“The goal of environmental education is to develop a world population that is aware of, and concerned about, the environment and its associated problems, and which has the knowledge, skills, attitudes, motivations, and commitment to work individually and collectively toward solutions of current problems and the prevention of new ones.”
Looking for fun STEM (and STEAM) focused resources that will motivate your students to want to learn about their environment while increasing science literacy? MY HAPPY EARTH is a “seek-and-find” children’s book that teaches young readers about conservation, sustainability and protecting their environment through reducing, reusing, recycling and re-buying recycled items. Aligned to K-5 state science standards nationwide, and Next Generation Science Standards, MY HAPPY EARTH is both educational and fun for children of all ages as they read and search for hidden pictures in the illustrations (adults love searching for the hidden symbols too). In addition to its engaging illustrations and appealing storyline, MY HAPPY EARTH includes a glossary of environmental terms with easy to understand definitions, and an “I Can…” list of fun daily activities that will inspire children to be active participants and leaders in protecting their environment. Environmental Education brings countless academic benefits, including enhanced higher-order thinking, academic performance, and student engagement. The National Environmental Education Foundation reports that “Environmental Education (EE) is lauded by educators as an ideal way to integrate academic disciplines, stimulate the academic and social growth of children, and promote conservation of the natural environment.” A Stanford University research study summarizes that EE’s “emphasis on higher-order thinking can help develop academic skills such as critical thinking, decision-making, and systems thinking.” Children have a natural interest in the environment around them – interested students are motivated students, and motivated students are academic achievers! MY HAPPY EARTH engages and excites students so they are motivated to learn and to take action for a healthy environment at school and in their communities.
MY HAPPY EARTH is endorsed by Trammell S. Crow, founder of EarthDayTX (now EARTHx), and approved by the Dallas ISD STEM Department for a science literacy program in 2016. With MY HAPPY EARTH, you will guide your students to make informed decisions about their natural world and develop into responsible environmental stewards necessary for a sustainable future on Earth. Classroom sets of MY HAPPY EARTH are available with educator pricing.
Melissa McCollum, author of MY HAPPY EARTH , is available for on-site author visits, book readings and signings, and eco-friendly hands-on educational activities with students. For more information about these educational programs, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 214-208-3823.
Student outcomes of environmental education include:
- Increased environmental literacy, attitudes, values, actions and behaviors
- A greater sense of empowerment (individual and collective)
- Higher levels of critical thinking
- Improved academic skills, such as skills in reading, writing, and oral communication
- Transfer of knowledge to adults and increased enthusiasm and participation in local environmental issues and action
- Increased civic and social responsibility
- Improved academic performance and attitudes toward school
- Increased personal growth in areas such as self-esteem, maturity and self-confidence
- Gains in self-efficacy: cognitive competences such as critical thinking and problem solving
Project Learning Tree reports the Top 10 Benefits of Environmental Education:
- Imagination and enthusiasm are heightened
EE is hands-on, interactive learning that sparks the imagination and unlocks creativity. When EE is integrated into the curriculum, students are more enthusiastic and engaged in learning, which raises student achievement in core academic areas.
- Learning transcends the classroom
Not only does EE offer opportunities for experiential learning outside of the classroom, it enables students to make connections and apply their learning in the real world. EE helps learners see the interconnectedness of social, ecological, economic, cultural, and political issues.
- Critical and creative thinking skills are enhanced
EE encourages students to research, investigate how and why things happen, and make their own decisions about complex environmental issues. By developing and enhancing critical and creative thinking skills, EE helps foster a new generation of informed consumers, workers, as well as policy or decision makers.
- Tolerance and understanding are supported
EE encourages students to investigate varying sides of issues to understand the full picture. It promotes tolerance of different points of view and different cultures.
- State and national learning standards are met for multiple subjects
By incorporating EE practices into the curriculum, teachers can integrate science, math, language arts, history, and more into one rich lesson or activity, and still satisfy numerous state and national academic standards in all subject areas. Taking a class outside or bringing nature indoors provides an excellent backdrop or context for interdisciplinary learning.
- Bio-phobia and nature deficit disorder decline
By exposing students to nature and allowing them to learn and play outside, EE fosters sensitivity, appreciation, and respect for the environment. It combats “nature deficit disorder” … and it’s FUN!
- Healthy lifestyles are encouraged
EE gets students outside and active, and helps address some of the health issues we are seeing in children today, such as obesity, attention deficit disorders, and depression. Good nutrition is often emphasized through EE and stress is reduced due to increased time spent in nature.
- Communities are strengthened
EE promotes a sense of place and connection through community involvement. When students decide to learn more or take action to improve their environment, they reach out to community experts, donors, volunteers, and local facilities to help bring the community together to understand and address environmental issues impacting their neighborhood.
- Responsible action is taken to better the environment
EE helps students understand how their decisions and actions affect the environment, builds knowledge and skills necessary to address complex environmental issues, as well as ways we can take action to keep our environment healthy and sustainable for the future. Service-learning programs offered by PLT and other EE organizations provide students and teachers with support through grants and other resources for action projects.
- Students and teachers are empowered
EE promotes active learning, citizenship, and student leadership. It empowers youth to share their voice and make a difference at their school and in their communities. EE helps teachers build their own environmental knowledge and teaching skills. I hope these “top ten” benefits will give you the confidence and commitment to incorporate EE into your curriculum!
MY HAPPY EARTH… Educating, inspiring and cultivating new environmental stewards, one child at a time.
MY HAPPY EARTH is a member of:
Texas Association for Environmental Education (http://taee.org/)
and endorses the Texas Natural Resource/Environmental Literacy Plan.
MASS (Metroplex Area Science Supervisors)