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Programs > Environmental Programs > Environmental Education ToolKit
Grade 8 Environmental Education ToolKit
Standard 6.0 Environmental Science

Students will use scientific skills and processes to explain the interactions of environmental factors (living and non-living) and analyze their impact from a local to a global perspective.


B. Environmental Issues


1. Recognize and explain how human activities can accelerate or magnify many naturally occurring changes.


1. Using data from research identify and describe how natural processes change the environment.

  • Cyclic climate change
  • Sedimentation in watersheds
  • Population cycles
  • Extinction 

2. Identify and describe how human activities produce changes in natural processes:

  • Climate change
  • Loss of habitat
  • Introduction of nonnative species
  • Cycling of  matter


Ø Click here for  units and lessons on Climate Change.

Effects of Human Impacts on Natural Cycles-
Students speed up or slow down natural cycles as part of a game. 

Ø National Geographic  GIS: Helping Save the African Wild
            Seeing Human Impact on Africa
            Who Pays the Price When a Sea Disappears?

Ø World Wildlife Fund Windows On the Wild - Biodiversity Basics 
                                                       Large file download free from ERIC

Ø New York Times Lessons
Environmental Rhyme and Reason Analyzing 'The State of the Planet' -
Students employ poetry as a medium to relay information and express views about significant environmental issues that exist today and to assess their effects on 'The State of the Planet' as we enter the next millennium.

Tread Lightly
Investigating Ways to Reduce Carbon Footprints
In this lesson, students learn about the exchange of carbon credits to offset corporate emissions. They then investigate their own “carbon footprints” and reflect on how they can reduce their impact on the environment.
(May 8, 2007)

 Waste Not, Want Not
Preparing Public Information Campaigns in Support of Water Conservation
In this lesson, students share opinions about the causes and effects of droughts. They then investigate and prepare public information campaigns supporting water conservation in their community.(October 24, 2007)

Playing Hot and Cold
Exploring How Mammals Adapt to Challenging Climates
In this lesson, students will learn about homeothermy. Through research and poster projects, they will gain insight into the diversity among mammals and the adaptations that allow specific mammals to survive in their native climates.(February 20, 2007)

Sudan Surprise
Mapping Animals’ Migration Routes and Patterns

In this lesson, students consider an immense animal migration recently documented in Sudan. They then investigate migratory patterns of animals and reflect on how human conflicts and activities affect migratory wildlife populations.(June 12, 2007)

Lone Wolves Debating the Endangered Species Status of Wolves
In this lesson, students learn about controversy in the northern Rockies to delist wolves as an endangered species. They then take part in an in-class debate on the subject, and write letters to state governors or federal agencies expressing their personal opinions for homework.(February 7, 2007)

A Coastal Dilemma
Demonstrating the Effects of a Rise in Water Level on Coastal Communities
In this lesson, students consider the effects of global warming and create scale models of regions along the Atlantic coastline to illustrate the results of the rising water level on human communities.(January 16, 2007)

Virus Outbreaks
Classroom Resources for Exploring Deadly Diseases Around the World
(October 31, 2006)

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Preparing a Newsletter Focusing on Community Recycling
In this lesson, students share opinions about products that can be reused and recycled. They then investigate and create articles focusing on recycling
for a newsletter.(October 11, 2007)

A Place for the Birds
Mapping Observations of Birds Across America
In this lesson, students reflect on bird migrations and develop a project to collect data on bird species from across North America to further investigate the ranges and migrations of common birds.(September 18, 2007)

What's for Dinner?
Understanding the Introduction of Transgenic Animals into the Marketplace
In this lesson, students reflect on concerns over and possible benefits of genetically altered foods. Then they prepare a presentation to “pitch” transgenic animals from the point of view of scientists, designed to interest possible investors.(July 31, 2007)

And Now for the Weather (and Climate) Report ... Analyzing Data Related to Weather and Climate
In this lesson, students make basic weather predictions and investigate a weather cable channel and its response to climate change. They then interpret and compare charts and graphs about weather and climate and reflect on how climate changes impact their own life and the business community.(June 5, 2007)


  Goddard Research Briefs- modeling sea level rise, climate change, clues to past climates, more...)

Ø  Geological Society of America- resources and lessons


Suggested Maryland Green School Activities

Green School 


                   Ø    Habitat-    Projects such as:
Habitat Restoration
No Mow Zones
Native Plant Gardens
                                              Removal of Invasive Species
                                                            Growing Native Seed Collection Project

                        Ø         Project Bud Burst - Join us in collecting important climate change data on
                                    the timing of leafing and flowering in your area through Project BudBurst!
                                    This national field campaign targets
  native tree and flower species
                                    across the country.

                  Ø      Recycling and Reuse
Recycle electronics, cell phone, computers, ink cartridges 
Eliminate Water Bottles Campaign/ Fundraiser

                  Ø      Reduction of Personal Consumption: Facing the Future

                  Ø      Carbon Reduction Strategies such as No Idle Zone, 
          Buying Carbon Offsets

                  Ø      Sediment Containment Strategies such as:
                                                          stream buffers,
                                                          tree plantings
                                                          rain gardens 

                         - Background: Becoming A Maryland Green School
                                        - Native Plant Nurseries in the Chesapeake Bay Area 
                                        - General Information for Maryland
                        - Funding for Bay- related projects
                                        - Funding for Schoolyard Habitats

Contact Information
Maryland State Department of Education
200 West Baltimore Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
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