Center for Ecoliteracy Downloads

The Center for Ecoliteracy makes many of its extended publications available for downloading at no cost. They include Smart by Nature™ downloadable resources; a teacher's guide for the film Food, Inc.; a guide for starting school gardens; the Center's Rethinking School Lunch Guide; a visual guide to linking food, culture, health, and the environment; and a guide to district wellness policies.


Students in grades 3–5 sample different fruit or vegetable varieties, learn about seasons, microclimates, and growing requirements.


Students in grades 6–8 research the origin and migration of key ingredients typical of five different regions of the world.


Students in grades 3-5 examine the food traditions that form the basis of different cuisines around the world.

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Title Description
Cooking with California Food in K-12 Schools

Our acclaimed cookbook, resource for menu planning, and professional development guide by award-winning cookbook authors Georgeanne Brennan and Ann M. Evans.

Rethinking School Lunch Guide

A planning framework in downloadable PDF form for improving school food, supporting sustainable food systems, and teaching and integrating curriculum around food issues.

School-Community Kitchens

School-community kitchens are a new partnership for supporting health, academic achievement, and community vitality.

School Lunch Initiative Evaluation

Results of a three-year study about one of the most comprehensive school food reform efforts in the nation.

Making the Case

Tools for demonstrating the academic, health, environmental, and financial benefits of high-quality, appealing school meals.

Big Ideas: A New Alignment with Academic Standards

Created in partnership with National Geographic, with examples of learning experiences for linking food, culture, health, and the environment.

Forging the Justice Path

School food system reform is a critical strategy for addressing fundamental justice issues.

Rethinking School Lunch Guide for iPad

The Rethinking School Lunch Guide - now available for the Apple iPad.

School Meals Featuring California Foods

21 new recipes for reimbursable school meals from fresh ingredients, scaled and tested for quantities of 50 and 100.

Designing a Resilient Community

Project-based learning in which students assess their community's ability to respond to crises and develop ideas for making it more resilient.

Discussion Guide and Conversation Cards for Elemental

Resources for discussion, reflection, and action based on a powerful, provocative film portrait of modern environmental activism.

Oak Woodland Learning Activities

Materials and instructions for two activities for thinking about ecosystems and community resilience, using a striking downloadable mural.

Rethinking School Lunch Oakland Feasibility Study

Read the 27-page executive summary of a feasibility study for comprehensive reform of nutrition services in one school district.

Algae Bloom and Bust

Students conduct an experiment to examine possible impacts on ecosystems of climate change and nutrients added by human activity.

What Is a Green School?

This succinct summary is based on twenty years' experience. A Smart by Nature™ downloadable resource.

Jobs in a Biotic Community

Students learn about interdependence by taking a census of an outdoor site and identifying the different “jobs” of members of the biotic community.

Food Traditions Interview

Students interview an elder or someone from another culture to learn about foods in different times or places.

Creating Gardens of Goodness

A downloadable 66-page booklet with detailed advice for designing, creating, and maintaining five types of educational gardens.

Are California Kids Eating California Food?

The bounty of California agriculture is immense, but many leading California crops are not reaching the state's students.

Living Systems and Leadership: Cultivating Conditions for Institutional Change

Explore the application of Living Systems Theory to institutional and societal change, as seen especially in Center's food systems work.

Los Angeles Unified School District: A New System for Purchasing Food for School Meals

A radical redesign of school food procurement to improve meals while saving money and supporting regional agriculture.

Nourish Companion Guides

The Nourish video and companion guides help us to pay attention to the stories behind every bite of food we take.

Make a Mini Greenhouse from a CD Case

Use a recycled CD case to make a mini greenhouse and observe seedlings as they develop. A Smart by Nature™ downloadable resource.

Needs and Wants Activity

Distinguish between things needed to live a healthy life and things that would be merely nice to have. A Smart by Nature™ downloadable resource.

Building Resilience at Home

A class exercise that explores the question, "What does 'resilience' mean at the personal, social, and ecological levels?"

Food, Inc. Discussion Guide

A discussion guide for use in high school classrooms to accompany the Academy Award nominee - now in Spanish and English.

Getting Started

A 51-page guide for creating school gardens as outdoor classrooms.

RSL Wellness Policy

A Model Wellness Policy Guide to help you review, revise, and update your local wellness policy.

Linking Food, Culture, Health, and the Environment

Explore an enriched school environment through this visual guide.

The Last Mountain

A discussion guide to the compelling documentary, for use in classrooms and communities.

Ecological Intelligence Teacher's Guide

A guide to Daniel Goleman's Ecological Intelligence: The Hidden Impacts of What We Buy, for high school and undergraduate courses.

Excerpt from Post Carbon Reader

How educators, parents, and students are remaking K–12 education for the 21st century.

RSL Financial Calculator

An interactive financial spreadsheet for food service professionals.

School Lunch Survey

In this solution-oriented lesson, students conduct a school lunch survey to gather ideas and then present recommendations for improving their school district's lunch offerings.

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Center for Ecoliteracy. All rights reserved.