Eco-Literacy Resources

Going, Going Green: An Eco-Literacy Curriculum for English Language Learners

This student-centered, eco-literacy curriculum offers lesson plans linked to KQED/PBS programming and online interactive resources. The purpose of this curriculum is to inspire students to be informed about green issues and proactive in choices that impact their everyday lives.

Based on a curriculum model that moves from local to global concerns, the lessons draw on students’ background knowledge and experiences – including green practices in their native countries.

The lessons and activities are appropriate for different levels of student proficiency in English and can be adapted for different student groups and incorporated into existing curriculum.

Journey of a Plastic Bottle

This lesson engages students in activities that demonstrate the connection between plastic water bottle use and the global problem of plastic pollution in our oceans.

Lesson Plan

Video Clip Illustrating Themes Explored in the Lesson



How Green is Your Campus?

This lesson aims to raise students’ consciousness of their individual and collective role in creating a green campus. They are encouraged to explore what is happening on their own campus and other campuses to support sustainability.

Lesson Plan

Scavenger Hunt: Find Signs of a Green Campus

Web Feature Illustrating Themes Explored in the Lesson


Pitchfork Gardens


It’s Not Easy Being Green or Reconsidering the Three Rs

This lesson examines the “reduce, reuse, recycle” campaign to encourage students to take an active role in environmental stewardship while developing their vocabulary and command of English grammar.

Lesson Plan

Video Clip Illustrating Themes Explored in the Lesson



Shopping Smart / Shopping Green

This lesson encourages students to understand that supporting locally grown food directly affects the local and global environment. The lesson also helps them to develop language skills through learning pertinent vocabulary, and practicing listening, reading, speaking and writing skills.

Lesson Plan

Video Clip Illustrating Themes Explored in the Lesson


potatoes for sale


E-Waste: The Digital Dark Side

This lesson aims to increase students’ awareness of the existence of e-waste and its effect on global communities, as well as the socioeconomic factors and consumer choices that contribute to this phenomenon.

Lesson Plan

Video Clip Illustrating Themes Explored in the Lesson


Your Carbon Footprint and Global Warming: Are You Warming the World?

This lesson aims to increase students’ understanding of climate change, and to support them in reflecting on and taking action to reduce their own carbon footprint.

Lesson Plan

Visit the Climate Watch website on KQED.org and scroll down to the online tools to calculate
your carbon footprint.


A Warm-up to Global Climate Change

This lesson gives students background and context in which to discuss the relationship of greenhouse gas levels and negative global climate changes, and to recognize how lifestyles- including their own personal choices-can impact greenhouse gas creation.

Lesson Plan

Video Clip Illustrating Themes Explored in the Lesson


QUEST on KQED Public Media.


ESL Contact Assignments

These place-based contact assignments take students into the community to experience eco-literacy principles in practice. A student-created media piece accompanies each assignment.

Slideshow of student visit to Veggielution Community Farm

Video postcard of student visit to the Living Roof

Hayward High School Garden Project Video


Media-Rich Resources

Climate Watch Blog – KQED’s multimedia series providing in-depth
coverage of climate-related science and policy issues from a California perspective http://www.kqed.org/news/climatewatch/

“Ghana: Digital Dumping Ground” – Frontline World

“Environmentalists Teach Dos and Don’ts of E-Waste” – NPR

“Local Food” – KQED’s Forum

“The Veggie Van” – Now on PBS

“How Green Is Your Campus?” – Now on PBS

“World’s Oceans Face Plastic Pollution Problem” – The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer

“Trash on the Spin Cycle” – Ocean Adventures

“Where We’ve Been, Where We’re Headed” – KQED’s Quest

Climate Crisis: Carbon Footprint Calculator


Useful Website

For more about living an eco-friendly life, visit the links listed at:

Find a recycling center near you and learn more about local environmental programs and topics at:

California Integrated Waste Management Board resource site

Section on tips and recipes for non-toxic household cleaners

The Center for Eco-literacy is dedicated to education for sustainable living


More resources on global warming:

Sponsored by

Become a KQED sponsor

KQED Public Media for Northern CA