The History of the Environmental Movement

Welcome to our Earth Day 40th Anniversary Curriculum. In this unit, we seek to introduce a broad history of the environmental movement through a comprehensive online resource for a range of users. In order to accomplish this goal, we have broken down the movement into five all-encompassing eras of history: Pre-Conservation, Conservation, Modern, Environmental Justice and Sustainability. Each is meant to provide a lens through which to better understand the environmental movement and its evolving foci. As you read each section, pay particular attention to the wide-ranging themes of the arts, technology and global population.

Our curriculum demonstrates that the environment has always been a means for learning. This unit is supported by educational resources including vocabulary, popular works of the time period, videos, graphs, photographs, illustrations and more to better explore humans’ relationship with the environment. This information is intended for learners of all ages. For the teacher and student, we have provided multiple lesson plans, additional learning activities and multimedia resources to further enhance school-related instruction. Lastly, several of our materials are featured in French and Spanish to advance a more universal learning experience given the environmental movement’s global nature.