Our goal is to inspire environmental awareness, educate youth about endangered species, and to empower young people to engage in their communities and the world at large. In the doing, it is our hope that this program strengthens and builds upon critical skill sets – problem solving, writing, critical thinking – to help them focus and become more effective agents for positive change.
These series of lesson plans have been designed to weave civic engagement and environmental awareness into the classroom for students through their elementary and secondary school careers. These issues outlined below are interconnected with so many of the challenges we face as a planet. By educating and engaging youth in these issues, young people have the opportunity to take a leadership role on a major issue, have a tangible impact on its outcome, and develop their critical thinking skills that, in the process, will enable them to champion their issue.
The more civic-minded youth that exist in our society, the greater the opportunity that other issues will gain needed champions and broad change will be achieved. This is not about political ideology or about educating one right way to solve a problem over another, this program aims to inspire youth to become thoughtful, engaged citizens and leaders not only tomorrow, but today as well.
The activities on here are basic suggestions of how to incorporate more debate into the classroom. It is, obviously, for the teacher to adjust these suggested activities to meet the expectations and standards set for their grade. Aims and objectives are listed at the top of each activity page so teacher can meet specific curriculum guidelines. Many of the activities can be further expanded upon to increase the level of difficulty or expand the students’ knowledge.
This set of modules is designed to take high school students through the creation of national parks, policies and the politics as well as the importance of creating these protected areas. Students will read through each module and complete the assigned tasks.
Today’s students belong to, arguably, the most connected and globally aware generation in history, but in a world of 140 character news headlines, engagement is often superficial. Translating broad interest and understanding of environmental issues into critical thought and healthy debate is the single biggest barrier to solving the issues of our time.
Building on his two-decades of experience running the successful Spirit Bear Youth Coalition, GhostBearPhotography.com co-founder Simon Jackson offers his thoughts on how we can foster meaningful environmental leadership within the ranks of our emerging leaders. This tool kit for action is the byproduct of reflecting on what worked and failed in captivating the imagination of students to care about a rare bear – and what lessons can be drawn to help those just starting out.
The goal in providing these tools is to enable our emerging leaders – and those who work with them – to reframe the environmental narrative in order to bridge divides, enhance knowledge, and create more thoughtful leaders today and into the future.
Download our Toolkit for Action for students. This package includes tools for students to help develop a platform for issues they are passionate about, specific recommendations for running an effective movement, and how to raise awareness (and funds) in their schools.
The legacy project of the Spirit Bear Youth Coalition, CoalitionWILD is a new social movement that seeks to equip emerging leaders with the tools to create a wilder world. Through mentorship and peer-to-peer learning, this online platform is a great resource for learning, making new connections and creating a more balanced vision for nature.
Have a great idea of how we can foster a new generation of environmental stewards? Already working on an innovative project? Working with students inside – or out – of the classroom to help them experience, understand and care for nature? We’d love to hear from you! Join our ongoing conversation hosted through social media or reach out to us directly.