1440FW: Winter Newsletter: Sustainable Communities
- Dec 2, 2008________________________________
From: Facing the Future [mailto:news@...]
Sent: Monday, December 01, 2008 8:19 PM
Subject: Winter Newsletter: Sustainable Communities
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Winter 2009 Newsletter
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In This Issue
* Sustainability Unit for Social Studies
* Lesson Highlight
* Community Action Ideas
* Professional Development Opportunities
* Sustainability Education Summer Institute
* Featured Partner
* The Gift that Keeps on Giving
* K-12 Sustainability Initiatives
Quick Facing the Future Links
* Facing the Future Home<http://facingthefuture.cmail5.com/t/y/l/dllhkd/tuttajtd/j>
* Curriculum Finder<http://facingthefuture.cmail5.com/t/y/l/dllhkd/tuttajtd/t>
* Free Curriculum Downloads<http://facingthefuture.cmail5.com/t/y/l/dllhkd/tuttajtd/i>
* Standards Alignment<http://facingthefuture.cmail5.com/t/y/l/dllhkd/tuttajtd/d>
* What Educators Say about Facing the Future Resources<http://facingthefuture.cmail5.com/t/y/l/dllhkd/tuttajtd/h>
* Our Impact on Student Achievement<http://facingthefuture.cmail5.com/t/y/l/dllhkd/tuttajtd/k>
* Service Learning<http://facingthefuture.cmail5.com/t/y/l/dllhkd/tuttajtd/u>
* Professional Development<http://facingthefuture.cmail5.com/t/y/l/dllhkd/tuttajtd/o>
Just Out! Sustainability Unit for Social Studies
[http://facingthefuture.cmail5.com/ei/y/42/923/692/curriculum-cover_natus_hs_68x89.gif%5dHow do economics, history, and democracy relate to sustainability? Students explore questions like these through engaging hands-on lessons in Facing the Future's new high school social studies unit, Understanding Sustainability<http://facingthefuture.cmail5.com/t/y/l/dllhkd/tuttajtd/b>. Each of the two-week unit's eight lessons is aligned with National Council for the Social Studies standards for easy classroom integration. The 107-page unit includes student readings, homework assignments, action project ideas, and links to relevant films, books, magazines, and websites. Download a FREE overview and table of contents.<http://facingthefuture.cmail5.com/t/y/l/dllhkd/tuttajtd/n>
"This unit is thoughtful and engaging. It allows students to weave between sustainability locally and globally. I especially appreciated the history lesson as too often we look at sustainability as a modern notion; this will empower students to look at this issue across time and space."
- High School Global Issues and World Affairs Teacher, Kent, WA
Lesson Highlight: "Putting Our Community on the Map"
How well do your students know their local community and the resources available there? In this two-day lesson, students get into groups to draw maps of their neighborhoods. You might want to lead younger students on a walk to identify physical features such as streets, buildings, and green space. Students can also use Google Maps<http://facingthefuture.cmail5.com/t/y/l/dllhkd/tuttajtd/p> to identify particular kinds of resources in an area.
Have students label things on their map that are important to them or that they think are important to the community. What are the best features of their neighborhoods, and what could be improved? Students then come up with 5-10 components of a sustainable community and use these criteria to discuss how sustainable they consider their neighborhood to be. Finally, they think of at least five specific ways that the sustainability (environmental health, social well-being, and economic prosperity) of their neighborhood could be increased. After adding in their proposed changes, students share their maps and recommendations with the rest of the class.
For step-by-step instructions on how to implement this and other lessons, see Understanding Sustainability<http://facingthefuture.cmail5.com/t/y/l/dllhkd/tuttajtd/x>, Facing the Future's two-week unit for high school social studies.
If you teach science, check out our sustainability unit for middle school science<http://facingthefuture.cmail5.com/t/y/l/dllhkd/tuttajtd/m>. Other lessons on sustainability and two-week units on climate change are available to download for free<http://facingthefuture.cmail5.com/t/y/l/dllhkd/tuttajtd/c> on our website.
Community Action Ideas
There are many ways, big and small, that your students can bring their maps to life. They could start by setting up a meeting with a neighborhood association, the city planner's office, an environmental engineer, a developer, or a relevant local business owner to present their maps and ask for feedback on their ideas for improving the community. Have your students seek out and connect with local, national, or global groups that are already working on their issues.
For example, if your students propose more green areas on their maps, they could ask their local parks department if they can help plant some trees as part of the Billion Tree Campaign<http://facingthefuture.cmail5.com/t/y/l/dllhkd/tuttajtd/q>.
If they would like to reduce the number of hungry people they see in the community, your class can participate in Heifer International's Chores for Change<http://facingthefuture.cmail5.com/t/y/l/dllhkd/tuttajtd/a> program.
[http://facingthefuture.cmail5.com/ei/y/42/923/692/pedestrians.gif%5dDo your students want to make it safer to walk or bike to school? Starting a Safe Routes to School<http://facingthefuture.cmail5.com/t/y/l/dllhkd/tuttajtd/f> provides detailed action steps and examples of programs at schools around the United States. Walk Score<http://facingthefuture.cmail5.com/t/y/l/dllhkd/tuttajtd/z> is a website that assesses how walkable a neighborhood is by looking at how many amenities are located within walking distance. Type in any address and find nearby grocery stores, movie theaters, schools, parks, libraries, fitness facilities, and more.
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Professional Development Opportunities
In the upcoming months Facing the Future staff and Peer Educators will be presenting workshops in California, Florida, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Washington, as well as in Qatar. Visit our online workshop calendar<http://facingthefuture.cmail5.com/t/y/l/dllhkd/tuttajtd/v> for up-to-date information and links to conference websites.
Facing the Future staff are also available to come to your school or district to present a professional development workshop for teachers. We offer hands-on workshops on a wide range of topics such as sustainability, climate change, elementary curriculum, or closing the achievement gap. Learn more<http://facingthefuture.cmail5.com/t/y/l/dllhkd/tuttajtd/e> on our website. Now is a great time to schedule a workshop for 2009! Please email kim@...<mailto:kim@...> or call 206-264-1503.
"The hands-on activities and websites all made it useable and kept it interesting. I'd love to attend a full-day workshop."
- K-4 Computer Teacher, Houston, TX
Sustainability Education Summer Institute
Join a community of educators and national leaders to develop specific strategies for integrating education for and about sustainability into your curriculum, programs, policies, and operations. With focused learning strands for teacher educators and administrators from colleges of education, PreK-12 teachers, and school administrators, sessions will emphasize practical materials and tactics you can implement. The institute will be held at IslandWood on Bainbridge Island, WA, on July 27-29, 2009. Find out more<http://facingthefuture.cmail5.com/t/y/l/dllhkd/tuttajtd/s> about the event and how to register.
Featured Partner: Will Rogers Middle School
[http://facingthefuture.cmail5.com/ei/y/42/923/692/cameras.gif%5dNaomi Harper and her science students in Fair Oaks, California, are "using photography to zoom in on climate change." Naomi was one of 30 teachers who received a classroom set of digital cameras as part of Facing the Future's Climate Change Camera Grant. Her students are using the cameras to capture personal actions they're taking to reduce their carbon footprints while learning to think critically about the issues at hand and how they can make a difference through Facing the Future's free two-week unit, Climate Change: Connections and Solutions<http://facingthefuture.cmail5.com/t/y/l/dllhkd/tuttajtd/g>.
Naomi's students recently broke ground on a solar-powered studio to house KNRG radio - "Solar Energy Broadcasters at Will Rogers Middle School." In addition, the U.S. EPA recently named Will Rogers as an Energy Star school. Congratulations!
As a Facing the Future Peer Educator, Naomi enjoys sharing her experiences in sustainability education with other teachers. She will be presenting workshops about her use of Facing the Future curriculum resources at the California League of Middle Schools Technology Conference and the California Green Schools Summit this month. Visit our website to learn about participating in Facing the Future's Peer Educator Program.<http://facingthefuture.cmail5.com/t/y/l/dllhkd/tuttajtd/w>
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The Gift that Keeps on Giving
[http://facingthefuture.cmail5.com/ei/y/42/923/692/green-gift.gif%5dAre you tired of getting fudge over the holiday season? If you want to lighten your footprint (ecological and otherwise) this year, request the gift of sustainability education as an alternative. Facing the Future recently launched a holiday giving program called Seeds of Sustainability<http://facingthefuture.cmail5.com/t/y/l/dllhkd/tuttajtd/yd>. [http://facingthefuture.cmail5.com/ei/y/42/923/692/green-feet.gif%5d This program allows donors to honor the values of teachers like you by making a donation in your name. You can direct parents, administrators, and other potential gift givers to the Facing the Future website where they can select one of six gift cards to make a donation in your honor: http://www.facingthefuture.org/SeedsofSustainability/tabid/235/Default.aspx<http://facingthefuture.cmail5.com/t/y/l/dllhkd/tuttajtd/yh>.
The Latest U.S. K-12 Sustainability Initiatives
Education for Sustainability Listserv
Would you like to connect with other educators about how to integrate sustainability into your teaching or school operations? The K-12 and Teacher Education sector of the U.S. Partnership of Education for Sustainable Development has recently launched sustaink12<http://facingthefuture.cmail5.com/t/y/l/dllhkd/tuttajtd/yk>, the first national listserv for K-12 educators focused specifically on education for sustainability. Educators involved in teaching students in any subject in the K-12 arena are encouraged to join. There are two ways to join the listserv:
1. Go to https://listserver.itd.umich.edu/cgi-bin/lyris.pl?enter=sustaink12<http://facingthefuture.cmail5.com/t/y/l/dllhkd/tuttajtd/yu> or
2. Send an email to sustaink12-request@...<mailto:sustaink12-request@...> with "subscribe" in the subject line of your message.
National Education for Sustainability Standards
What does a sustainability literate student look like? Check out the National Education for Sustainability K-12 Student Learning Standards<http://facingthefuture.cmail5.com/t/y/l/dllhkd/tuttajtd/jl> that have been developed as a guide for individual teachers and state departments of education. The standards were compiled by the K-12 and Teacher Education Sector of the U.S. Partnership for Education for Sustainable Development with input from K-12 educators in public, private, and preservice (teacher education) fields.
For more information on Education for Sustainability and the K-12 and Teacher Education sector of the U.S. Partnership, visit http://www.uspartnership.org/<http://facingthefuture.cmail5.com/t/y/l/dllhkd/tuttajtd/jr>.
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Facing the Future is a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating and motivating today's students to be responsible stewards of tomorrow's world. We provide standards-based hands-on lessons, student textbooks, curriculum units, and professional development for educators that promote critical thinking on global issues, sustainability, and positive solutions. Facing the Future curriculum is in use in all U.S. states and over 85 countries across multiple subject areas in grades K-12 and university classes. To learn more and download free curriculum, visit www.facingthefuture.org<http://facingthefuture.cmail5.com/t/y/l/dllhkd/tuttajtd/jy>.
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