Project Learning Tree is an award-winning environmental education program designed for teachers and other educators, parents, and community leaders working with youth from preschool through grade 12.
PLT's secondary modules challenge students to explore in-depth the complexity of environmental issues and real-life decisions. Hands-on classroom studies, research, and collaborative field investigations provide opportunities to debate issues and engage with experts.
In this Project Learning Tree high school module, students learn that decisions about growth and development, energy use and water quality, and even human health, all rest to some extent on perspectives about biodiversity. Educators and students step back from biodiversity issues and specific species to examine broader concepts and larger connections—not just biological, but political, cultural, ethical, and economic as well.
Access this 92-page module online as an e-book, or purchase a print copy.
Introduction: Biodiversity Background Information for Educators
Biodiversity! Although the term may seem intimidating to some, you couldn’t choose a more engaging and stimulating topic—or one as all-encompassing and important for our future. This introduction to biodiversity defines the topic, describes its function, our role in protecting it, and why it’s important to study.
Activity 1: Global Invaders
In this activity, students will research invasive species in the United States and then investigate the presence and effects of invasive species in their own community.
Activity 2: Protected Areas: Issues and Analysis
By analyzing case studies and describing some of the challenges and conflicts, students will learn about the importance to biodiversity of protected areas.
Activity 3: Potatoes, Pesticides, and Biodiversity
Students will develop an understanding of some of the costs and benefits of using pesticides and how those products affect biodiversity. They will research pesticides and learn about alternatives to the reliance on pesticides for growing potatoes.
Here are some comments about PLT’s Biodiversity module:
“The global invaders section of the biodiversity module is great! Some valuable, interdisciplinary concepts [are there] to convey ideas to secondary students that shouldn’t wait until college.” – Dr. Nita Davidson, California Department of Pesticide Regulation
“Really good development of biodiversity concepts and promotion of living sustainable lifestyles.” – David Moore, California Department of Fish and Game