Wendy Flores

A People’s Curriculum for the Earth provides me with tools to teach environmental issues in new ways that are consistent with the philosophy guiding the Brotherhood-Sister Sol, which is an after-school program for NYC youth. We use the teaching guide to help facilitate lessons plans in the organization’s Environmental Program.

As an Environmental Program Facilitator, my role is to take New York City’s youth into a world of activism, nature exploration, and sustainability through workshops, field trips, and conferences. When I found out about A People’s Curriculum for the Earth, I knew I had to get my hands on it. I am pleased that the lessons found in this curriculum have allowed me to expand on the lessons we run during our sessions and provide a fresh perspective on ways to teach the climate crisis.

In both our high school and junior high school group, we facilitated a lesson on climate justice using the Climate Crisis Mixer lesson plan by Bill Bigelow. Our theme for the first few months was Climate Justice, and we wanted to bring in a lesson that had a big picture perspective.

Since our times with the members are short, we modified the lesson plan by timing members’ conversations with one another, so that they could spend time getting to know all the characters before they were dismissed. The role-playing characters gave members a greater understanding of the nuances in the climate change crisis, and allowed for conversations around the impact of intersectional activism to come up organically. It was great to see that the characters in this lesson plan represented people from all walks of life, which led members to gain a greater understanding that the climate change crisis looks different for everybody, such as Chris Lowken the apple grower, who is not too concerned about climate change since it may be benefiting his crops.