Grades 9-12

Earth Matters: Studies For Our Global Future

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Resource Overview

A must for high school students to explore some of the most pressing environmental, social and economic issues of our time.

Students will examine threats to our global ecosystems and social structures while considering a world of finite resources and fragile economies. Through the lens of population, Earth Matters‘ 46 innovative teaching activities and 34 readings will introduce your students to issues of the global environment and society, while challenging them to evaluate these issues critically and motivating them to develop solutions.

Earth Matters is an online curriculum with an easy-to-use interface. The content is organized into 15 thematic units made up of lesson plans, background readings, case studies, a glossary, and sources for further research. After purchasing, simply set-up a user account to access the materials anytime you’re online!

Earth Matters is an online lesson plan library for high school environmental science and geography teachers

Features of This Resource

  • Prepares students to be global citizens through real-world examinations.
  • Collaborative groups project ideas encourage critical thinking and creative problem-solving techniques.
  • Strong links to AP Human Geography and AP Environmental Science CEDs.

Preview Lesson Plans & Readings

Sample a few of the lessons and readings found in the curriculum:

Lesson Plans

Earth: The Apple of Our Eye (high school)

- An apple is sliced into pieces to model the current amount of agricultural land on Earth. Then students read an...

Food for Thought

- Acting as residents of five major world regions, students compare various statistics that affect people’s health and well-being. Students will...

A Woman’s Place

- Through an article, video, simulation game, and small group research, students explore factors that influence women’s fertility decisions in countries...

Trash Trouble in Paradise

- Role playing a city council meeting, students weigh various real-world economic, social, and environmental factors when siting a landfill on...

Generating Heat

- Students graph current carbon dioxide emissions and population growth over time and discuss trends they observe.

Power of the Pyramids

- Students use real-world data to construct and interpret population pyramids and discuss differences in population growth rates among several different...


The People Connection

- Population dynamics background reading: An overview of world population history, current demographic trends, migration, and the concept of carrying capacity.

Kerala: A Model Case for Education

- The global status of women case study reading: The Indian state of Kerala leads the country in women’s education, family...

Oceans of Problems for the Blue Planet

- Oceans background reading: Take a closer look at the largest habitat on Earth and see the impact of humans’ demands...