During the month of August, Turtle Island Restoration Network hosted the Summer Salmon Institute – a program designed for elementary school teachers to share ideas and collaboratively plan how to best engage students with current environmental issues. Here are a few updates on teachers work in the field post Summer Salmon Institute 2014.

Kyra Rice, a 1st through 3rd grade teacher in Oakland, developed a unit plan by adapting curriculum and resources from the Summer Salmon Institute. She uses a community agreement, sensory exercises, and develops student awareness of garbage through a hands-on data collection activity.  For the lesson plan, please click this link: Unit Plan- Kyra Rice

Teachers practice using their senses.

Teachers practice using their senses.

Sasha Prosser, a 5th grade teacher in Sebastopol, utilized the Winged Ambassador Curriculum by having students paint pictures of the albatross.  In addition, students wrote pledges to reduce or eliminate the use of plastics and posted them under their paintings.  These paintings will be presented in October at a school assembly to teach and motivate other students to take action to reduce or eliminate plastics on campus. Students from Sasha’s classroom were captivated by the project and by videos shown of clean up sites that, “When the state ban on plastic bags looked like it might fail many students along with their parents wrote letters to their state legislators.”

She described their efforts and continued to add, “They felt incredibly empowered when the ban eventually made it through the legislative houses.”

Check out the videos she used to inspire her students:

Japan Clean Up


Plastic Clean Up

Catie Clune, our Education Specialist, was asked to join Sasha’s class at the Clem Miller Center on September 25th.  During this lecture, the class will hike to Sculptured beach to observe seaweed and assess plastic presence on the beach. More updates to come!