Sustainability is a hot topic. In this blog post, we discuss ways to help students understand how to take care of the world and have fun at the same time. Simply put, show them other students who are doing heroic things that they can do, too. Then, let them have conversations.
1 – Sign Up for A FREE Sustainability Book for Educators.
Start with stories about students. This book will help you do that in a fun, conversational way!
As a thank you gift to teachers, the Stone Soup Leadership Institute is offering a free copy of their upcoming book. Stone Soup for a Sustainable World: Life-Changing Stories of Young Heroes by Marianne Larned, Founding Director of the Institute arrives in June 2021.
Like is predecessor, Stone Soup for the World: Life-Changing Stories of Everyday Heroes, this book features 100 stories of multicultural youth from around the world. Admirably, these students have overcome challenges to change their lives, their communities, and the world.
Complete this free book coupon to receive your free copy in June 2021.
2 – Share Stories of Students Who Are Sustainability Leaders.
In the meantime, start sharing stories of students like Lilly Platt. For instance, you can use this video as you feature sustainability topics for Earth Day and beyond.
For example, Arianna Huffington’s Thrive Global shares the story of twelve-year-old Lilly Platt. Lilly founded Lilly’s Plastic Pickup. Using the story and video, lead students in a discussion about why Lilly was concerned about all the plastic litter alongside the road.
When asked about the students profiled in the book, the Stone Soup Leadership Institute shared,
“Lilly’s story is one of 100 stories about rising leaders. Other examples include 18-year-old Jerome Foster II, founder of OneMillionofUs, who was just appointed to President Biden's White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council. Another featured student is 19-year-old Indigenous youth leader Xiye Bastida, who rallied 300,000 students to strike for climate.”
3 – Listen to my 10-Minute Teacher Podcasts about Earth Day and STEM.
For the next two weeks, I’m featuring conversations about Earth Day, student leadership, and STEM. The Stone Soup Leadership Institute sponsored two of the podcasts. These include:
Wednesday, April 21, EARTH DAY. Rebecca Anderson, Director of Education and Storytelling at the Alliance for Climate Education shares practical ways to bring meaningful sustainability lessons into the classroom. Moreover, she challenges us to inspire students to take care of the world.
Wednesday, April 28 – Popular returning guest, Eric Sheninger, Senior Fellow with the International Center for Leadership in Education and award-winning former Principal at New Milford High School has a new book! In this episode, Eric and I discuss “The Opportunities from the Pandemic to Have Disruptive Thinking in the Classroom.” Disruptive thinking is needed to build sustainability leaders.
4 – Have Students Tell Their Own Story of One Fab Way They Can Be Sustainability Champions.
Typically, as students see the work that others are doing they begin to take leadership in their own community. Ideally, students can decide on their own projects. (For example, these stories remind me of Pauline Robert’s “sciracy” project. Pauline's fifth and sixth-grade students were sustainability “consultants” for their community. It can be done!)
Furthermore, you can help them create their own videos, blog posts, and other activities. Additionally, you could have a Flipgrid to create videos. Finally, students can compile research about how their community can take action to better care for the environment. To publish their results, they can use Book Creator.
Even better, when your students tell their story, share it with the Stone Soup Institute on Twitter and start a conversation with a community of sustainability champions.
5 – Join in the FREE Youth Sustainability Summit With Your Students!
Nominate your students to apply to be delegates. Additionally, you can join them for teacher training at the Institute’s 17th Youth Sustainability Summit, June 21-23, 2021.
During this 3-day program, youth delegates (aged 15-17) will meet global young leaders from the book, Stone Soup for the Sustainable World: Life-Changing Stories of Young Heroes.
Initially, the Sustainability Summit Teacher Training gives educators the tools they need to maximize their students’ participation in the Summit. Also, participants in the orientation will receive a Sustainable Education Toolkit for their classrooms. Finally, note that educators who nominate students are required to join their students and attend a pre-Summit Orientation in May.
Find out more about the Summit and nominate your students for the Summit.
In conclusion, follow Stone Soup Leadership Institute on social media. Notably, you can find more stories about multicultural youth sustainability leaders around the world. As we've discussed, storytelling can help students understand how they too can help care for our environment.
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