Project Learning Tree
Teaching kids HOW to think, not WHAT to think…
Project Learning Tree (PLT) is an award-winning international environmental education program of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative. It is designed for teachers and informal educators who work with students from early childhood through high school. It is one of the most widely used environmental education programs in the United States and abroad, and continues to set the standard for environmental education excellence. In South Carolina, Project Learning Tree is jointly sponsored by the SC Forestry Commission, the Forestry Association of South Carolina and the SC Department of Education. PLT uses the forest as a window into the natural world, helping young people gain an awareness and knowledge of the environment and their place within it. But there’s so much more:
- PLT teaches students “how to think, not what to think” about complex environmental issues.
- PLT activities supplement existing curricula;
- PLT activities are hands-on and action-oriented;
- PLT activities easily adapt to many settings: classroom, outdoors, the home, city, forest etc.;
- PLT is multi-disciplinary; it’s not just science!
- PLT materials are designed for teachers by teachers, and do not require expensive equipment or kits.
PLT correlates its curricula to state and national standards
One way in which PLT curricula are among the most widely used supplements nationwide is by correlating the materials to national and state educational standards. This allows educators to meet educational goals easily by using PLT activities in the classroom. Additionally, non-formal educators can structure programs to meet educational standards by using these correlations.
- PLT has correlated many of its activity guides to the Common Core State Standards for both English Language Arts (ELA) and Mathematics, the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), National Social Studies Standards, and other national standards for education. These correlations may be found online at: https://www.plt.org/alignment-to-standards/national.
- Correlations have also been completed for non-formal education programs including 4-H, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Full Option Science System (FOSS), and other national non-formal programs. These correlations may be found online at: https://www.plt.org/alignment-to-standards/nonformal.
South Carolina standards
For South Carolina educators, PLT materials have been correlated to the South Carolina Academic Standards and South Carolina’s Early Learning Standards. Below are the correlations by grade. You must have access to, at the minimum, Adobe Acrobat Reader, to open the files.
Environmental Experiences for Early Childhood Activity Guide Correlations
K-8 Explore Your Environment and HS Focus on Forests Activity Guide Correlations to 2021 Science, 2019 Social Studies, and 2015 ELA & Math Standards
PreK-8 Environmental Education and HS Focus on Forests Activity Guide correlations to 2015 ELA, 2015 Math, 2014 Science, and 2011 Social Studies Standards
SC PLT Facilitators’ Corner
The SC PLT Facilitator handbook, resources, and forms are located at: https://sites.google.com/view/sc-ee-projects/home.
SC PLT Environmental Education Centers
Project Learning Tree Environmental Education Centers promote collaborations that encourage long-term, high-quality environmental education programing. PLT EE Centers increase opportunities for PLT activities and outreach to impact a larger number of diverse communities. South Carolina has 7 PLT Environmental Education Centers across our state. For more information, please view SC Project Learning Tree Environmental Education Centers.
SC PLT Jerry L. Shrum Outstanding Educator of the Year Award
Apply here for the 2022Jerry L. Shrum Outstanding Educator of the Year Award.
Nominations are being accepted for the 2021 Jerry L. Shrum Outstanding Educator of the Year through June 15.
2021 SC PLT Outstanding Educator – Dodie Clark
2020 SC PLT Outstanding Educator – Dr. Jessica Daniel
2019 SC PLT Outstanding Educator – Dr. Lynn Hoekstra
2018 SC PLT Outstanding Educator – Dr. Cynthia Deaton
Want to know more?
For more information on PLT in South Carolina, including upcoming professional development (PD) events, please contact SCFC Environmental Education Coordinator Matt Schnabel at firstname.lastname@example.org or (803) 896-8892.
Want to attend a SC Project Learning Tree PD Event? Upcoming Professional Development Event Fliers
To learn about the progress of PLT in SC, please view the 2021 SC PLT Annual Report.
For more information on the PLT program and materials, visit the National PLT website.