Curriculum

For Elementary Schools.

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Jump to:  Carbon Neutrality  |  Water Resilience  |  Zero Waste  |  Connection to Nature  |  All

CARBON NEUTRALITY
 

Big Ideas: Linking Water, Power, and Sewer in K-12

 15 points  Cross-listed with Water Resilience

Created by SFPUC and Center for Ecoliteracy, Big Ideas is a guide for teachers to engage their students in learning about how we obtain, use, and conserve water; how we harness the nature of power to provide energy; and how we clean our waste and reuse resources to protect the environment. These quick lesson ideas are aligned to NGSS, Common Core for English Language Arts, or History-Social Science Standards for California Public Schools to cultivate a cross-disciplinary approach to teaching about water, power, and sewer. Access and download the lessons.

Curriculum - Self initiated

All grades

Output of a Solar Cell

 15 points 

Measure the efficiency of solar cells as they convert sunlight to power. Solar cells convert light energy into electrical energy. With a few simple tools on a sunny day (or working indoors under a light source), you can measure how efficient a solar cell is at transforming sunlight into electricity. Learn more.

Curriculum - Self initiated

Grades 5-8

Light Wind

 15 points 

Build a simple wind generator. Use wind to power a motor and generate enough electricity to light an LED. Learn more.

Curriculum - Self initiated

Grades 5-8

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WATER RESILIENCE
 

Big Ideas: Linking Water, Power, and Sewer in K-12

 15 points  Cross-listed with Zero Net Energy

Created by SFPUC and Center for Ecoliteracy, Big Ideas is a guide for teachers to engage their students in learning about how we obtain, use, and conserve water; how we harness the nature of power to provide energy; and how we clean our waste and reuse resources to protect the environment. These quick lesson ideas are aligned to NGSS, Common Core for English Language Arts, or History-Social Science Standards for California Public Schools to cultivate a cross-disciplinary approach to teaching about water, power, and sewer. Access and download the lessons.

Curriculum - Self initiated

All grades

San Francisco Bay Ecosystems

 15 points  Cross-listed under Connection to Nature

Do you want to bring San Francisco Bay and surrounding ecosystems into your classroom? Look no further than these resources Aquarium of the Bay created for you and your students. Each guide contains multiple thematic lesson plans and is aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards and the Common Core State Standards. Access the curriculum.

Curriculum - Self initiated

All grades

Marine Debris Prevention

 15 points  Cross-listed under Zero Waste and Connection to Nature

Marine debris is one of the major critical issues threatening animals living in San Francisco Bay and all of the world’s oceans, estuaries, lakes, and rivers. All of us, including your students, can
control what we do with our trash and the trash we encounter in our everyday lives. By having your students do a trash cleanup at their school, they can take an active role in preventing the creation of more marine debris. Your students will learn how important and easy it is to prevent trash from becoming marine debris. Access the curriculum.

Curriculum - Self initiated

All grades

Marine Life Posters

 15 points  Cross-listed under Connection to Nature

The Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary offers 3 free educational posters which can be picked up at the Farallones Visitor Center in SF Presidio.
1. Deep Sea Coral: deep sea corals found off the coast of California (grades 6-12)
2. Shorebirds: local SF Bay Area shorebirds (grades 3-12)
3. Historical Fishing Boats: fishing boats in the SF Bay Area over the last 100 years (grades 4-12)

Curriculum - Self initiated

Grades 3-12

Our Water

 15 points 

Our Water is designed to teach 4th–6th grade students about San Francisco’s water resources and the importance of conservation. It is a unique, interdisciplinary unit that supports CA State Standards. This unit was created to be flexible. While we put the materials in the order we think works best, you can use it in part, in whole, or in any order you choose. Access the curriculum.

Curriculum - Self initiated

Grades 4-6

Raining on your Data Parade

 15 points 

What do you do if something looks odd in your data? Sometimes when you’re looking at data, you come across something surprising—a measurement that’s so unusual, you wonder if it’s correct. Take a look at some actual data from a rain gauge, then investigate what is likely to be accurate, and why. Learn more.

Curriculum - Self initiated

Grades 5-8

How Much Water Do You Eat?

 15 points 

At the end of this lesson students will be able to:

1. Recognize that some foods have lower water footprints than others and that meat production is particularly water intensive
2. Plan and create a healthy, balanced meal that has a low water footprint
3. Understand how each person’s food choices affect the water availability in the environment

Learn more.

Curriculum - Self initiated

Grades 3-12

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ZERO WASTE
 

Reducing San Francisco's Landfill Waste

 15 points 

Landfills take up a lot of space and use a lot of energy, and San Francisco has set the goal to be "waste free" by year 2020. Instead, as much waste as possible will be diverted to recycling and composting facilities, which also creates rich soil for farmers. In this lesson, students learn about decomposition and landfills, and learn how to sort their trash into the appropriate bin. Learn more.

Curriculum - Self initiated

All grades

Marine Debris Prevention

 15 points  Cross-listed under Water Resilience and Connection to Nature

Marine debris is one of the major critical issues threatening animals living in San Francisco Bay and all of the world’s oceans, estuaries, lakes, and rivers. All of us, including your students, can
control what we do with our trash and the trash we encounter in our everyday lives. By having your students do a trash cleanup at their school, they can take an active role in preventing the creation of more marine debris. Your students will learn how important and easy it is to prevent trash from becoming marine debris. Access the curriculum.

Curriculum - Self initiated

All grades

Productive Poop

 15 points 

Turn your kitchen trash into a garden treasure. Given the right conditions, worms can accelerate the breakdown of rotting food and produce rich compost in return. Learn more.

Curriculum - Self initiated

Grades 5-8

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SUSTAINABLE TRANSPORTATION

Walk and Roll Encouragement Projects

 15 points 

This four lesson unit is comprised of activities that are great for reviewing concepts, preparing for Walk and Roll to School Days, or just for teaching students about commuting safely by foot or bike to school! View the curriculum.

Curriculum - Self initiated

Grades K-5

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CONNECTION TO NATURE
 

Living Schoolyard Activity Guide

​ 15 points 

Educators from all disciplines (English, Art, Math, Physical Education, etc.) can use this guide to bring their content into the outdoor world in a fun and engaging way. Through these activities, students will build a "place-based understanding" and connect to their neighborhoods in a unique natural, geographical and cultural context. Access the guide.

Curriculum - Self initiated

All grades

SF Zoo Teacher Resources

​ 15 points 

Connect your learners to wildlife using this collection of NGSS aligned online resources designed to enhance lessons in biology, zoology, and ecology. Find guides to pair with your visits to the Zoo and fun, science-based activities to support your wildlife lessons. Learn more.

Curriculum - Self initiated

Grades K-5

Life Science Activities

​ 15 points 

Using these quick, interactive, and NGSS aligned lessons, teach your students about animals, adaptations, ecosystems, and and more! Access the lessons.

Curriculum - Self initiated

All grades

San Francisco Bay Ecosystems

 15 points  Cross-listed under Water Resilience

Do you want to bring San Francisco Bay and surrounding ecosystems into your classroom? Look no further than these resources Aquarium of the Bay created for you and your students. Each guide contains multiple thematic lesson plans and is aligned to the Next Generation Science Standards and the Common Core State Standards. Access the curriculum.

Curriculum - Self initiated

All grades

Marine Debris Prevention

 15 points  Cross-listed under Water Resilience and Zero Waste

Marine debris is one of the major critical issues threatening animals living in San Francisco Bay and all of the world’s oceans, estuaries, lakes, and rivers. All of us, including your students, can
control what we do with our trash and the trash we encounter in our everyday lives. By having your students do a trash cleanup at their school, they can take an active role in preventing the creation of more marine debris. Your students will learn how important and easy it is to prevent trash from becoming marine debris. Access the curriculum.

Curriculum - Self initiated

All grades

Marine Life Posters

 15 points  Cross-listed under Water Resilience

The Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary offers 3 free educational posters which can be picked up at the Farallones Visitor Center in SF Presidio.
1. Deep Sea Coral: deep sea corals found off the coast of California (grades 6-12)
2. Shorebirds: local SF Bay Area shorebirds (grades 3-12)
3. Historical Fishing Boats: fishing boats in the SF Bay Area over the last 100 years (grades 4-12)

Curriculum - Self initiated

Grades 3-12

Designer Ears

 15 points ​​​​

Make “better” ears! Why do animals’ ears look different from yours? What would life be like if your ears were shaped differently? Make new ears for yourself and find out. Learn more.

Curriculum - Self initiated

Grades 5-8

Follow the Carbon

 15 points ​​​​

Model the carbon cycle and its principal reservoirs and flow rates using rice. Understanding the carbon cycle is fundamental to making sense of environmental changes such as global warming and ocean acidification. This model shows the relative abundance of carbon in each of the earth’s main carbon reservoirs, and also shows the yearly exchanges between these reservoirs. Learn more.

Curriculum - Self initiated

Grades 5-8

Leaf Filter

 15 points ​​​​

Even plants have their favorite color. Photosynthesis requires light, but plants don’t use all the colors that make up white light. Use a spectroscope to explore the absorption and transmission of white light through leaf material. Learn more.

Curriculum - Self initiated

Grades 5-8

Photosynthetic Floatation

 15 points ​​​​

Light leaves leaves light. Photosynthetic organisms capture energy from the sun and matter from the air to make the food we eat, while also producing the oxygen we breathe. In this Snack, oxygen produced during photosynthesis makes leaf bits float like bubbles in water. Learn more.

Curriculum - Self initiated

Grades 5-8

Our Changing Atmosphere

 15 points ​​​​

Explore a famous environmental data set to learn about climate change. Graph carbon dioxide data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to learn about natural cycles and unnatural changes in our atmosphere. Note: This activity works best with multiple groups, with each group graphing a different year’s data. Learn more.

Curriculum - Self initiated

Grades 5-8