Adapting Lessons for Your Classroom

Thursday, Friday 8-11am PT / 9am-12pm MT / 10am-1pm CT / 11am-2pm ET Online


Christopher Berg, Orange Coast College
Megan Plenge, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Many fantastic Earth and Environmental Science lesson plans and course materials are now available from SERC, NASA, IRIS, and a variety of other institutions. This workshop will provide you with suggestions and strategies for modifying these existing lesson plans to align with your existing learning objectives and fit your course context (whether a remote asynchronous course, a laboratory, a large-enrollment lecture course, or something in between).

Due to low enrollment this workshop has transitioned to a Thursday afternoon mini-workshop.


Some instructors may be daunted by the effort involved in integrating pre-made activities into their courses; either because the context doesn't match, the teaching style seems too far removed from what they typically do in the classroom, or because the content is not *quite* aligned with your course objectives. In this workshop, we will explore the lesson repositories, identify the gaps in your current curriculum you are trying to fill, and give examples of modifications that can be made to better align existing activities with your course needs. Our goal is to give you plenty of time to explore these lesson repositories and work with peers to practice modifying lessons to fit your course. Finally, we will collect all of the created lessons into a google drive so that you can benefit from each other's work as well!

Workshop Program »

Target Audience

This workshop is designed for instructors who are interested in modifying and existing activity or curriculum to better align with their instructional needs or delivery method. K-12 instructors, novice college instructors, and experienced instructors who just want to integrate new activities into the classroom.


  • Participants will use the backwards design process to identify activities that can help their students achieve specified learning outcomes
  • Participants will modify an existing lesson plan or activity to suit their classroom context
  • Participants will justify why their modifications increase the utility of the lesson for their classroom context and publish a record of their changes to share with colleagues.


On day 1, we will provide background information on the design process and several repositories of Earth Science lessons and activities.  Participants will identify the type of activity and content they will develop a lesson plan for.

On day 2, participants will work independently within groups to modify an existing Earth Science lesson or activity for their classroom.  All participants will share the materials they develop in a google drive folder, and present their adaptations in a gallery walk to other workshop participants.

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