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New! Missouri Green Schools Program

Earth Quest: A game of Environmental Literacy

earth quest gameboard

Environmental Quizzes

K-2 biodiversity quiz

Coloring Sheets

channel catfish coloring sheet

Green Holidays Calendar

The Environment in Biology Lessons

Using  Environmental Concepts and Issues to Teach Biology

Title            Description                                                                        
Source/ Sponsor                           

Animal Diversity
This lesson exposes children to a wide range of animals and guides them through observation of animal similarities, differences, and environmental adaptations. This lesson can be used as part of a study of plants and animals. Before doing the lesson, students should know the meanings of the terms plant, animal, and living.     
(K) LS1C1- Plant, Animal Needs


A  School Garden         
“From plot to pot”, students learn how to grow, tend, harvest and prepare nutritious seasonal produce, in the educational settings of the classroom, the garden, the kitchen, the school cafeteria and the home.         
Food and Agricultural Organization          
(2) LS2A1 - Plant Growth Under Different Conditions


Nature Unleashed
Nature Unleashed
helps elementary students understand ecosystem connections through exploring Missouri’s ponds, forests, and prairies. The fully illustrated student book includes activities that get students outdoors and exploring, investigating, and asking questions about the ecosystems around their school.
(3) LS1A1 - Organisms' Survival in Different Ecosystems


Life in a Drop of Pond Water
In Pond 2: Life in a Drop of Pond Water, students observe microscopic organisms found in pond water using a hand lens, 30x magnification, and 100x magnification. Observing these organisms should stimulate discussions about how single-celled living things might satisfy their needs for food, water, and air.     
(5) LS1C1 - Plants Get Materials Chiefly From Air and Water


Lead Blockers
Students learn about the health effects of lead and how its absorption can be reduced by proper diet.                
EPA   (6-8) LS1B1 - Environmental & Genetic Factors Affecting Growth


Human Impacts on Biodiversity
This activity engages students in science practices by guiding them through analysis of data from the citizen science project, WildCam Gorongosa (                  
(6-8) LS2A2 - Patterns of Interactions


Burrowing Owls
When changing a community to include shopping malls, parking spaces, and roads, people also change the dynamics of the existing ecosystem. Certain species are unable to adapt quickly enough and become threatened or endangered. Such is the case of the Burrowing Owl in California.        
(6-8) LS2C1 - Impacts of Environmental Change on Populations


Marine Sanctuaries
In this lesson, students will learn about the national marine sanctuaries found in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans and off the coast of American Samoa. By learning about the biodiversity, ecological integrity, and cultural legacy of these marine sanctuaries, students can place into context what they are learning about the interdependence of living things on our planet.
(6-8) LS2C2 - Maintaining an Ecosystem


Veggie and Fruit Tales: Recombinant DNA
After a presentation on the basics of recombinant DNA technology, students learn about the benefits and concerns of recombiant DNA in foods and develop an opinion piece about the issue.             
American Society of Human Genetics               
(6-8) LS4B2 Genes & Technology


Passenger Pigeons: Nomads Lost
Students will understand the concept and implications of extinction using the example of the Passenger Pigeon, once an extremely abundant species that was completely eliminated by humans, and how technologies that were seemingly unrelated to the loss of the bird were actually central to its extinction.
(6-8) LS4C2 - Extinction


Ecosystem Services - Water Purification
Ecosystem services are valuable for many reasons, including economic benefits, protection of human health and safety, and support of recreational or aesthetic enjoyment. Students should know that when ecosystems are not healthy, some or all of the services they provide to people may be lost.  
(6-8) LS2C2 - Maintaining an Ecosystem


Visualizing the Nitrogen Cycle
Students will learn how nitrogen cycles in the environment and how humans influence this cycle. NOTE: The lesson refers to an unavailable video disc. You can use this Fuse School You Tube video instead -
Texas State University PBI/PBIFall06/BoxStore/Content/LessonNitrogenCycle.htm
(9-12) LS2B2 - Matter & Energy Cycles thru Trophic Levels


Indoor Air Quality
In this activity, students are introduced to a variety of common indoor air quality hazards. They will learn sources of hazards, route(s) of exposure, associated health symptoms, and methods for hazard control.                                            
Oregon State University                            
(9-12) LS1A - Cell Function, Organ Systems, Homeostasis

Changing Lifestyles and Heart Health
This lesson is the second of a two-part series that explores different aspects of the human heart and the various changing conditions that have affected the health of billions of people from prehistoric to modern times.                                                 
(9-12) LS1A2 - Organ Systems


Endocrine Disruptors                                                        
This lesson focuses on endocrine disruptors: chemicals that mimic the body's own internal hormone communication system. Students are introduced to the endocrine system, they study what we know and do not know about chemicals that disrupt this system, and they consider the kinds of choices that individuals and societies have with regard to endocrine disruptors.
(9-12) LS1A3 - Homeostasis


Introducing Biodiversity
Biodiversity is introduced by having students identify and talk about what they know about the various habitats around them, including the amazing variety of life. Using online resources, they identify the basic components necessary for biodiversity, the critical and countless benefits of habitats, as well as the serious present and future threats to their ongoing existence. (Written at 3rd-5th Grade Level)                           
(9-12) LS2A1 – Biotic/Abiotic Factors Affecting Carrying Capacity and Biodiversity


Carbon and Climate                                                            
A set of modular lesson plans that incorporate the carbon cycle into the study of climate change. Includes an applet that allows students to manipulate carbon sources and sinks and see their effects on total Atmospheric CO2                                       
University of Wisconsin                                                                      
(9-12) LS2B3 - Carbon Cycling


Climate Change: A Human Health Perspective          
Explore how global climate change affects health issues such as airway diseases, developmental disorders, mental health disorders, vector-borne diseases, and waterborne diseases. In addition, consider possible ways to reduce health risks.           
NIH   climate_change_and_human_health_lesson_plan_a_508.pdf   
(9-12) LS2C1 - Changing Environmental Conditions


The Chernobyl Disaster                                                           
By examining the case of the Chernobyl nuclear meltdown in 1986, students study the adverse effects of high doses of radiation on biological systems.            
(9-12) LS3B2 - Mutations' Effects


Applications of Evolution                                                
What does pesticide or antibiotic resistance have to do with evolution and what are the implications of these issues for society?
Not Provided                                                                                     
(9-12) LS4B1 - Evolution, LS4C1 - Adaptation of Populations


Cancer Risks
Research shows that even after education, students hold the misconception that human beings have cells inside of them, rather than being composed of cells themselves. As a result, students might perceive cancer as a group of foreign cells that are "invading" their normal cells, instead of knowing that cancer cells are simply normal body cells that have mutated.                             
(9-12) LSA1A - DNA, Proteins, Cell Function