about these so-called dry topics. An advanced class in high school might analyze the Supreme Court decisions that brought down the price of shipping of recycled metals, making recycling economically feasible.
Whatever you do, don’t despair: International Migratory Bird Day is just a couple of weeks away. Birding is one of the more fun areas one can use in discussions of climate change and global warming; the Roger Tory Peterson Institute of Natural History points the way to good resources.