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PBS LearningMedia Resources Enhance Lessons in Environmental Science

January 19, 2016 - Posted in Education by Bette Jamison
PBS LearningMedia

This week’s PBS LearningMedia resources support the Nature Cat special on PBS (1/18) and enhance lessons in biology and environmental science.

Vanishing Island

Climate change drastically impacts coastal areas, the effects of which include rising sea levels, stronger storms, and coastal erosion. In the last half century, 90 percent of the once lush Isle de Jean Charles off of the Louisiana coast has been swallowed up by water – it is now just a quarter-mile-wide sliver covered with dead trees. Most of the island’s residents have been forced to leave due to the destruction of their homes from storms, the inability to rebuild, and the loss of jobs on the island.

In this lesson, your class watches a 9-minute film about the tiny island community and learns about the changes taking place there, the impacts of hurricanes, and the advantages and disadvantages of living near the coast. The lesson plan guides students in classroom discussions, helping them to explore the themes of cultural displacement and the effects of environmental change. Reflective writing prompts are also included for students to demonstrate their understanding of the story. WATCH:


Bee Detective

Did you know that about a third of the U.S. diet comes from foods that involve pollination by honey bees? Since bees provide vital benefits to people, including crop pollination, and products such as honey and beeswax, the loss of bee colonies through colony collapse disorder (CCD) is a serious concern.

In this lesson plan from The Nature Conservancy, students learn about the features of a honeybee colony and the potential causes of CCD. The activity puts students at the cutting edge of scientific research because to date, CCD has not been reliably attributed to any single cause. By the end of the lesson, students should understand that in nature, simple cause/effect relationships may not explain all of our observations. In this way, students learn that science is an investigative process, not simply a way to describe nature. EXPLORE:


Supported by ETV, PBS LearningMedia offers teachers more than 100,000 videos, images, interactives, lesson plans and articles drawn from critically acclaimed PBS programs and from expert content contributors like The National Archives and NASA. Educators in South Carolina are invited to sign up at



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