Step 5 - Link to Curriculum

The Eco-Schools program offers excellent opportunities to link to your existing curriculum in a wide range of subject areas and at many different grade levels.

 

It is important that your Eco-Schools program become an integrated part of your overall curriculum and not another "add on" to an already-busy schedule. The principle behind Eco-Schools is that the topics you are studying in your classroom should have an influence on how your school environment operates.

 

Each of the Eco-Schools USA Pathways has specific recommendations for linking to the curriculum. The Academic Benefits factsheet (PDF, 157 Kb) provides additional information about how student academic achievement benefits from the inclusion of environmental education.

Boy reading book outside 

 

What are the benefits of linking your Eco-Schools USA program to your existing school curriculum?

  • Achieve required learning outcomes
  • Enhance students' learning experience
  • Develop informed attitudes
  • Develop core skills
  • Transfer skills across curricular areas

Below are examples of specific activities and skills fostered by the Eco-Schools USA program which can help fulfill the requirements of your state education standards and district curriculum.

English/Language Arts

  • discussing and debating various aspects of complex environmental issues
  • writing reports and keeping minutes during meetings
  • writing letters to politicians, education authorities, community leaders, newspaper editors, businesspeople, industrialists, and others

Mathematics

  • designing and conducting surveys
  • collating results and presenting them as graphs
  • carrying out mathematical calculations
  • managing finances

Social Studies

  • reading and producing maps of the school and locality; using map features such as scale bars, symbols, and keys to obtain important information
  • understanding how humans interact with their environment
  • using photographs, documents, oral accounts and other sources of information to learn how certain places and lifestyles have changed throughout the years

Natural Sciences

  • making observations and gathering data about environmental problems
  • exploring various habitats and the adaptations of plants and animals living in them
  • investigating different organic materials and how they are used
  • looking at energy use, loss and conservation

Information Technology

  • using spreadsheet software to organize and present research results
  • using publishing software to publish reports
  • using presentation software to prepare presentations about specific projects
  • designing and maintaining websites to convey information

Art & Design

  • drawing murals and producing sculptures to embellish the school
  • producing posters, leaflets, stickers and badges to support campaigns
  • organizing art festivals and exhibitions celebrating the school's progress toward becoming an Eco-School


Awards Criteria


Bronze Award

  • Students have an opportunity at most grade levels and across disciplines to integrate environmental issues into the classroom, on the school site or in the local community.

Silver Award

  1. Students have an opportunity at all grade levels and across disciplines to address environmental issues in the classroom, on the school site or in the local community.
  2. Students' experiences are integrated into the curriculum and are inquiry-based.

 

Green Flag Award

  1. Students have an opportunity at all grade levels and across disciplines to address environmental issues in the classroom, on the school site and in the local community.
  2. Students' experiences are integrated into the curriculum and are inquiry-based.
  3. School staff are provided with professional development and training on best practices, knowledge and skills for environmental education.

 

Sources: Eco-Schools Programme Ireland, Eco-Schools Programme, Eco-Schools Programme Scotland

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NASA and Eco-Schools USA
Earth from Space (Source: NASA)

Eco-Schools USA is proud to have collaborated with NASA on the creation a climate change curriculum. Learn more here >>