High School Project: Designing a Resilient Community

How can you help students design communities with the resilience to endure challenges?

The Center for Ecoliteracy offers a new downloadable activity, “Designing a Resilient Community.” In these three lessons for grades 9 – 12, students participate in project-based learning over several days as they assess their community’s ability to respond to crises that threaten both natural and human systems. Then they develop ideas for enhancing its resilience.

The first lesson asks students: How resilient are we? The second focuses on creating a detailed community profile. And the third explores redesigning that community to build resilience in many ways, including transforming energy sources, re-discovering local skills, changing food systems, and rethinking transportation.

These lessons illustrate “Embracing Sustainability as a Community Practice,” one of five practices of emotionally and socially engaged ecoliteracy described in the Center for Ecoliteracy’s book Ecoliterate: How Educators Are Cultivating Emotional, Social, and Ecological Intelligence (Jossey-Bass, 2012).

The downloadable lessons include instructions, discussion questions, a set of “Redesigning Our Community” cards for students, professional development tips for instructors, and links to relevant resources.

Download “Designing a Resilient Community”

Ecoliterate: How Educators are Cultivating Emotional, Social, and Ecological Intelligence (2012) — 9781118104576






Daniel Goleman is an internationally known psychologist, former New York Times science reporter, and author of the classic Emotional Intelligence.

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