New Resources to Teach for Environmental Justice June 4, 2018

People’s Climate March, 2014 | Zinn Education Project

People’s Climate March, September 24, 2014, New York City. Image: Joe Brusky.

At the heart of our environmental crisis is the idea that nature is a thing to be used for profit. That’s the bad news. The good news is that social movements across the world are challenging this profit-first orientation, and proposing alternatives. And educators are a part of these movements.

The Zinn Education Project (ZEP) has posted five teaching articles that grew out of a writing retreat sponsored by ZEP and This Changes Everything, the project launched by Naomi Klein’s brilliant book. These articles include role plays, stories of activism and resistance, and ideas for how to implement concepts from This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate in our classrooms.


Teaching Blockadia: How the Movement Against Fossil Fuels Is Changing the World

By Bill Bigelow, Adam Sanchez, and Tim Swinehart
A role-play activity engages students in building solidarity among different groups and organizations fighting fossil fuels and searching for alternatives. Download.

The Big Red Dot of Environmental Racism

By Alma Anderson McDonald
A teacher looks back on her childhood to discover the meaning of environmental racism. Linda Christensen offers ways to teach about this story with students. Download.

Climate Change and School in a Yup’ik Fishing Village

By Jill Howdyshell
Climate change is hitting Indigenous communities in Alaska much harder than other places in the world. And yet, school administrators still insist that teachers should focus on student test scores. Download.

From Mountaintop Removal to Divestment

By Hannah Jones
The global movement to get institutions to divest from fossil fuels began with students. Here’s the inspiring story. Download.

Teaching Sacrifice Zones

By Rosemarie Frascella
Our extractive fossil fuel-based economy has always demanded that some people’s homes and health be sacrificed for the benefit of more powerful others. This is the story of one teacher who engages her students in thinking about how “sacrifice zones” play out in their lives. Download.


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