Current Environmental Issues | Teacher Resources

Current Environmental Issues

Bring our inquiry-based, environmental education into your classroom. Explore our Classroom Resources and gain lesson plans, recommended reading, and online links to increase your content knowledge.

Current Environmental Issues

Explore resources related to conservation, climate change, responsible consumerism, and more.

Lesson Plans

For lessons on sustainability - including composting, recycling, packaging and more - check out MyGarbology, our online educational activity and lesson plan resource hub that explores the study of waste - where does it go and what can we do to take better care of our planet?

Online Resources

Global Warming: It's All About Carbon, Robert Krulwich's five-part cartoon series from NPR and National Geographic provides a fun and informative overview of climate science and the role of humans in climate change.

Green Education Foundation’s grade specific five day lesson sets on sustainability.

Alliance for Climate Education (ACE) Our Climate Our Future is an award-winning climate education resource for teachers and students with climate change videos, interactive trivia questions, climate change lesson plans and more.

Green America’s Responsible Shopper provides you with the real story about abuses by well-known companies, gives you actions to promote corporate responsibility, and helps you green your life and world.

School & Office Supplies that are environmentally friendly.

Recommended Reading


Eco-tracking: On the Trail of Habitat Change, by Daniel Shaw                        
This book tells true life success stories of young people involved in citizen science efforts and how others can join in tracking climate change, local wildlife, and other parts of the natural world.  

Our Earth: How Kids are Saving the Planet, by Janet Wilson
From the author of One Peace comes a new book of beautiful portraits and exciting profiles of 10 young environmental activists from around the world. Janet Wilson's art captures the spirit of adventure, determination, and hope that each of these children possess. Full of environmental facts and advice, this book will inspire budding young eco-activists everywhere to start making a difference for their planet.        

Citizen Scientistsby Loree Griffin Burns
Great stories about young investigators and place-based science; inspirational.

Rachel Carson and Her Book That Changed the World, by Laurie Lawlor
An inspiration for everyone, this book is a celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of Silent Spring. "Once you are aware of the wonder and beauty of earth, you will want to learn about it," wrote Rachel Carson, the pioneering environmentalist.

Climate Change

How We Know What We Know About Our Changing Climate, by Lynne Cherry and Gary Braasch
Two leading environmental authors have come together to produce a book for middle school-age children that explains climate science.  How We Know What We Know About Our Changing Climate presents clear science and outstanding photos of the evidence gathered by leading scientists all over the world. Note: there is a fabulous teacher's guide that can be purchased separately that compliments this book. 

Migration in the 21st Century: How Will Globalization and Climate Change Affect Human Migration and Settlement?, by Paul C. Challen
With fossil fuels and water running out, and temperatures and sea levels rising due to climate change, whole communities will need to move and resettle. How will human migrations on this scale be managed in our modern world? This forward-looking book explores these important issues as well as the solutions being put forward by politicians, experts, non-governmental organizations, and private citizens.

A Warmer World, by Caroline Arnold
Over the past several decades, our world has been warming at a faster rate than ever before. Acclaimed nonfiction author Caroline Arnold describes how the climate change has affected ecosystems around the world and how animals within these ecosystems have adapted.


Wartville Wizard, by Don Madden
Wartville is being buried in trash. There are soda bottles under the flowers, juice cans by the mailbox, and newspapers along the road. Every day the piles grow higher and higher. Then one tidy old man realizes he has the power to get rid of all the trash forever. Wartville will finally be cleaned up once and for all.

The Adventures of a Plastic Bottle: A Story about Recycling, by Alison Inches
Learn about recycling from a new perspective. Peek into this diary of a plastic bottle as it goes on a journey from the refinery plant, to the manufacturing line, to the store shelf, to a garbage can, and finally to a recycling plant where it emerges into it's new life … as a fleece jacket. Told from the point of view of a free-spirited plastic bottle, kids can share in the daily experiences and inner thoughts of the bottle through his personal journal. The diary entries will be fun and humorous yet point out the ecological significance behind each product and the resources used to make it. Readers will never look at a plastic bottle the same way again.

Michael Recycle, by Ellie Bethel
Michael Recycle tells the adventures of a young superhero whose power allows him to teach people about recycling. After cleaning up a town, the people declare: "To Michael Recycle, The green-caped crusader, our super-green hero, the planet's new savior "

Stuff! Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, by Steven Kroll
A packrat resists recycling, reducing, and reusing.


The Wump World, by Bill Peet
The Pollutians invade the Wump World and turn the green meadows into a concrete jungle.

The Lorax, by Dr. Seuss
Long before saving the Earth became a global concern, Dr. Seuss, speaking through his character the Lorax, warned against mindless progress and the danger it posed to the earth's natural beauty.

Check out our interactive online game and resource center about the importance of waste conservation.


A Proud Partner of the National Park Service