Will our state survive the next 100 years?

Every state is uniquely great. From coastlines to mountains to rolling prairies, our landscape is diverse. In this project, students will become aware of the need for a sustainable world by focusing directly on their own state’s sustainability. They will use their creativity to design a book about their state that informs readers how small changes can develop a more sustainable world. Finally, they’ll publish their book and sell it for a charitable cause.

Imagine if thousands of kids just like yours were able to promote sustainable practices and become agents of change. What an incredible force for good!

Cross-Curricular Content

Every Blue Apple project provides suggested content correlations to Common Core State Standards, Next Generation Science Standards, and C3 Framework for Social Studies. A featured mini-lesson from each content area is highlighted below along with additional lesson ideas. Not teaching these standards? No problem! Check out the State of Sustainability K-8 content correlation document for additional lesson ideas.


  • Number Patterns
    Lesson 1: After the Fish On! Math Activity, explain to students that they are really following a complex number pattern. Their rule is essentially, “Take away x, then add half of whatever is left (rounding down if “half of what’s left” is a fraction.) Explore how math involves the study of patterns, and what they’re doing is some pretty awesome math! CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.4.OA.C.5

  • Division & Remainders
    Lesson 1: As students determine the number of fish on each subsequent day, they solve real-world problems and interpret remainders in an authentic context. CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.4.OA.A.3

  • Fluent Multi-Digit Operations
    Lesson 1: As students play the Fish On! Card Game with greater levels of skill, they will add and subtract multi-digit numbers. Doing so in gameplay makes the benefits of fluency seem natural! CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.4.NBT.B.4

  • Division with Remainders
    Lesson 1: As students play “Fish On!”, use the idea of remainders to discuss how to deal with the one lonely fish who does not have a pair. CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.4.NBT.B.6

English Language Arts​

  • Theme
    Lesson 2: After reading The Lorax, lead a discussion about the theme of the book, and explore the idea of theme in other familiar works of literature. CSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.4.2

  • Research
    Lesson 4: As students research, they will integrate information from multiple sources in order to write knowledgeably on their topics. CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.4.9

  • Text Features
    Lesson 6: As students craft their pages, they consider the structure of their concepts and organize them using common features of informational texts. CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.4.5

  • Writing Habits
    All Lessons: Throughout the project, students develop good writing habits by responding to a variety of prompts. CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.4.10


  • Environmental Impact
    Lesson 1: As students research potential sustainability solutions, help them consider the costs and benefits of different possibilities. Then, help students frame their findings by constructing a claim, evidence, and reasoning. NGSS 4-ESS3-2

  • Animal Adaptations
    Lesson 3: When discussing the UN Goals about Life on Land and Life below Water, relate to the idea that animals have adaptations to help them survive in their environment. Changes to that environment might negatively impact these animals. NGSS 4-LS1-1

  • Renewable Energy
    Lesson 4: As students conduct their research, encourage them to consider fuel sources and their impact on sustainability. NGSS 4-ESS3-1

  • Comparing Multiple Solutions
    Lesson 7: By working iteratively (making several attempts at their draft), students learn that design processes must be repeatedly refined. NGSS 3-5-ETS1-2

Social Studies

  • Taking Informed Action
    Lesson 4: After students engage in open discussions about the UN Sustainable Development Goals, scaffold their discussions to include different strategies and approaches students and others can take to address local, regional, and global sustainability issues. NCSS D2.CIV.7.3-5

  • Foundational Beliefs
    Lesson 1: Prior to the reflection, talk with students about the importance of being accepting of others’ viewpoints on social issues. Guide students in recognizing that while others’ beliefs may be different than their own, they are just as valuable. This will be important as students go forward in this project. NCSS D2.CIV.10.3-5

  • Public Policy
    Lesson 3: After learning the UN Sustainable Development Goals, have a discussion on how policies are developed to address public problems. Pose this question, “Are there policies that we could develop that would significantly help reach these goals?” Have students discuss some policies that could be put in place to do so. NCSS D2.CIV.13.3-5

  • Democratic Participation
    All Lessons: Throughout this project, explain how a democracy relies on people’s responsible participation, and draw implications for how individuals should participate. NCSS D2.CIV.2.3-5

Social Emotional Learning

  • Responsible Decision-Making and Relationship Skills
    Lesson 7: Explain that when working with others, it is important to make “constructive choices,” choices that have a useful purpose. Discuss how reactions to their partner’s work have consequences that will evoke either positive or negative feelings. Then, have them role-play peer-to-peer discussions so you can discuss the impact of different words on collaborative partnerships.

Not teaching these standards?

No problem! Check out the State of Sustainability K-8 content correlation document  for additional lesson ideas.

Each Blue Apple Project Includes: