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8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Social Studies


90 minutes

Regional Focus

North America, United States, USA - West, Oregon


Google Docs, Google Slides


This lesson plan is licensed under Creative Commons.

Creative Commons License

Environmental Restoration: Social Studies Lesson

Created By Teacher:
Last Updated:
Apr 13, 2024
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Using case studies, students apply international principles to evaluate human-environment relationships.

Inquire: Students brainstorm the potential benefits of environmental restoration on people, nature, and the climate.

Investigate: Students learn about the UN’s 10 Principles of Ecosystem Restoration and explore case studies from across the globe.

Inspire: Students apply their understanding of ecosystem restoration by analyzing efforts in Oregon, and write a manifesto.
Accompanying Teaching Materials
Teaching Tips


  • This lesson can be used to help students make sense of current environmental and ecological disasters by looking at potential ways society can respond positively.

  • This lesson can be taught on its own or within a unit on sustainable development, culture and geography, industrialization and globalization, or rebuilding after a war or disaster.


  • Teachers should be aware that students may have been personally impacted by ecological disruption and discussing these issues may be difficult. Providing students an opportunity to identify and reflect on their feelings will help them be able to fully participate in the lesson.


  • Students can do the readings from the Investigate section and write the manifesto from the Inspire section for homework.

  • This lesson can be extended by applying environmental or ecosystem restoration to a local event, or a current event in the news. Students can research the event and write a proposal for ecological restoration that identifies who should be held accountable, the costs and benefits of the project, and the relevant ecosystem restoration principles. For example, proposals could include how underrepresented groups from the community will be included in creating the solutions.

  • This lesson ties in nicely with Project Drawdown’s three critical principles related to climate change: “reducing sources, supporting nature’s ‘sinks’ for storing carbon, and centering equality in global action.”

  • Students can apply ecosystem restoration to the examples of ecocide from SubjectToClimate’s 8th-12th grade social studies unit: History Unit Plan: Ecocide and International Law. Below are some helpful related resources:

Scientist Notes

In this lesson, students learn about nature and its interrelationship with humans. The lesson has also been designed to support advocacy for ecological justice and equity to accomplish climate change and sustainable development goals.


Note On Standards:

This lesson is aligned to Oregon standards. Review the aligned standards directly in the lesson plan document and teacher slideshow.

Discover more on the Oregon Climate Education Hub.
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