Buena Middle School, in Buena, New Jersey developed a a Green Thematic Unit for its 6th Grade students as part of the NJ TALENT 21 Grant entitled: Live Green, Live Longer

Content Area: Language Arts, Social Studies, Science, Math, Arts, Physical Education, Health
Unit Title: Live Green / Live Longer
Target Course/Grade Level: 6

Unit Summary: With increasing awareness and a political push toward a "green" and sustainable environment, this unit will use the building as a teaching tool and focus on the following: energy conservation, water efficiency, "green" materials and resources
indoor environmental quality, civic responsibilities, and innovation and design to meet such improvement. Fifteen teachers will
work collaboratively covering the various 21st century themes over the course of a marking period to develop awareness of these
themes, and allow students to use a constructivist approach to develop potential solutions to societal problems. These lessons will
be taught through a problem and project based pedagogy.

Primary interdisciplinary connections: Language Arts, Social Studies, Science, Math, Arts, Physical Education, Health
21st century themes: Global Awareness; F inancial, Economic, Business and Entrepreneurial Literacy; Civic Literacy; Health
Unit Rationale:
creating solutions in their local area eventually leading to a global perspective of sustainability.
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Sustainable sites
Alternative transportation
Pollution Prevention
Environmental Site Assessment
Alternative Transportation
Protect or Restore Habitat
Heat Island Effect, Non-Roof
Heat Island Effect, Roof
Light Pollution
Joint Use of Facilities
Capstone sustainability project

Water Efficiency
Water Efficient Landscaping
Water Efficient Landscaping, No Potable Use or No Irrigation 
Innovative Wastewater Technologies
Water Reduction in your school
Track water use in the school
Quality of potable water
Water quality in rivers, streams and ponds and identify causes and solutions.
Capstone water efficiency project

Energy, and Atmosphere: Energy is Everything
Building Energy Systems
Energy Performance
Optimize Energy Performance
New Buildings vs. Existing Buildings
Green Power
Current uses of energy production methods
Global warming and climate change
How green buildings can significantly reduce the negative impact on greenhouse gas emissions
Energy audits
Energy conservation
Energy policy
Capstone energy project

Materials and Resources: The Three R’s…Reduce, Reuse and Recycle
Waste management, Storage & Collection of Recyclables
Regionally produced products
Material conservation and financial savings
Material and product reuse
New materials that are being produced using recycled content
School & community recycling project
Local and global resources
Populations and other factors that will impact how and where we live in the future
Cradle to Cradle
Capstone recycling project

Indoor Environmental Quality. A Healthy Place to Work, Learn, and Play:
Related research, science and technologies of indoor environmental quality
Indoor environmental quality assessment, data collection, analysis and action steps
Acoustical quality
Indoor air quality
Outdoor air and ventilation quality
Low emitting materials
Indoor chemicals and pollutant control, green cleaning and green hygiene (pesticides)
Lighting system and controllability
Daylight and views
Thermal comfort
Mold prevention
Capstone Indoor Environmental Quality project

Innovation and Design
A problem based approach where students become part of the process and take on an open-ended “Green Challenge” for greening their school, home and community. They can use the LEED framework as a starting point and design action plans and implement change