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New Lesson Plan Aims to Teach Students About the Everglades


April 8, 2014 | WMFE, Orlando - How do you educate students about the ecosystem of the Everglades? The answer, according to the Everglades Foundation, is to start teaching them while they're young.

Students, teachers and officials watch as the new Everglades lesson plans are unveiled at Florida Atlantic University on Monday. Photo: Everglades Foundation

The Everglades Foundation launched 36 lesson plans this week, three per K-12 grade level, to push for "Everglades literacy" in students.  The foundation partnered with teachers, scientists, members of their board and even college professors to develop the plans.

Eric Eikenberg of the foundation says the hope is that the lesson plans will inspire the next generation of conservationists.

"By getting children early, to understand the importance of protecting this natural treasure, our view is it will benefit us generations to come," Eikenberg says.

He says the lesson plans were created to fill the gap in Everglades education statewide.

“There’s going to be a day when we have to hand it off," says Eikenberg. "And children in school today are going to be the ones to take up the banner, and they need to properly educated and this is a wonderful opportunity.”

Twenty-five teachers in South Florida piloted the lesson plans and provided feedback to the foundation. The foundation is currently reaching out to school districts statewide to promote the lesson plans.

The lesson plans are free, and are available online at http://www.evergladesfoundation.org/curriculum/

Sample lesson plans:

KindergartenWhat is the Everglades? Students will be introduced to the Everglades, learning about this special place for plants and animals that is unlike anywhere else on Earth. They will watch a presentation on some of the animals and plants that are there and start working on their Everglades Class Book.

Grade 4: Wanted - Alive! Students will learn about the endangered animal and plant species in the Everglades. Students will also create a poster on an endangered species. 

Grade 8: Threats to the Everglades: Students will evaluate different benefits that the Everglades provide to humans. They will also look at some of the threats that impact the Everglades which are endangering different plants/animals and ultimately us.

Grade 12: Everglades Restoration: Students explore the costs and environmental impacts of land development and restoration.

 

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