Boycotts and Banners: Teaching Students to be Environmental and Civil Stewards

Adora Reid, Science, James Martin Middle School

Final Unit (PDF)  Implementing Common Core Standards (PDF)


One of the greatest joys in teaching, in my opinion, is teaching your students things that actually matter to them. The realities of this life are difficult to convey to middle school students who are often self-driven. We live in a “me first” culture. However, the idea of stewardship, of dealing well with the things that have been afforded to you- no matter how small-is relevant for any culture. We have all inherited this world because we depend on the resources that are freely given to us. My students must understand that stewardship is not limited to the environment, but that it is also a sound that has always resonated through the development of the very country that they live in today. They must be able to connect with the responsibility that they have not only to protect the freedom to be treated or recognized as a human being but also have the responsibility to conserve energy and provide energy stability for themselves and others. While these lessons are meant to target proficiency in science content, they can also be used to teach students the connection to a real energy crisis and the rights they can exercise to avert it.