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Trees of the Smithsonian
These lesson plans from the Smithsonian Gardens encourage students to use critical thinking to practice using dichotomous keys, think about famous trees as symbols and engage with the scientific method.
New Survey Estimates Earth Has 60,065 Tree Species
Read this Smithsonian article to learn about a new project recently completed by the Researchers from Botanic Gardens Conservation International. Which country has the most species? (Brazil) And why is there cause for concern? (At least 10,000 tree species are at risk of extinction.)
Archives Alive!: Learning from Landscapes Past, Cultivating Garden Memories for the Future
This interpretive and educational package of resources from the Smithsonian Gardens uses an expanded notion of “literacy” to encourage collaborative and critical thinking, writing, reading and observation. Students learn about the importance of nature, landscapes and environment in their everyday lives.
What’s Your Problem? A Look at the Environment in Your Own Backyard
In these lesson plans from the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access, students examine the state of the local environment and how it has changed over the years. Then they take on an environmental project to tackle an environmental problem that affects their community.
Botany and Art and Their Role in Conservation
The lessons in this issue of Smithsonian in Your Classroom introduce students to the work of botanists and botanical illustrators, specifically their race to make records of endangered plant species around the world. Following the methods of a Smithsonian artist, students try their own hands at botanical illustration.
American Indian Responses to Environmental Challenges
This multimedia website from the National Museum of the American Indian contains lessons on the cultural, economic and scientific motivations behind environmental preservation in four American Indian communities.
Second Opinion: Forging the Future
Smithsonian Secretary, David Skorton joins some of the world's leading thinkers in a spirited discussion about our ever changing planet. The site includes articles, videos and educational resources focusing on climate change.
Prehistoric Climate Change and Why It Matters Today
In this lesson, presented by the Smithsonian Center for Learning and Digital Access, students study rising carbon dioxide and rapid global warming during the Eocene epoch. They examine fossils of tree leaves and incorporate their findings into a mathematical formula to identify average annual temperatures 55 million years ago.
Climate Change Online Conference Series: Archive and Related Teaching Resources
This online conference series invites educators and students to explore Smithsonian research and collections related to the evidence, impact and response to climate change. The site includes the archive of each session along with teacher-created lessons that utilize Visual Thinking Strategies.
Global Warming Wheel Card Activity
In this activity from the National Museum of Natural History, students explore the concept of climate change and the greenhouse effect. They learn the common sources of greenhouse gas emissions that humans generate and create a global warming wheel card that will enable them to see how their own actions generate greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to global warming.