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VIRGINIA NATURALLY

Resources For Teachers

Professional development opportunities

Workshops & events

Please check out the calendar of events for a current list of workshops and events.

Lessons and SOL based resources

Air Resources

  • Clean Air Partners
    The On the Air curriculum facilitates the understanding of air pollution by studying: Criteria Air Pollutants, the Air Quality Index, Ozone, Particulate Matter, the Health Effects of Air Pollution, Community Sources and Solutions of Air Pollution and Climate Change. Each unit consists of the following: activity description, curricular ties, time needed, learning objectives, materials needed (kit), teacher preparation, teacher background reading, teacher demonstration procedures, activity procedures, technology connections, student handout, student packets and student worksheets.
  • The Air We Breathe
    This colorful picture book is designed to introduce Earth's atmosphere and its importance to life on Earth. It's appropriate for students in grades K-4.
  • Air & Waste Management
    Lessons for air, water and landfills

WaterResources

  • Bay Backpack
    Interested in teaching about environmental issues and the Chesapeake Bay but don't know where to start? Check out Bay Backpack, the source for Chesapeake Bay education resources, field studies, trainings and funding opportunities. Use this great resource to discover engaging ways to get students outdoors learning about the local environment.
  • Aquatic Stewardship
    Resources to help teach about water
  • USGS Virginia Water Science Center
  • Earth Force
    This website includes a catalog of watershed resources including Virginia Waterways, which addresses the Virginia 6th grade watershed SOL.
  • Virginia Water Resources: A Tool for Teachers
    Information and activities for teachers to support interdisciplinary and problem-based teaching about watersheds, water quality, stewardship, and management issues.
  • Estuaries Discovery Kit
    The Estuaries Discovery Kit discusses: how estuaries are classified by their geology and water circulation patterns, the various ecosystem services estuaries perform, how organisms have adapted to the unique environmental conditions found in estuaries, the many disturbances that estuaries face from nature and human activities, and finally, the essential work that the National Estuarine Research Reserve System and its many partners conduct to monitor, preserve, and restore estuarine ecosystems throughout the United States.
  • The Groundwater Foundation
    Educating and motivating people to care for and about groundwater. The site includes activities for teachers and students.
  • 6th grade science resources
    Provides sixth grade teachers with the most relevant resources to meet the new Standards of Learning.

Water Conservation & Drought Education

  • Don't be a Drip! Save a Drop!
    Download this pocket-size water audit to learn how you can help conserve Virginia's water.
  • The Ins & Outs of Water Conservation
    Students analyze water use surveys after participating in conservation activities. Social Science SOLs: 10.2, 10.9; Science SOLs: 3.10, 4.8, 6.11, ES.7
  • Water Audit
    Students conduct a water audit and compare and contrast results after employing conservation practices. Math SOLs 4.2, 4.6,5.3, 6.8, 7.5, 8.4, Science 3.10, 4.8, 6.11, ES.7

Solid Waste Management (Litter and Recycling)

  • EE Week Library
    According to the National Recycling Coalition, recycling saves enough energy each year to provide electricity for the homes of over 17.8 million Americans. It is one of the easiest ways to conserve natural resources and slow climate change.

    National Environmental Education Week has added dozens of standards-based recycling curricula to their growing online curricula library. Click here to access the EE Week Library. Additional information on funding resources, professional development, and new EE programs are available below.

    As always, remember to register your EE activities for National Environmental Education Week.
  • Waste Management Jeopardy
  • Ecological Footprint Jeopardy
  • Students Guide to Composting
    Composting in the Classroom: Scientific Inquiry for High School Students, by Nancy Trautmann and Marianne Krasny, is a comprehensive guide for teachers interested in guiding composting research projects by high school students. Visit http://compost.css.cornell.edu/CIC.html to download guide in PDF format.
  • Stash the Trash
    An interactive group game that stimulates impacts of litter pollution on a sampling of marine wildlife
  • Rigsby
    Activity book
  • Graffiti Hurts Teacher Resources Guide
    A community education program from Keep America Beautiful
  • Educator's Guide to Planning a Field Day Event
    An innovative, easy and fun way to incorporate environmental learning, creative thinking and physical education in an SOL-based one-day event.
  • Pollution Solutions
    Pollution Solutions is a curriculum supplement about litter and pollution prevention based on the Standards of Learning for grades K-12. It was developed by the Virginia Resource Use Education Council and funded by the Litter Control and Recycling Fund.

Energy Resources

  • Free Energy Lesson Plans & Activities
    The U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy offers 350 downloadable lessons and activities on energy efficiency and renewable energy, organized by grade level and topic.
  • EnergyTeachers.org
    A network of educators sharing ideas for teaching about energy production and use as well as an online community for educators to share ideas about energy-related curriculum, including topics about the environmental impact of energy production and use.
  • Classroom Energy
    Energy Resources for the classroom.

Other Resources

  • Soil-Net
    Soil-Net.com is an educational resources about soil, with extensive teacher aids supporting many curriculum-based interactive student activities.
  • Sixth Grade Science Resources
  • Education for Sustainable Development
    K-12 Lessons Based on Virginia's Standards of Learning
  • Virginia's Natural Resources Education Guide
    Information, activities and resources for elementary teachers. Subjects include Air, Agriculture, Chesapeake Bay, Forests, Minerals & Energy, Soil, Water and Wildlife. You'll find great background information, illustrative graphics and engaging activities for students in Kindergarten through sixth grade.
  • Science Standards and Learning isposted athttp://www.doe.virginia.gov/.
  • Field Day Guide
    An innovative, easy and fun way to incorporate environmental learning, creative thinking and physical education in an SOL-based one-day event.

Additional resources

  • NASA Kids Club – Explore the solar system and outer space with these interactive games. This website would be good for computer centers.
  • The Environmental Education and Training Partnership (EETAP) has developed these understandable and explainable descriptions of "Environmental Literacy" and "Environmental Education" to make it easier for the field to explain and how these terms are directly connected with people’s lives. Included with the descriptions are examples of what environmental literacy looks like, how EE and educational achievement are linked, EE "done right," and links to additional resources.
  • Virtual Island
    This virtual earth-science island, offered by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), offers site visitors the opportunity to experience several earth-science phenomena while learning about the cutting-edge science that NOAA conducts regularly.
  • Tox Town
    Tox Town helps high-school students and teachers learn about environmental health concerns and toxic chemicals pictured in an imaginary town.
  • Outdoor Classrooms
    An outdoor classroom, also sometimes referred to as a schoolyard habitat or community restoration project, is a space set aside for the development of natural habitats in which students and community members can learn about science and the outdoors through a hands on experience.
  • Virginia Waters Magazine
    Produced by the Department of Environmental Quality and the Museum of Natural History, learn about Virginia's water resources.
  • Earth Portal
    Looking for environmental news, science-based information, and debate? Earth Portal is a new expert-driven Web site with three main components: Encyclopedia of Earth, EarthForum, and EarthNews.
  • Project Learning Tree (PLT)
    In response to the growing interest in encouraging children to get outside, PLT has launched a national initiative Every Student Learns Outside™ and website www.learnoutside.org to help educators make outdoor experiences part of their everyday lesson plans.
  • To access PLT’s Branch EE Newsletter visit http://www.plt.org/the-branch-newsletter.
  • National Wildlife Federation® Educator E-Newsletter
    This monthly e-newsletter is designed to provide educators with hands-on activities, new ideas, resources, and strategies for getting kids outside to learn about the wonders of the natural world. Each newsletter also includes a link to download the latest Ranger Rick® Educator Guide.
  • If Trees Could Talk FREE Online Curriculum
    www.foresthistory.org/Education/Curriculum
    Forest History Society (FHS). FHS is a 501(c)3 nonprofit educational institution that links the past to the future by identifying, collecting, preserving, interpreting, and disseminating information on the history of interactions between people, forests, and their related resources -- timber, water, soil, forage, fish and wildlife, recreation, and scenic or spiritual values. It is designed for middle school students; however, has been useful at the high school level.This curriculum is correlated to National History and Social Studies Standards, as well as several individual state standards including Virginia.
  • Outstanding Science Trade Books for Students K-12
    The books that appear in these lists were selected by a book review panel appointed by the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) and assembled in cooperation with the Children's Book Council (CBC).
  • What’s Your Earth Gauge™?
    This is the first in a series of Earth Gauge™ weather-environment tips from the National Environmental Education & Training Foundation (NEETF). Learn more about the program and browse Earth Gauge information for cities across the U.S. at www.earthgauge.net
  • Environmental Literacy Council offers the following resources:
    • Science in the News: Climate Change
      Weather is the condition of the atmosphere at a particular place and time such as on a single day, or for a single week. Climate, by contrast, refers to trends in weather over a longer period of time, such as 30 years. As one old saying puts it, "Climate is what you expect, weather is what you get." Learn more about the role of greenhouse gases in climate change, the Kyoto Protocol, and whether the rapid climate changes like those in The Day After Tomorrow could actually happen.
    • Animals of the Artic: Polar Bears & Arctic Fox
      Use our Creature Features on Polar Bears and the Arctic Fox to introduce students to the human impacts on the Arctic ecosystem. Our essays examine how climate change is affecting polar bear habitat, link you to photo galleries of the animals, and list polar bear tracking resources you can use in the classroom.
    • Biomes: Tundra
      One way of understanding differences in the ecological makeup of the earth's surface is to divide it into biomes. Biomes are regions of similar climate, soil, and vegetation that support the same types of organisms no matter where they are located on the planet. Climate is the most influential factor because it largely influences which organisms may live in a given area.
    • Case Study: Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
      The U.S. Geological Survey estimates that there are significant reservoirs of economically recoverable oil and gas buried beneath Alaska's northern coastal plain. The locals want the economic benefits that come from developing such a lucrative resource. However, legislation prohibits oil and gas development in the 19 million acres of nearly pristine wilderness of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The intersection of economics and conservation makes an interesting case study for students to debate.
    • Teaching Resources: Climate Basic Concepts
      Looking for a glossary of climate terms? We've created short descriptions of basic concepts such as albedo, the greenhouse effect, and the structure of the atmosphere.
    • Teaching Resources: Labs on Climate Change
      Developed by an experienced team of environmental science educators, ourCoastal Resources Debate Activity can easily be modified to incorporate Arctic themes by changing the listed resources.

    For a listing of great labs and activities related to climate see:http://www.enviroliteracy.org/article.php/248.html

  • Wild About Math (for TI-83 & TI 84)
    Produced by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, this 72 page book uses data from several of its wildlife research projects.
  • Classroom Earth
    Classroom Earth helps teachers of all subject areas integrate environmental education into their classrooms. A program of NEEF, the National Environmental Education Foundation.
  • WaterCenter.net
    Experiments & demos
  • WaterCenter.org
    Hands-On Water Projects make learning science fun.
  • Blue Zones
    Blue Zones Expedition is exploring the four parts of the world, called Blue Zones, where people live the longest, healthiest lives. Our mission is to unlock the secrets and help people put them to work in their own lives. Join us here to discover ways to reach your own personal Blue Zones of longevity.
  • Green Teacher
    Green Teacher is a magazine by and for educators to enhance environmental and global education across the curriculum at all grade levels.
  • 4-H Virtual Forest
    This is an interactive, web-based learning experience that introduces forest management concepts to Virginia's youth aged 9 through 13. Seven learning modules cover the following subjects: human impact on the ecosystem (sprawl), renewable resources, photosynthesis, tree identification, succession, tree measurements, and timber harvesting. The modules complement 4-H natural resource projects and events and are consistent with the Standards of Learning for Virginia public schools. 4-H Virtual Forest also includes user's guides, student activity sheets, teacher answer sheets, additional resources, and SOL links for each module. Virtual Forest is also available on CD. Contact your county Extension Agent for copies.
  • Calendar of Events
    A listing of educational seminars, river and wetlands clean-ups, oyster gardening events, canoe trips and so much more. Maybe there's a field trip for your class!
  • Virginia Naturally School Recognition Program is a way to recognize schools for their efforts in promoting environmental awareness and stewardship. Schools can apply for the three-tiered program to receive Virginia Naturally flags, pennants and wonderful resources for environmental education like bird boxes, field trips, speakers or monitoring equipment.