Green Practices 2020

Overview: Students will participate in learning, research, and project completion with the purpose of understanding green practices and environmental responsibility. This event's post-activities are focused around problem-based learning.

Activities will begin virtually at the North Carolina Zoo and culminate in the classroom as either whole-class or small group/individual activities. Then, projects will be shared with the Zoo and winning projects will be highlighted on North Carolina Zoo website. Prizes are possible!


Date of Event: February 12, 2020


Designed For: Middle School and High Schools Students (see NC Standard Course of Study alignments below)



  • The student will be able to define food miles and identify ways they can reduce the miles their food travels.

  • The student will be able to create plans for reducing use of electricity and waste at their home and school.

  • The student will be able to craft persuasive and argumentative texts in reference to environmental sustainability practices.


Recording Posted at the Bottom of the Page.


Teacher Information (All Grades):

In order to set the foundation/stage for the Green Practices live/interactive event, students should have a basic understanding of what Green Practices are, their effects on their personal environment as well as that of their county, state, nation, and world.

Use the information found on the Zoo’s website to inform yourself of what the Zoo is currently or has been doing to practice green responsibility: North Carolina Zoo Conservation Practices.

Determine your goals for your class. Use the objectives listed above to decide what you’ll focus on for the duration of the project and interaction. There are many opportunities to create a cross-curricular event and experience for students. Consider teaming up with another content-area teacher.

This experience will begin with the live distance learning event at the North Carolina Zoo. Students will be given a “tour” of the Zoo’s practices with specific attention on climate change, food miles, what we can do to help, and composting.

Guides for watching the event: 

Suggested Activities Prior to Live Event

The following activities are offered as suggestions to engage students’ prior knowledge and prepare them for their virtual trip to the North Carolina Zoo to learn about Green Practices. After their trip, students will be encouraged to complete an audit of their school or home. See the Post-Event suggestions for details.

  1. Encourage students to choose from the Green Practices based on their personal interest. Students should identify questions they have and thoughts around how they could create a project based on the practice they choose.

  2. Research laws and regulations around environmental and green practices especially based on one of the Zoo’s projects. Determine which companies, organizations might be helpful in researching or talking.

  3. Identify a need in your immediate community in the realm of environmental responsibility. Provide opportunity for students to discuss a potential solution and draft goals, questions, and needs for the solution. See Edutopia’s PBL site for ideas and background information.

Post-Event Activity Suggestions

1. Tree Planting – Classes can participate in planting trees at their school or in their community. Research trees that would be beneficial for the area in which the school is located. Report on the process and research.

2. Create a single-use plastic reduction pledge - Have students sign the pledge and then report what they are doing. 

3. Audit your school or home with the Project Learning Tree Green Schools Investigations - Any of these investigations are relevant but we suggest starting with the Energy Investigation and Waste & Recycling Investigation because they tie in best with the content covered in this Living with Nature event. There are many free resources once an account is created:

         a. GreenSchools Adult Leader Guide

         b. Energy Investigation -

         c. Waste & Recycling Investigation

         d. School Site Investigation

         e. Environmental Quality Investigation

         f. Water Investigation

 Have students complete one or more of the investigations at school or at home, etc. Report on their findings to the class. If you are working with younger             children there are early childhood versions of the investigations available on Project Learning Trees website.


4. Based on the investigation you completed and the needs you found choose a Green Practice for your school or household to implement. Research the practice and create a plan on how it will be implemented. Implement your Green Practice and gather data of outcomes, effects, and successes (or failures). Create a recruitment campaign in the format of your choosing (either mp4 video, slideshow, or podcast) and share it with the school or your family to get them to adopt the new Green Practice.


For questions or further information email