Lesson 1: What Is Sustainability?
Word of the Day: SUSTAIN—To keep up or to keep going.
Understand the concepts of renewable and nonrenewable resources and environmental sustainability
"It's a Truffula Seed. It's the last one of all!" student worksheet, plastic bag, paper bag, fabric bag, pencils, paper, Internet and library access, writing journal
1. Show students three bags: paper, plastic, and fabric. Ask: Which do you think is best to use at the grocery store or to carry your lunch to school? Encourage a very general discussion about the pros and cons of using each type of bag that touches upon the importance of thinking about the environmental impact of waste, production, and cost. Review the "Bag Challenge" worksheet for more information.
Think and Discuss:
2. Explain: There are approximately 7 billion people living on the planet today. Experts estimate that in 54 years the world population will be double what it is now. The earth will be providing food, shelter, water, and clean air to nearly 14 billion people, plus billions of other living creatures. It's important that we think about how to take care of these resources so that they are available for everyone. Let's explore how we can make choices that use our resources in responsible ways.
3. Distribute the "It's a Truffula Seed. It's the last one of all!" student worksheet and read the article together. Define natural resource (a material found in nature that is necessary or useful to people).
4. Guide students as they complete the writing assignment.
5. Explain: Let's discuss some sustainable actions that you can take to preserve, protect, and better use natural resources. Read the tips on the classroom poster and discuss whether students are willing to integrate these actions into their lives.
6. Ask students to select one sustainable action from the poster to try for one week. They should record their experience in their writing journals.