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Idealabs: Prehistoric Climate Change (and Why It Matters Today)
Online interactive in which students compare leaf fossils to learn about the climate millions of years ago. They also meet a Smithsonian paleontologist in a video.
Provider: Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): 4–8, 9–12
Overall Rating:  

Smithsonian in Your Classroom: Prehistoric Climate Change (and Why It Matters Today)
Lesson plan introduces environmental issues while providing fun, challenging, real-world math problems. Students do the work of a team of paleontologists studying a time of rapid global warming 55 million years ago. By examining fossils of leaves from various tree species, and by incorporating the findings into a mathematical formula, they are able to tell average annual temperatures during this prehistoric time.
Provider: Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): 4–8, 9–12
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What's Your Problem? A Look at the Environment in Your Own Backyard
Lesson plans in which students take on an environmental project. They begin by interviewing people who live in their town or neighborhood. They ask about the state of the local environment—and how it has changed over the years—before deciding on a problem to tackle. The ideas are based on a project in which a second-grade students in Colorado addressed the problem of deer overpopulation in their town.
Provider: Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access
Grade(s): PreK–3, 4–8, 9–12
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Geological Time: Story of a Changing Earth
Interactive geological timeline. The story of Earth is broken up into eons, which can be clicked on for more information. Each eon comes with an overview, description of major events like shifts in plate tectonics or the Cambrian explosion, and a look at evidence collected from that era. Foundational concepts are also described, these concepts being broken up into the forces that formed the Earth, how to date evidence, and the processes that shaped what life looks like today.
Provider: National Museum of Natural History
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): 4–8, 9–12
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The Total Package
Lesson plan using the design process to solve a packaging problem. After learning about the environmental and economic impact of product packaging, students gather information about a product with excess packaging, create a new design for it, and generate a report on their design’s environmental friendliness.
Provider: Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): 9–12
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Artists and Environmental Sustainability: Video Art, Ecology and the Work of Paul Ryan
Webinar in which Smithsonian archivist Charles Duncan discusses the emergence of video as a medium and how it has been used by such environmentally minded artists as Paul Ryan.
Provider: Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): 4–8, 9–12
Overall Rating:  

Atmosphere: Change Is in the Air
In this online exhibition students discover how the ever-changing atmosphere transports substances around the globe, protects life from destruction, and supports millions of chemical reactions. Choose from several interactive features including an “Atmosphere Design Lab.”
Provider: National Museum of Natural History
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): PreK–3, 4–8, 9–12
Overall Rating:  

Atmosphere: Change Is in the Air
Classroom activities where students discover how the ever-changing atmosphere transports substances around the globe, protects life from destruction, and supports millions of chemical reactions. Choose from several lessons about the role of the atmosphere and how climate change affects this role.
Provider: National Museum of Natural History
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): 4–8, 9–12
Overall Rating:  

Smart Growth: Reshaping Communities
Lesson introducing students to smart growth (community development that serves the economy, the community, and the environment) as they explore a model community, plan a smart growth community, and present their designs.
Provider: Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): 9–12
Overall Rating:  
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Campfire Stories with George Catlin: An Encounter of Two Cultures: A Guide for Teachers
Teachers’ page using art, artifacts, and primary source texts to bridge American history, geography, art appreciation, environmental conservation, and multicultural studies. Features lesson plans.
Provider: Smithsonian American Art Museum
State Standards: View state standards for this resource
Grade(s): PreK–3, 4–8, 9–12
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