K-12 Exemplary Lessons Developed for TerraCycle

The TerraCycle Curriculum Lesson Sets each focus on a particular EfS Standard and its relationship to the materials cycles. In four grade-appropriate lessons (K-2, 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12), each set includes tailored lessons that have been aligned to The Cloud Institute’s Education for Sustainability (EfS) Standards and Performance Indicators, and that meet the McREL National Standards and Common Core State Standards.

Natural Laws and Principles of the Materials Cycle - In nature, the waste of one living system is food for another. Drawing upon the first and second laws of thermodynamics, students learn that to achieve sustainability, human production and waste systems need to emulate nature, and must work towards a cradle to cradle approach.

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The Healthy Commons - What is the state of our commons and how can we take care of them? This lesson set introduces students to the concept of the "commons" - those elements of our world such as air, oceans and even playgrounds that are shared and used by all, and for which we are all responsible. Questions are raised about the benefits and sacrifices associated with reconciling individual rights with our responsibilities as citizens to tend the commons.

Dynamics of Systems and Change - What can we do with all this "stuff"? Is that trash or treasure? How will we create a future without waste? A problem is a solution in the wrong place - what's the opportunity? In these lessons we will address these questions and help students understand that instead of being part of the problem, we can be part of the solution to the challenge of zero waste; students explore several habits of systems thinkers, making connections to themselves and the challenge of eliminating the concept and reality of "waste" now and over time.