The Education Standards Our Curricula Follow

The Rainforest Alliance curricula are unique in that they teach language arts, math, science, social studies and the arts while addressing the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for English language arts and mathematics, and the Next Generation Science Standards.

Our multidisciplinary curricula present information on forests, biodiversity, local communities and sustainable practices. Lessons provide a global perspective on the importance of protecting the world's natural resources, locally and globally, while giving students opportunities for direct action.

To help teachers seamlessly integrate our resources into their lesson plans, we have correlated our kindergarten through 8th grade and climate curriculum guides to the Common Core State Standards for both English language arts and mathematics, as well as the Next Generation Science Standards. Please feel free to use these correlations to help guide you through these lessons, as well to help you identify extensions and adaptations to advance your work.

The Rainforest Alliance can help your school district incorporate local standards and closely align our curricula with the educational mandates in your region.

In addition to the above standards, the education program seeks to advance alignment opportunities with the US Partnership for Education for Sustainable Development; National Education for Sustainability (K-12) Student Learning Standards.

The Four-Step Plan

Each grade-specific unit is based on the Four-Step Plan, a format founded on the cognitive research in teaching and learning. By assisting teachers in arranging and implementing pedagogically sound planned learning experiences, the Four-Step Plan is intended to maximize student understanding. Each unit follows the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for English language arts and mathematics, as well as the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). In addition, each unit includes assessment rubrics, enabling teachers at all grade levels to gauge students in areas identified as essential for academic achievement. These lessons were created to appeal to various learning styles and multiple intelligences by utilizing the key concepts of Howard Gardner. Please see the brief summary of the Four-Step Plan as the model for the development and use of these materials in the classroom. To learn more about the Four-Step Plan, download Research Supporting the Strategies within the Four-Step Plan.

Who developed the curriculum?

The curriculum development team was coordinated by Dr. Anthony Coletta and Corn Associates. The Rainforest Alliance K-6th grade curriculum was revised and expanded by Cindy Thomashow and her team at the Antioch New England Graduate School. The Rainforest Alliance 7th and 8th grade curriculum was created in collaboration with Project Learning Tree, an award-winning multidisciplinary environmental education program of the American Forest Foundation.

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Forest canopy - photo by Sergio Izquierdo

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