Summer Institute Curriculum on Environmental Civics

The following curriculum is for CCP’s five day high school summer institutes.  It is meant as a guide and to give prospective students a taste of what to expect during the week.  It is subject to change.  Please check back for any revisions.


Hour Day 1 Day 2 Day 3 Day 4 Day 5
9-10 Opening Session and Team Building Issue Selection and Research Public Speaking Training Writing with Power Making Your Case: Lobbying.
10-11 The Environment and You Research continued Using your voice Position Paper, Memo & Letter to the Editor Lobbying continued
11-12 EnvironmentalCivics Campaign Development UYV cont’d. Brochure/flyer/website Fire Next Time
12-1 Lunch Lunch Lunch Lunch Lunch
1-2 Environmental Movement I Campaign Dev. cont’d. Team Presentations & Feedback Lobby Preparation FNT & discussion
3-4 Tacitcs & Methodology Campaign Dev. Report Fine Tuning Role Play Evaluation and Certificate of Completion


More detailed description:

Day One:

  • Opening Session and Team Building:  (Smith College person intro/welcome? ) Building institute community (introducations/review agenda).  Issues to consider.
  • Env. Mvt. I:  How everything is connected to the environment:  What you eat, how you get around, what you do, what you own…
  • How our relationship to the environment shapes it and us.
  • Environmental Movement I and II:  History and current state of the environmental movement through discussion and film.

Day Two:

  • Learn how to do research on environmental issues.
  • Finding your voice: present your issue: learn how to make a concise, persuasive pitch about your findings and your position on the issue.
  • Tactics and Methodology: learn how to strategize about realizing your goals with regard to your issue; how to select which tactics to accomplish your mission.
  • Case studies: How other groups have conducted their campaigns.

Day Three:

  • Environmental Civics:  Environmental Law and Regulation.  A brief overview of the development and current state of environmental law and regulation with examples from the federal and state (MA) governments; how laws and regulations are made; the relationship between citizens, the legislature, and the courts.  We will also consider the role and influence of corporations in environmental governance.
  • The nuts and bolts of developing a campaign including outreach to others, use of traditional and social media, how to sustain momentum, and how to evaluate your efforts and results.
  • Team presentations: Learn how to present your cause effectively and get feedback from fellow particpants and workshop leaders.

Day Four:

  • Oral Presentations.  Public speaking instruction, practice and feedback.
  • Writing: Learn how to prepare press releases, position papers, and letters-to-the-editor.  Written statements will be emailed to elected officials in preparation for Day 5 “lobbying.”

Day Five:

  • Most of the morning will be devoted to “lobbying” the visiting elected state/federal/and,or local officials.
  • View and discuss a real case documentary, The Fire Next Time.
  • Program evaluation and certificate of completion award.


Role Play will be used throughout the week:

Create scenarios in which individuals and teams perform roles and use skills and knowledge advocating for desired end result.

Lunch – We can use some of the lunch time for discussion, film, speakers.

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