Resources for Teachers

In the State Seal of Civic Engagement Environmental Literacy Implementation Guide, learn how the lens of environmental literacy can be used to support teachers, schools, and districts in implementing California’s State Seal of Civic Engagement. Find real-world examples and links to resources for each state criteria, including: academic achievement, civics knowledge, community action projects, and self-reflection.

The Teacher Call to Action for Environmental Literacy is a three-part publication developed for educators by educators. Part 1: The Imperatives for Environmental Literacy defines the field and recounts its development in California. Part 2: Voices from the Field presents case studies of effective instruction at every grade level. Part 3: Roadmap for Instruction describes steps to increase Environmental Literacy integration. Discussion and reflection questions in each section will help move along your practice, individually or with your colleagues.

The CAELI Partner Portal is designed for leaders in county offices of education who are seeking a solution to promote environmental literacy, raise the visibility and access to community-based partners, and foster partner-educator relationships. The Hub provides districts, schools, and teachers with up-to-date information on environmental education programs and learning opportunities available to their students and aligned to their instructional needs.

California school districts are seeking stakeholder input on their three-year Local Control Accountability Plans and budgets. The Guidance for Using the LCAP to Mitigate Science Learning Loss provides practical tips to advocate for science, environmental literacy, and outdoor education for all students as key parts of a safe and equitable return from the pandemic.

Environmental Literacy Curriculum Connections from the Lawrence Hall of Science identifies Next Generation Science Standards curriculum units that emphasize environmental concepts and adds outdoor learning experiences to classroom routines. This valuable tool supports remote learning and plans to return to safe in-person learning by maximizing time outdoors.

The California Environmental Literacy Initiative: Thinking Through Environmental Justice in TK–12 Education report provides key takeaways from the California Subject Matter Project and CAELI’s partnership project to develop a deeper shared understanding and knowledge of environmental justice to better equip California TK⁠–⁠12 educators to teach the concept in their respective subject matters. The report includes key takeaways from the project, synthesis of interviews, and proposed action plans for educators integrating environmental justice into varying subjects.

California’s Blueprint for Environmental Literacy lays out guiding principles and key strategies that support the goal of increasing environmental literacy for all California students.

California’s Education & the Environment Initiative Curriculum is California’s free TK⁠–⁠12 model curriculum integrating environmental literacy into classroom instruction. There are 85 units, with materials available in Spanish.

BEETLES is devoted to creating versatile environmental education professional learning materials, student activities, a collaborative resource-sharing network of environmental educators, and resources for field instructors, leaders, and classroom teachers.

The Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) Toolkit helps district leadership, parents, students, educators, and community partners who seek to improve education and environmental literacy to participate in their local school district budget development process.

The California Association of Science Educators (CASE) TK–12 Climate Science Learning Sequences are lesson plans developed by science educators in collaboration with practicing climate scientists. All learning sequences were written to support high-quality, phenomena-based, three-dimensional science teaching and learning.

The CASE Environmental Literacy Policy Statement includes a succinct definition of environmental literacy as well as the position that “achieving environmental literacy for all students in California is a high priority, deserving a central role in curriculum, instruction, and assessment.”

The California Regional Environmental Education Community (CREEC) Network fosters regional partnerships throughout California to promote environmental literacy by providing teachers with access to high quality professional learning opportunities and education resources.

The California Outdoor Schools Association is a statewide network of outdoor schools and faculty that are managed by local educational agencies.

The Lawrence Hall of Science provides professional development programs and hands-on learning experiences that engage across the learning continuum. BaySci is a coordinated effort to systematically enhance the quantity and quality of TK–12 science teaching and learning in districts and schools. BaySci works with California school districts to facilitate deepening partnerships between community organizations and districts developing comprehensive environmental literacy plans.

The San Mateo County Office of Education has a countywide environmental literacy initiative. Their approach integrates curriculum and instruction, community programs and partnerships, and fosters a shift in institutional culture.

The Santa Cruz County Office of Education is committed to building environmental literacy for all students in their community. A county-wide vision of connecting learning and local environments guides the county’s environmental literacy efforts. Check out their resources for teachers and find information on professional learning opportunities.

The San Joaquin County Office of Education’s Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) Programs provide professional learning opportunities for teachers and administrators focused on STEM disciples and environmental literacy.

4S: San Francisco, Science, ​Stewardship and Sustainability is a cross-organizational partnership between the SFUSD and informal science and environmental education organizations​ to support each other’s work.

The California Subject Matter Project is a network of nine discipline-based statewide projects that support ongoing quality professional development. Activities and programs are designed by university faculty, teacher leaders, and teacher practitioners to improve instructional practices and lead to increased achievement for all students. The following CSMPs offer high quality professional development with a focus on environmental literacy: