Environmental Literacy Resources

Environmental literacy is supported by the State Board of Education and the California Department of Education. It can be embedded into school district priorities--not as an add on, but rather as an integral, essential element of implementing California’s standards. These new standards explicitly and systematically call for inclusion of environmental topics and inquiry-based learning across core subject areas, and emphasize hands-on experiences using school facilities, grounds, and local areas. The environment provides an authentic, culturally relevant, and engaging context for students when teaching core subjects.

California Next Generation Science Standards Environmental Literacy Integration

Appendix 2 presents diverse examples of the connections that can be made between the EP&Cs and instruction in the three dimensions of the California Next Generation Science Standards (CA NGSS). The appendix also provides textbook publishers with specific examples of how to incorporate the EP&Cs into the new instructional materials—a State Board of Education requirement for adoption. The below sample exemplars and sample scope and sequence were created by the State Education and Environment Roundtable.

History–Social Science Environmental Literacy Integration

The History–Social Science Framework emphasizes the development of student content knowledge, discipline-specific inquiry, student literacy, and citizenship. One of the ways the Framework addresses these goals is through recommendations for integrating the EP&Cs into history, geography, economics, and government classroom lessons. It does this by offering guiding questions that position the environment as an integral component in historical investigations. This document identifies the parts of the Framework that cover the EP&Cs. Below is a matrix that lays out connections in the Framework to the EP&Cs with sample learning objectives created by the State Education and Environment Roundtable.

Other Resources

A Blueprint for Environmental Literacy

In 2014, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson appointed an Environmental Literacy Task Force to develop A Blueprint for Environmental Literacy. The Blueprint is a call to action for all administrators, teachers, and program providers serving K–12 students—both in school and beyond, indoors and outdoors—to infuse environment- and standards-based learning opportunities into their instruction.

Science and Environmental Literacy LCAP Toolkit

In an effort to strengthen science education and environmental literacy through the state’s local control finance and accountability processes, the Lawrence Hall of Science, along with a handful of partners, has assembled a Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) toolkit to help stakeholders successfully advocate for science and environmental literacy in their local school district budget development process.

Environmental Literacy Success Stories

Lessons Learned About Things I Thought I Knew: Bridging Community and Science Instruction
     – Juanita Chan, District Science Lead at Rialto Unified School District

My Journey Through SM ELC: Environmental Literacy in the Kindergarten Classroom
     – Carolina Orlando, Kindergarten Teacher at Lomita Park Elementary

Environmental Literacy: One Teacher’s Journey Towards Implementation
     – Kristen Franklin, 4th Grade Teacher at McNear Elementary School

Cultivating Future Scientists & Environmental Heroes, Part 1
     – Julie DiMaio, 4th Grade Teacher at Lomita Park Elementary

Cultivating Future Scientists & Environmental Heroes, Part 2
     – Julie DiMaio, 4th Grade Teacher at Lomita Park Elementary

How Environment-Based Learning Encouraged Me to Master Next Generation Science Standards
     – Katherin Konomi, 5th Grade Teacher at Burlingame Elementary

How to Use the Environment to Design Project Based Learning Experiences
     – Jim Bentley, 6th Grade Teacher at Foulks Ranch Elementary

Why I Teach About Birds
      – Darrell Steely, 6th Grade Teacher at Carmel Middle School

The Powerful Nexus Between Social Studies and Environmental Literacy—La Idea del Poderoso Nexo Entre las Ciencias Sociales y el Comprensión Ambiental
      – Jose Flores, Civics and U.S. History Teacher at Brawley Union High School

For more information contact info@tenstrands.org.

Partners

Inside the Outdoors

The Orange County Department of Education’s Inside the Outdoors turns nature’s classroom into a living laboratory for over 125,000 students each year.  Our field trips, Traveling Scientist, and Service-Learning community action projects…

Inverness Research

Education improvement is a complex and demanding enterprise without simple answers. Inverness Research's goal is to help funders and project leaders improve their thinking, their investment strategies, their program designs, and their…

CalRecycle

California's Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) brings together the state's recycling and waste management programs, and maintains a tradition of environmental stewardship. CalRecycle's vision is to inspire and challenge Californians to…

California Department of Education

California is the largest state in the country, serving over 6.2 million public school students and 300,000 teachers, in over 1,000 school districts and 10,000 schools. The California Department of Education's mission is to…