Our Work in Environmental Education
The Rainforest Alliance helps students of all ages understand the role that each one of us plays in biodiversity conservation. Our educational materials provide kids, teachers and parents with the information they need to understand fundamental environmental issues and to take action that will help protect our planet.
The Rainforest Alliance Curriculum
Our free, pre-kindergarten through eighth grade curriculum follows the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). Classroom lessons teach pertinent language arts, science, math and social studies, concepts within the overarching context of environmental education. Each grade-specific unit is based on the Four-Step Plan, a format founded on the latest cognitive research in teaching and learning.
The Kids’ Corner
Our Kids’ Corner is designed to teach kids of all ages about rainforests and the animals and people that inhabit them.
Through online games, iPhone and iPad apps, printable coloring pages and rainforest facts, you’ll meet kids who live in and near rainforests and learn how your world is connected to theirs.
Training Teachers around the World
The Rainforest Alliance's education team has trained educators in schools throughout the United States, Colombia, Guatemala, Ghana, Mexico and Peru. Through our professional development training program, the Rainforest Alliance supports teachers in the implementation of lesson plans and the integration of conservation and sustainability themes into their existing curriculum.
The education program’s achievements are the result of the hard work and generosity of school communities, individuals, institutions, organizations, and our funding partners.
The curriculum teaches English language arts, science, mathematics, and social studies essentials while addressing the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). The multidisciplinary curricula present information on forests, wildlife and local communities while providing a global perspective on the importance of protecting the world's natural resources and giving students opportunities for direct action. All of these resources can be viewed on screen or downloaded, and are provided free of charge.
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.
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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