Published Lessons

Lessons in this area of the site have been vetted and approved as model lessons. These lessons have been subjected to intense review, editing, revision and discussion. If you have an idea on how to improve, expand, or adapt a Published Lesson, you can still join the lesson group to share your ideas.



Students will investigate the water cycle and how water flows through ecosystems. Students will use statistical analysis and mathematical reasoning to develop models that can determine the factors that contribute to a tree’s influence on matter and energy cycles within an ecosystem. Students will apply this knowledge to real life data sets to make predictions about how drought conditions may affect trees and the cycles they influence.

Acknowledgement: This material is based on work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. IIA-1301789.  Any opinions, findings, and conclusions expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation or Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education.



Students will explore soil chemistry, vegetable growth needs, environmental impact, and soil health through project based learning by creating a school garden proposal.

Funding provided by USDA to Project No. 2012-02355 through the National Institute for Food and Agriculture’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative, Regional Approaches for Adaptation to and Mitigation of Climate Variability and Change.

Southern Great Plains

SGP lesson pic

Funding provided by USDA to Project No. 2012-02355 through the National Institute for Food and Agriculture’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative, Regional Approaches for Adaptation to and Mitigation of Climate Variability and Change.
This lesson is intended to give students an understanding of how the relationship between agricultural practice and climate variability is cyclic. Humans can impact the climate in a positive way through sustainable practices. It is suggested to complete this lesson fully in order to help students appreciate the positive roles of agricultural practice and human impact on climate variability. This lesson is not intended to give students’ concrete concepts/ideas or even cause/effect relationships but rather encourage them to think about existing data on climate and greenhouse gases, current agricultural practices, and the relationships these have with each other and how this may impact student lives.

By the end of this lesson students will be able to discuss the relationship between agriculture and climatology. They will use data to determine drought status of the Southern Great Plains and they will investigate how various greenhouse gases impact temperature by analyzing and graphing data collected through a simulation activity. Students apply knowledge from the lesson to make mitigation decisions for 400 acres of land located in the Southern Great Plains.

Glaciers – “As Cold as Ice”

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Students will explore what effects glaciers have on the landscape. Students will examine evidence for glacial theory and other competing theories of the early 1800’s. Students will read field journal excerpts from geologists as well as analyze the data collected from early Alpine expeditions.


Flash flood

In this lesson, students will explore how water behaves on various substrates (ground surfaces), what occurs during a flood, and the causes of flash floods. This lesson concluded with students designing and testing various floodplain models intended to mitigate the effects of flash floods.


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Students will explore climate variation in various environments using EOMF (Earth Observation and Modeling Facility) GIS (Geospatial Information Science) data, weather and climate data. Students will use their observations and data to make predictions about future environmental change and possible effects on local populations. Students will analyze, interpret, and present their findings.

Oklahoma C3/CCSS Recommended Resources

Screen Shot 2013-05-08 at 9.10.53 AMInterdisciplinary Lesson

In this download you will find links to resources for information regarding OK C3 standards and CCSS. These resources include detailed information about CCSS as well as practical resources for Authentic Implementation of OK C3 standards and CCSS.

Weather and Climate – “The Parched Plains”


Students will explore meteorological data as well as news articles to explore droughts both in the present and throughout history. Students will determine the weather and climate events that can cause a drought that are indicators used to predict future droughts.

Lab Safety – “Rules of the Mogwai”


Students will analyze MSDS documents and create lab safety posters integrating safety guidelines for materials that will be used throughout the year in science labs.

Science Literacy – “Energy Crisis”


Students will research, present, and analyze the pros and cons of various forms of alternative energy.

Energy Transfer and Experimental Design – “Thermal Mapping”


In this lesson students will create a thermal map of the school building using student-generated data. Students will collect and analyze temperature data looking at reliability of data in relation to the design of an experiment. After a teacher-facilitated discussion, students will refine their experimental design and set strict procedures and guidelines in order to produce more accurate and reliable data. Students will use these data to create a thermal energy map of the school and prepare a report for the school as an energy consultant. This report may be submitted to an administrator or the school’s energy consultant.

Cat Fishin’

catfishInterdisciplinary Lesson

This lesson integrates math and science using varied approaches to research. The research centers around the Mekong River Delta giant catfish and its population decline. Students will analyze data mathematically as well as using visual and verbal representations.

Love is in the Air PSA

love_is_in_the_airInterdisciplinary LessonMini Lesson

This lesson is designed to be used as a school-wide thematic unit or by individual content areas. Students engage in a specific topic related to love and create a poster or other Public Service Announcement (PSA) to tell the story of love within that topic

Scientific Research

Laboratory mouse

This lesson allows students to play the role of U.S. Senators who determine if research for biofuel should be funded. Students read through ScienceDaily news articles to obtain background information on current biofuel research. Allow students to fully engage in this lesson through debates and presentations. Students can also use the information they gain through this lesson to write a letter to their State Representative or Senator.

Cool It

IcebergInterdisciplinary Lesson

What would happen to the sea life if the temperature of the ocean were just five degrees different? Have you ever wondered why the ocean temperature is so constant?

Environmental Engineering: Part 1


Students may not realize it, but many of their daily activities are impacted by environmental engineers. Through this lesson students discover how tiny micro organisms impact waste management. Students get to conduct a cyber scavenger hunt to learn about environmental engineering and bioreactor landfills. At the conclusion of this lessons students get to design a bioreactor landfill and assume the role of modern day scientists.

Environmental Engineering: Part 2


In this lesson students will be asked to examine an environmental problem, the lack of space for landfill development. They will then play the role of current scientists who are trying to develop solutions for this environmental problem. Students will examine the role science plays in solving the issue of waste disposal in landfills. Students get to conduct a cyber scavenger hunt to learn about environmental engineering and bioreactor landfills. They will employ the scientific method, research skills, and learn about microorganisms and the processes they use to breakdown waste.

Water Cycle, Watersheds, & Water Purification


In this lab students have the opportunity to invent a water purification structure using common household/classroom items.Throughout this lesson students can gain information pertaining to the water cycle and how water filters through ecosystems on its way to rivers and lakes. Student handout 3 encourages students to practice note taking skills by using a skeleton outline as they explore an interactive website.The concept of water purification and water cycles take concrete form for students as they explore the activities in this lesson.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle


In this lab students can participate in an activity which encourages them to reuse and recycle materials that might end up contributing to a landfill. Students can practice team work while inventing new, usable products from trash. This lesson allows students to practice PASS skills corresponding to Biology I and can be utilized as more experience for students re-taking the Biology EoI. The extension activity for this lesson allows students to discuss and develop a conservation plan for their school or community.

Microbes & Manure = Biofuel


Students have the opportunity to design their own experiments with the burping bottles as they try to increase the rate at which the microbes produce methane gas. Exploring the sites and sounds of the burping bottles allows for a teachable moment about aerobic and anerobic respiration while practicing process skills associated with Biology I.

A Heated Debate

A Heated DebateInterdisciplinary Lesson

Explore what is behind the environmental change and what creative solutions are being sought. Students have a unique opportunity to combine statistical analysis and persuasive writing skills as they survey their class and their community, attempting to understand their opinions about global warming.

Sweeping Down the Plains

windInterdisciplinary Lesson

In this interdisciplinary lesson, students explore earth’s changing landscape as global warming becomes more noticeable every year. Explore what is behind the environmental change and what creative solutions are being sought. Design and build a wind turbine, detailing the process, the advantages and disadvantages, refining the efficiency, and present findings. Explore barriers that slow the effort to change.

Oil: Abundant, Dependable, Ready

oilrigInterdisciplinary Lesson

In this interdisciplinary lesson, students will consider previous knowledge of the environment and the effects of the combustion of fossil fuels. Utilizing media from the Oklahoma Energy Resources Board, students will explore the effects of fossil fuels in the national and statewide economy.

Community Groups

Here you have the opportunity to download lessons and resources that are still "works in progress". Teachers have the opportunity to use the lesson as it exists, or they can choose to join the lesson group to collaborate on how to improve, expand, and adapt the lesson plan.

Marine Ecosystems


This group is developing a lesson focused on the research of Dr. Wawrik. His team is doing research on the marine ecosystem in the Chesapeake Bay, specifically related to the Nitrogen Cycle.