Here's What's Trending in April


   

Celebrating Biodiversity - Sharks4Kids

This month we are ramping up our species talk as we prepare to celebrate Earth Day. Sharks play an incredibly important role in the marine ecosystem. Our friend, Jillian Morris, founder of Sharks4Kids, guest blogs and shares her expertise, photos and love for these beautiful, misunderstood and critically threatened ocean predators. Her mission is to create the next generation of shark advocates through education, outreach and adventure


 

National Environmental Education Week

Mark your calendar for Sunday, April 23rd, which is the first day of National Environmental Education Week, a week long celebration of the benefits of environmental education! NEEF (National Environmental Education Foundation) will be sharing resources for teachers, including things like activity guides and toolkits. Each day of the week will highlight a different activity, so don’t miss out. Learn more and register at NEEF. And don’t forget to share you stories on social media using #EEWeek.



 


 


 

Schoolyard Habitats: Earth Day!

Earth Day is coming on April 22, 2017! Celebrate by hosting an outside event in your school garden or on the school grounds. Join in the Billion Acts of Green by planting a tree in your schoolyard. Students can lead an Earth Day coin drive as a means to collect money to purchase trees. Invite community members to join in an outdoor classroom lesson or take the art class outside and make an Earth Day Dirt Shirt. We are always looking for photos from our Eco-Schools to share on social media. Be sure to tag us @EcoSchoolsUSA on Twitter.  







 

 

Wildlife Library: The Greater Sage-Grouse

The latest issue of Ranger Rick magazine highlights the problems facing the greater sage-grouse, a chicken-sized bird that lives in the sagebrush steppe in places like Montana, Wyoming, and Oregon. Over the years, much of the sagebrush has been cleared for various reasons, including construction of new roads and expansion of farms. As habitat disappears, the greater sage-grouse population has declined. The National Wildlife Federation is connecting youth with conservation and helping the greater sage-grouse in Montana. Take a minute to watch this short video to see them in action.  

Learn more about the greater sage-grouse in the April issue of Ranger Rick magazine. And don’t forget about the Educator’s Guide which supplements the magazine. This month’s activities include learning about Life in the Sagebrush Steppe.

 

 



Endangered Species Day - May 19, 2017

As of March 2017, there are currently 773 plants species and 503 animals species listed on the Endangered Species list for the United States. Protecting species of plants and animals most at risk requires knowledge and action. Join the 12th annual Endangered Species Day celebration with an event designed by you and your students. If you are unable to plan an event there are hundreds of events planned all around the nation – check the listings for something near you. Here’s an example of how one school is taking action and celebrating Endangered Species Day:
Serra High School's Endangered Species Day
In collaboration with the San Diego Zoo and other conservation groups in San Diego, our Linked Learning program of 9th graders are hosting an Endangered Species Day event showcasing research they have done on Endangered Animals. The event will begin in the Media Center and then branch out into various classes on campus where students will display their multimedia and photographic presentations, share research done in their Biology classes and use rhetoric techniques learned in their English class
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Schoolyard Habitats® Pathway

Did you know that the Schoolyard Habitats Pathway is one of the most popular of the Eco-Schools USA pathways? An outdoor learning environment serves as a living laboratory where students can engage in hands-on inquiries into the natural world. Some of our Eco-Schools have planned and designed gardens where they are growing foods used in the school cafeteria. Others have planted milkweed to help the National Wildlife Federation’s monarch recovery efforts. The Schoolyard Habitats audit is the starting point for improving native wildlife habitat at school. Once your school has addressed this pathway, it’s easy (and free!) to certify your school as a NWF Schoolyard Habitat.   

Read our Top Ten Tips to Improve Schoolyard Habitats for ideas to help your school take action. Download our spotlight lesson this month, Who Can Live Here, targeted for grades 9-12, which can be found in the sidebar on this page. And don’t forget to share your stories with us via social media @ecoschoolsusa.

  



 


Green Opportunities

 


Eco-Schools USA Snapshot

The latest Eco-Schools Snapshot is out! It highlights our program work and progress from the last several months. Read about the latest school achievements and partner spotlight. This document is available for download from the main page of the Eco-Schools USA website. Feel free to email our team with any questions at Eco-SchoolsUSA@nwf.org.





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Lesson Highlight: Who Can Live Here

 

Targeted for grades 9-12, students assess the fitness of a habitat for a specific species. Download Who Can Live Here.
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Don't forget to use Ranger Rick's Nature Notebook to help connect your students to the natural world and download a copy of the educator's guide too!

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