Here are some of our favorite online resources from our partners and other great organizations. They can assist as you prepare for field trips and environmental lessons by providing lesson plans, activity ideas, and online interactives or helping you brush up on subject matter. They are organized so you can easily navigate by ‘jumping’ to the following topic categories: Nature & Environment • Climate • Energy
Nature & Environment
Aldo Leopold Foundation / Aldo Leopold Nature Center et al
Wisconsin Aldo Leopold Writing Contest: The Wisconsin Aldo Leopold Writing Contest uses Leopold’s ideas to inspire students to participate in the evolution of the land ethic through the written word – It takes place annually in winter-time, and each year features a new essay topic and classroom resources connected to Leopold’s writings – All students enrolled in grades 9-12 in public, private and home schools in the state of Wisconsin are eligible
Aldo Leopold Nature Center
Featured Scientists: Learn about the women and men with STEM careers who help us understand the world around us, with a different environmental science topic featured each month – This blog is maintained as part of ALNC’s Climate Education Center digital curriculum, where “high-touch” outdoor programs are combined with “high-tech” multimedia exhibits and interactive, visual, hands-on, and immersive experiences
California Academy of Sciences
Habitat Earth in the Classroom: Cal Academy educators and digital artists designed these 3-12 grade-specific classroom guides including animations, key concepts, glossaries, articles, guiding questions and answers, and linkages to the Next Generation Science Standards
Center for Ecoliteracy
Big Ideas: Created in partnership with National Geographic, find examples of K-12 learning experiences — newly aligned with NGSS, Common Core, and other academic standards — for linking food, culture, health, and the environment
Cornell Lab of Ornithology
All About Birds: Learn about the lives of birds, enhance your birding skills, and be a part of the community with eBird, YardMap, Project Feederwatch, citizen science information, birdcams, articles, and other resources!
BirdSleuth K-12: BirdSleuth is an inquiry-based science curriculum that engages kids in scientific study and real data collection through the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s exciting citizen-science projects. Find info for teachers, educational kits and resources, and more!
GLOBE (Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment)
GLOBE Program for Teachers: Engage your class in a collaborative, scientific exploration of the world around you, collaborating with teachers and students from around the world – The GLOBE website provides access to materials designed to engage your students in science and scientific discovery
Recommended GLOBE Teachers Guide– online toolkit and collection of background information, data collection procedures, and learning activities organized by Earth spheres: Atmosphere, Biosphere, Hydrosphere, and Pedosphere (Soil)
Activity Guide – Midwest Addition: Created and edited by Green Schoolyards America, this booklet includes 38 activity ideas from 33 organizations working in the central USA, intended for PreK – 12 grade students!
Monarch Watch: Resources and information to help you learn about monarch life cycles, raise monarchs in your classroom, grow your own milkweed, track monarch migrations, and more!
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
NASA Earth Observatory Global Maps: An excellent resource to view satellite images showing global views of what’s happening on our planet. Access beautiful maps, images, stories, and discoveries about climate and the environment.
NASA Water Falls Pre-Visit Lesson: This water cycle lesson is intended to be used by teachers before they take their students to view the Science On a Sphere movie, “Water Falls.” (This SOS movie is available by request at ALNC!)
My NASA Data:These tools enable K-12 teachers, students, and citizen scientists to easily explore the large volumes of real data that NASA collects about the Earth from space – you can even make your own charts and graphs!
Recommended Lesson Plans – access a listing of K-12 lesson plans related to Earth science, climate change, and more!
National Ecological Observatory Network
Project Budburst: Resources to guide participants of all ages in participants making careful observations of the timing of leafing, flowering, and fruiting phases of plants (plant phenophases) throughout the year
Recommended Surrounded by Science Educator Toolkit– collection of lesson plans and curriculum guides to help educators introduce students to many ways they can discover the science going on around them, both within the classroom and in the field, from the front steps to the solar system
Nat Geo Kids: Kid-friendly multimedia website with videos, games, photography activities, fun facts, and more!
National Science Foundation
Earth: The Operators’ Manual: Video clips, classroom activities, vocabulary, tips and tools that provide objective, accessible assessment of Earth’s problems and possibilities, leaving learners informed, energized and optimistic
Nature Net: Provides “one-stop shopping” for environmental education resources for teachers and families of South-Central Wisconsin and beyond! Find curricular connections, classroom activities, tips and tricks for taking kids outside, and more!
Nature Book Nook – a compilation of some of the best and most engaging nature stories for readers of various ages, also linked with monthly topics and activities
Project Learning Tree
PLT Curriculum Offerings: Award-winning environmental education program designed for teachers and other educators, parents, and community leaders working with youth from preschool through grade 12 – Newly updated and organized, browse standards-aligned curricular offerings by education level, by unit, or search by keyword
Schlumberger Excellence in Educational Development (SEED) and Earth Science Week
The Story of Stuff Project: Educational video and interactive media accompanied by solutions-focused curriculum and activities discussing production, consumption, and ecological sustainability
USA National Phenology Network
Nature’s Notebook: National, online program where amateur and professional naturalists seasonal changes of plants and animals to generate long-term data sets used for scientific discovery and decision-making
Climate Change in Wisconsin: Connecting global climate change with local impacts and stories, this blog is maintained as part of ALNC’s Climate Education Center digital curriculum, where “high-touch” outdoor programs are combined with “high-tech” multimedia exhibits and interactive, visual, hands-on, and immersive experiences
Current Climate News: Keep up to date with recent global events, interesting stories, and the latest in climate research. This blog is maintained as part of ALNC’s Climate Education Center digital curriculum, where “high-touch” outdoor programs are combined with “high-tech” multimedia exhibits and interactive, visual, hands-on, and immersive experiences
Alliance for Climate Education
Our Climate Our Future: Award-winning multimedia experience that educates young people about the science of climate change and empowers them to take action
Our Changing Climate Curriculum Guides: Interdisciplinary, standards-based curriculum guides for grades 3-12 which has students investigate data, communicate about global changes, research and monitor impacts, and learn about solutions to minimize repercussions in the Midwest and globally
Climate Interactive: Tools, interactives, and simulations to help illustrate climate change concepts
Recommended World Climate Simulation Game – interactive and experiential science-based role playing exercise simulating the UN climate change negotiations for groups (7-12, adults)
Climate Literacy & Energy Awareness Network
CLEAN Collection: This excellent collection of climate and energy science resources is peer-reviewed by NSF, NOAA, and other federal agencies – it is searchable by grade level and topic and includes teaching tips, links to standards, and benchmarks based on science standards and climate and energy concepts
Cooperative Institute for Meteorological Satellite Studies
CIMSS Educational Resources: Features interactive weather and climate activities (applets), satellite imagery and data, complete curricula and student and teacher workshop information
Great Lakes Climate Data – this interactive walks you through accessing and interpreting climate data for communities within the Great Lakes Region and other U.S. locations
Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) Education Outreach
Climate Science Academy: Online, self-guided tutorial presented by climate science experts to support learning about and understanding the Earth’s climate system and climate change. Provides educators with access to reliable resources that apply accurate scientific information and an Earth systems perspective for learning and teaching about climate with confidence in alignment with the Climate Literacy Essential Principles
Earth Day Network
Story of Climate Change iTextbook: The first of its kind, interactive digital textbook for middle schoolers. Students watch glaciers melt, dive into the world’s coral reefs, and explore how bike share programs reduce carbon emissions – all from their personal tablets!
Educational Communications Board
Climate Wisconsin: Multimedia stories and data based on research specific to Wisconsin people and communities. Includes short videos, interactives, teaching tips, and activity ideas
Environmental Literacy and Inquiry, Lehigh University
Climate Change Unit: Middle school science inquiry curriculum (Earth Science, Weather, Greenhouse Effect, Climate Connections, etc.), aligned to the Essential Principles of Climate Literacy with GoogleEarth extensions and support materials
Educator Resources – find a Student’s Guide to Climate Change and supplemental lesson plans, tools, and tips!
Gikinoo’wizhiwe Onji Waaban (Guiding for Tomorrow)
G-WOW Changing Climate, Changing Culture: A service learning web-based curriculum that integrates Native Wisconsin culture and perspective with place-based scientific evidence of climate change and provides learners with knowledge about what they can do to mitigate or adapt to a changing climate
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
NASA Global Climate Change: Includes current vital signs, videos, articles and imagery
Climate Kids: Geared towards younger kids, this site uses games, animations and fun facts to teach about weather, oceans, energy, climate and more!
Recommended Guided Tour – this overview of big questions is a great place to start
Weather + Climate Resources: Explore this site to learn science and solutions and discover how weather and climate affect our communities and the world around us
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Data in the Classroom: Systems approach to learning about the Earth using real scientific data, including downloadable curriculum modules that demonstrate techniques for using real data in the classroom
Science on a Sphere Explorer: Flat screen classroom-oriented version of the widely popular Science on a Sphere® (SOS), which provides accessibility to SOS datasets (usually only seen on a 6-foot sphere in large museum spaces, such as the Aldo Leopold Nature Center). SOS also provides lesson plans, which can be done in conjunction with a visit to ALNC!
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources
Climate Change – Wisconsin Activity Guide: E-appendix to DNR’s Climate Change: A Wisconsin Activity Guide book, geared towards Wisconsin 7-12 teachers and students, highlighting local impacts and perspectives, and featuring classroom activities
Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts
WICCI: Data, information, reports, stories, and resources about how Wisconsin’s climate is changing, what impacts we will see, and how we can adapt
Wisconsin Geological & Natural History Survey
Ice Age Geology: See the long view of Wisconsins’ changing climate and landscape over the past 21,000 years and learn about the landscape and watch animations of glaciers moving across Wisconsin
Yale Program on Climate Change Communication
Climate Communication: Modern, user-friendly portal to research on public climate change beliefs, attitudes, policy support and behavior, and insights on how to engage different publics in climate change solutions
Recommended Visualizations and Data Hub – understand climate change communication and public opinion with graphs, maps, presentations and more!
Classroom Materials: K-16 materials aligned with NGSS, developed by teachers and professional educators, with input from GLBRC scientists, to engage students in in learning about science and engineering challenges associated with producing sustainable biofuels
Wisconsin K-12 Energy Education Program
KEEP Curriculum: Activity guides developed by Wisconsin educators, aligned to WMA, Common Core, and NGSS
Recommended Energy Education Guide – 44 hands-on, interdisciplinary lessons aligned with academic standards and designed to make energy relevant to students’ lives
Girls of Energy: Dynamic set of lesson plans and activities to enable students and educators to interact with the world around them, learn more about the different forms of energy, and learn about cutting-edge research and technologies spearheaded by women scientists within the Department of Energy’s National Laboratories
US Energy Information Administration
Energy KIDS: Kid-friendly site teachers energy basics and includes K-12 lesson plans, activity guides, teacher pages, and other resources