Make It Happen
1.2 million students spend their days in K-12 schools across Washington State. You can ensure they gain the skills and hands-on learning opportunities needed to be successful leaders. Our state depends upon the next generation… And Washington Green Schools is working with you to give them the tools they need to succeed.
Our education staff is creating and curating a library of resources to support environmental learning while we’re all at home. Below you’ll find a few of our top picks to use with your students or your family. Please bookmark this page and check back for updates throughout the month. Happy learning!
Elementary School Resources | Middle School Resources | High School Resources
New! WGS Virtual Race to Decomposition
What makes an apple core decompose? To find out join WGS’ “Race to Decomposition” – a simple investigation using everyday materials from home. Through weekly online lessons, we’ll race against time and explore factors that affect decomposition.
WGS Waste Adventures
This activity is suitable for students in grades 3 through 6 and curious learners of all ages! In WGS’ Waste Adventures, students practice their math and writing skills while learning more about where their waste goes after it leaves their home. Download and print a copy today.
WGS Nature Scavenger Hunt
Here’s an activity that connects elementary school students with nature and reinforces Washington’s science standards. In our Nature Scavenger Hunt, students make observations of nature while getting fresh air in the neighborhood. Download and print our grades K-2 and 3-5 versions.
- Download K-2 version as a pdf [English]
- Download K-2 version as a pdf [Spanish]
- Download 3-5 version as a pdf [English]
- Download 3-5 version as a pdf [Spanish]
In this activity from the Pacific Science Center, students will learn about transects and use their observation skills to produce scientific sketches and observations about a particular area in an ecosystem. Students can observe the ecosystems that exist at their local park or in their own backyard.
At-Home Upcycled Projects From Climate Superstars
This webpage from the National Environmental Education Foundation introduces the idea of upcycling and provides step-by-step instructions to bring new purpose to common, household items.
Project Hero Pollinator Quest
Project Hero Pollinator Quest is an online program of the Captain Planet Foundation that challenges youth to be heroes for species and ecosystems in trouble. The Pollinator Quest leads young people on a learning journey to explore the science concepts behind pollinators and pollination through the lens of a local species that needs help.
National Geographic’s Investigate the Water Cycle Resources
These standards-aligned resources from the Captain Planet Foundation will help teachers and guardians engage their students in the water cycle. Lessons and activities provide opportunities to learn about condensation, evaporation, precipitation, and weather patterns that are all affected by, and a part of, the water cycle.
Educational Documentaries from Netflix
This Netflix documentary series (available for free on YouTube) explores the world around us. It delves into ecosystems, animals, and a variety of different topics. The videos range from 45 to 90 minutes. Be sure to check the ratings before sharing it with students.
If Trees Could Talk
This is an 11-module middle school curriculum from the Forest History Society that allows students and teachers to engage in social studies activities based upon archival materials. These modules cover topics such as how Native Americans and European Settlers managed forest landscapes, the significance of private forests in society, the role of wood in America’s industrial revolution, the history of wildlife policy, and what it means for the environmental movement. This curriculum is correlated with National History and Social Studies Standards.
Oil Spill Clean-Up Activity
In this hands-on activity from the Pacific Science Center, students will have the opportunity to learn about oil spills and the different methods of cleaning oil. Students will test different materials to see which help to clean oil spills most effectively.
How Natural Areas Filter Water Activity
Middle school students can learn about the value of clean, fresh water through hands-on learning. In this activity from the U.S. Green Building Council’s Learning Lab, students examine the difference between natural and paved areas in filtering water and discover how humans impact the water cycle.
We The Future: Believe Families Belong Together
This lesson from Amplifier includes conversations and lessons on immigration and issues surrounding family separation at the US-Mexican border. Students will learn about a coalition of nearly 250-organizations who have joined together to fight against family separation at the border. The coalition is called Families Belong Together. Students will also learn about which countries immigrants are coming to the US from and look at some murals.
Birds of North America
This resource from Topic includes 21 videos about Birds of North America. Jason Ward, an avid birdwatcher, leads the viewers through a variety of birdwatching activities and experiences.
Wenatchee Naturalist provides a bevy of resources about the shrub-steppe ecosystem, dry montane forests, various aquatic ecosystems, and more. Also included are tools and guides for plants, reptiles/amphibians, birds, and mammals. This resource is best suited for secondary students.
Explore the Connections between COVID-19 and Climate Change
High school students can explore the connections between COVID-19 and climate change and discuss them. Ask high schoolers to read this article from Scientific American and/or this one from Harvard’s School of Public Health, and ask them what they think, either online or at home.
Zinn Education Project: Climate Justice Teaching Activities
Resources designed to educate students of all ages about climate change and inequalities. This resource from the Zinn Education Project provides a variety of activities that can be filtered by grade level.
NatureBridge Nature Activities
Bring the science and wonder of the natural world right to your home with these activities from NatureBridge! These are hands-on, interactive lessons that allow students to engage with the natural world in a safe and thoughtful way. These resources include games and challenges, at-home activities, and a real-time curriculum project. These resources include tools for students from 1st through 12th grade.