Minnesota EE
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Environmental Literacy Scope and Sequence

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This is a tool for educators that provides a systems approach to environmental education in Minnesota for preK through adult learners. It describes key concepts about the interaction of natural and social systems and a sequence in which they are to be taught. It also discusses benchmarks, standards, and applications for using the Scope and Sequence.

Minnesota Environmental Literacy Scope & Sequence

*Scope: The vision of what the students should have achieved at the end of their entire school experience.
*Sequence: A series of age-appropriate achievements that students succeed at during their school experience in order to master the scope.

The Environmental Literacy Scope and Sequence (March 2002) is designed to help create opportunities for mainstreaming environmental education (EE) in a way that has not been possible before.

It provides a systems approach to environmental education that can focus the efforts of teachers and deliverers of EE to unify their many independent efforts to achieve the goal of environmental literacy. Because the Scope and Sequence is based on both state and national standards, it enables environmental education deliverers to build, adapt or integrate curriculum and assessments that are most appropriate for their particular grade level or audience.


Environmental Literacy Benchmarks
Benchmarks help define the scope of knowledge students need to understand in order to become environmentally literate. These benchmarks are sequenced so that new knowledge is constructed on prior knowledge. Successful environmental education programs will build upon these benchmarks, utilizing the social and natural systems identified in their communities.

Natural and Social Systems: Key Systems Concepts and Supporting Concepts
The five key systems concepts, which assist in understanding the application of each benchmark to environmental lessons, are to be used as a guide to formulate questions about the social and natural systems being examined. Supporting concepts provide further detail and clarification for the key systems concepts.

This section of the document deals with five applications of the Environmental Literacy Scope and Sequence that you may find useful.

  1. Application to state and national standards.
  2. The relationships between natural and social systems from the social systems perspective.
  3. The environmental literacy benchmarks and their correlation with the Minnesota Graduation Standards.
  4. Examples of how to apply the Scope and Sequence in classroom learning, including a sample concept map.
  5. Sample lesson plans for familiarizing yourself and others with the Environmental Literacy Scope and Sequence.


PDF - 550KbFull Environmental Literacy Scope and Sequence (550Kb)

Or download only the section you need:
PDF 225KbIntroduction, benchmarks, key systems concepts and supporting concepts (208Kb)
PDF 275KbSupporting concepts reference (252Kb)
PDF 160KbApplications (160Kb)

To request a printed copy, e-mail the Education Clearinghouse (resourcecenter.pca@state.mn.us).

Japanese-language Scope & SequenceJapanese-language translation

A group of Japanese educators found Minnesota's scope and sequence to be such a valuable resource that they translated the full document into Japanese for use in that country. (May 2006)

PDF 3MbJapanese language version (3Mb)

Credits: Tomoki Saito, Hiroyuki Haraguchui, Yoshisuke Kumano Ph.D.

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