Environmental Laws Timeline Activity

Students will have to select 25 environmental laws in American history from a much larger list. Their goal is to produce their own timeline of American environmental law history to present to the rest of the class. In doing so, they will develop critical thinking and analytic skills and articulate the importance of the Rule of Law to protecting the environment.

Exxon Valdez

This unit is composed of many parts highlighting the Exxon Valdez story, including a photograph presentation, maps, personal stories, and Supreme Court documents. Individual parts may be selected or combined for use in the classroom depending on classroom needs. The entire unit is designed to teach students about the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill and its impact on the environment and larger society.

From Provocative to Productive: Teaching Controversial Topics

Get first steps for creating a respectful yet vibrant environment for students to explore diverse ideas on controversial topics, from politics to profanity, religion to racism. Four guidelines and a debate leader checklist provide a foundation for those seeking to steer productive conversations about controversial subjects.

Native American Housing

Native American housing is frequently assumed to be represented by one or two well-known styles such as the teepee or pueblo. While these do reflect distinct tribal designs, they are not all inclusive and students should be exposed to a wider range of design. The lesson should also help students understand the relationship between environment and housing. Free registration for students and teachers required to access resource.

Pathways to Environmental Justice

In this one-hour virtual field trip hosted and led by Edward M. Kennedy Institute education staff, students in grades 4 through 8 learn about the challenges posed by climate change and the need to transition to a more sustainable and resilient economy. They will work together as Senators to build a bill that provides assistance and environmental justice for three distinct groups of people affected by climate change: frontline and vulnerable communities, fossil fuel workers, and young people. Register here.

Grades 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Legislative Branch/Congress
Interactives

Provide for the General Welfare – Interstate Highway and Defense Act

In the Constitution, Congress is charged with providing for the general welfare of the country’s
citizens. Historically, this has meant improving transportation, promoting agriculture
and industry, protecting health and the environment and seeking ways to solve social and
economic problems. In 1956, Congress passed the Federal-Aid Highway Act, popularly known as the National Interstate and Defense Highways Act, authorizing federal funding for the extension and
construction of a robust network of interstate highways. This project was one of the largest public
works in U.S. history establishing key transportation infrastructure that impacted lives of all
Americans — changing communities, access and economic possibilities and also providing key
routes for evacuating urban centers — a critical national defense issue in the Cold War era.
Analyzing primary source material, students discuss the origins and reasons for the National
Interstate and Defense Highways Act. Then, they work with historical and contemporary maps
as they consider the impact this important congressionally funded project. While intended for 8th
grade students, the lesson can be adapted for other grade levels.

2020 Presidential Candidates on the Issues

In this lesson, students will view video clips of the 2020 presidential candidates from the two major political parties discussing specific issues like the COVID-19 pandemic, the economy, immigration and the environment. Students will use these primary source video clips of President Trump and former Vice President Biden to summarize the candidates’ views on these issues and formulate their own opinions on the candidates.

Grades 7-12
Executive Branch/Presidency
Media

Pride Month and LGBTQ History Month Lesson Plans & Resources

Support LBGTQ Students, k-12 Resources.

Whether celebrating Pride Month in June or recognizing accomplishments during October’s LGBTQ history month, this curated collection has resources to help make learning more inclusive. Students who identify as LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning, intersex, asexual and allies) face bullying at significantly higher rates than their peers and the consequences are heartbreaking. Dedicated educators have an extraordinary opportunity each day to create a safe and welcoming environment for children who come through their doors. Explore this collection of our best prek-12 free lessons, activities and resources to make a difference in supporting LGBTQ students in your school and community.

Grades K-12
Citizenship
Lesson Plans