Resources: Mouse vs. Zucchini

Mouse vs. Zucchini: A Lesson on Perspective

Using a brief video featuring a mouse and a zucchini on a kitchen counter, students will consider the issue of perspective and discover and think about the perspectives of other people and of nonhuman animals. Recommended for grades 2-7. Time: 30 minutes

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plastic trash washed up from the ocean

An Ocean of Plastic

Using the five gyres of plastic pollution as a springboard, this activity encourages participants to explore the issues surrounding trash in our oceans and to develop solutions. Recommended for grades 3-5 Time: 3 to 4 60-minute sessions  

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plastic pollution

I Taught Kindergarteners About Plastic Pollution, and They Are Eager to Be Part of the Solution

by Elizabeth O. Crawford, Ph.D. During Earth Week 2018, I was a guest presenter to kindergarteners attending Island Montessori School (IMS) located in the beautiful, coastal town of Wilmington, North Carolina. As teacher educators often remark, classroom visits rejuvenate and inspire our work preparing the next generation of educators. When we spend time with children…

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sea lions

Building Empathy and Critical Thinking: A Lesson About Animals

by Zoe Weil A few years ago at our Summer Residency for educators at the Institute for Humane Education, teacher and IHE grad Betsy Messenger created a lesson on animal issues that was so effective and powerful, I wanted to share it with you. She gathered our group outside and “borrowed” my dogs, whose only…

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A smiling student working on a laptop with a wall full of math symbols behind her

Activities That Integrate Math and Humane Education

by Marsha Rakestraw If you’re as old as I am, you probably remember math word problems asking you about the speed and direction of trains. Or geometry problems that asked you to calculate areas of objects drawn on paper. Or probabilities focused on dice roles. If you were lucky, you might have gotten to explore…

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train station

A Gathering Crowd: Functions & Rates of Change

Is human population growth threatening to overshoot and jeopardize the earth’s carrying capacity?  If so, what can be done about it? In this activity, students will be able to: describe and model human population growth during the past 600 years with an exponential function, considering both the total amount of growth and average and/or instantaneous…

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newspaper racks

Who’s Missing From Mainstream Media? (lesson plans)

by Marsha Rakestraw A few years ago at our graduate student residency, one of the students led an activity in which small groups looked at the prevalence of men, women, and people of color as authors of articles in different sections of the newspaper, such as Style, Sports, Business, and Arts. They found that men…

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Reclaiming Billboards

We Have You Surrounded: Exploring Branding, Marketing & Globalization

We’re surrounded by marketing and advertising telling us what to buy, whom to be, what we need to be happy. Use this series of activities to help students explore issues of branding, marketing, and globalization. Recommended for grades 9 through 12. Time: Several weeks   Common Core Standards for this activity (pdf): Download Common Core…

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Resources: Not Enough Homes

Not Enough Homes: Adding Up the Pet Overpopulation Problem

This activity helps young students hone their basic math skills while learning about pet overpopulation. Recommended for: Grades 1-3. Time: 30-45 minutes   Common Core Standards for this activity (pdf): Download Common Core for grades 1-3.   Find out how some of our other activities connect to Common Core Standards (pdf): IHE activities for Common…

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heroes & enemies

Heroes and Enemies

We’re often told to look for heroes we can turn to for inspiration. How often do we seek out what we can learn from people we dislike, or those who’ve done evil? This activity explores what we can learn from both our heroes and enemies (what to do and what NOT to do). This activity…

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