Environmental Education in Oregon: Articulating linkages between the Project Learning Tree Activity Guide and the Oregon Environmental Literacy Plan
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The goal of this project is to cross-walk the forty-six lessons with a Language Arts focus from the Project Learning Tree (PLT) Environmental Education Activity Guide to the concepts and practices expressed in the five environmental literacy strands found in the most recent Oregon Environmental Literacy Plan (OELP). In order to determine the ability of the lessons to align with the OELP, I compared them individually to the details of the five literacy strands and then organized the results into tables. While all of the lessons can be used to teach environmental education (EE), some more strongly promote the objectives of environmental literacy as outlined in the OELP than others. The political framework of EE and the literature regarding interdisciplinary approaches, specifically in Language Arts, frame my research in a way that shows the importance and growing need for EE today, as well as why and how to integrate it into already existing curricula in Oregon across core subjects. I specifically chose PLT lessons with a Language Arts focus in order to demonstrate how EE should be taught interdisciplinary, not just in the natural sciences, and how extending into these other subjects expands perspectives about the environment. The results of my comparison explain how the elements of each lesson plan link to the OELP strands. I also produce units for teachers to use in EE that effectively articulate the goals and objectives set forth in the literacy plan. Utilizing the PLT curriculum both inside and outside of the classroom has the power to encourage and develop all of the components of environmental literacy, and is an extremely valuable tool in the important development of environmental literacy across Oregon.
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