PreK-8 Environmental Education Guide

Ninety-six hands-on interdisciplinary activities found in Project Learning Tree’s PreK-8 Environmental Education Activity Guide. Topics include forests, wildlife, water, air, energy, waste, climate change, invasive species, community planning, and more. Each activity is tailored to specific grade levels and learning objectives. Each activity is filled with opportunities to build critical thinking skills, incorporate technology, and use differentiated instruction.The materials provide educators the tools they need to bring the environment into their classrooms — and their students into the environment.



Environmental Experiences for Early Childhood

Developed with preschool educators and early childhood specialists, Project Learning Tree’s Environmental Experiences for Early Childhood includes over 130 experiences that engage children in outdoor play and exploration. It is specifically designed for educators who work with children ages three to six. Topics include exploring nature with five senses, meeting neighborhood trees, and experiencing trees through the seasons.  An accompanying music CD features songs from children’s musician Billy B. Brennan that encourage children to sing, dance, and move.



Secondary Modules

Focus on Forests

This high school curriculum is designed to foster student understanding of — and appreciation for — the forested lands of North America. The lessons provide students with opportunities for hands-on forest study and  address concepts in biology, civics, ecology, economics, forest management, and other content areas Students examine ecological systems of a forest; analyze interdependencies within a forest ecosystem; and explore factors, like fire, that shape the development of forests. As students explore forest issues and develop science content knowledge, they develop critical thinking skills and discover the importance of scientific analysis.



Forests of the World

Global Connections: Forests of the World provides opportunities for high school teachers and students to gain an increased understanding of — and appreciation for — the diversity of global forests. The lessons emphasize the interactions people have with forests and our dependence on them. The activities provide students with opportunities to apply scientific processes and higher order thinking skills while investigating world forestry issues and conducting service-learning action projects.



Places We Live

All communities – urban, suburban, small town, rural – are experiencing growth and change, which has an impact on each community’s environment. Exploring Environmental Issues: Places We Live provides educators with a useful tool for place-based education to help create a bond between young citizens and their communities. Through eight hands-on activities, students will explore current and future community environmental issues, enabling them to make informed decisions about those issues.



Focus on Risk

Exploring Environmental Issues: Focus on Risk helps high school students explore the different aspects of environmental and human health risks that affect their everyday lives. Through eight hands-on activities, students analyze, explore, discover, and learn about risk assessment, risk communication, risk perception, and risk management. There are also three special topics that encourage students to apply their knowledge to real-life risk issues.



Municipal Solid Waste

Use this curriculum to explore waste management issues and options with middle and high school students. This resource uses hands-on experiences to show interrelationships among waste generation, natural resource use, and disposal. Eight activities guide learners through waste management strategies and solutions while providing the necessary tools to make informed choices on waste management issues.




Engage students in STEM as they investigate their school site, energy use, water, waste and recycling practices. Five investigations empower students to make their schools green and healthy.
Register to access each investigation online, or purchase a print copy of the complete set. Attend an online GreenSchools training for tips on starting a program at your school, how to obtain equipment, collect data, etc.



Get the Materials 

  • Contact your Georgia PLT State Coordinator about scheduled in-person workshops in your area, or work with them to plan one for your unique setting.

Additional Resources

  • Subscribe to our National PLT newsletter to receive notice of new resources that support this curriculum, plus ideas for engaging young children with nature in both a formal classroom and nonformal setting.
  • To access all resources, including the Student Pages (in English or Spanish) for each activity, register (for free!) and log in.

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