WHITE HOUSE GREEN BUILDING

Education Activity Suggestions:

Students should review the White House Green Building DLE before completing any of the following assignments. Students may work in groups or individually.

 

Option One:

Over President Clinton’s two terms, he created or expanded twenty-two national parks or national monuments. In each case, lands and environments were protected from future development and preserved for future generations. In this activity, students should conduct research on one such national park or monument to determine why President Clinton thought that the area was worthy of preservation. Students should compile their findings into a short summary and present it to the class. 

Extension Activity/Informed Action Component:

Working in groups, students should consider parks and natural areas in their own state and whether or not they should be set aside as national parks or monuments. After selecting a natural area, students should pen a letter to the White House describing the natural area they selected and why it should be preserved. 

 

Option Two:

When the Clinton Presidential Library was being built in the early 2000’s, President Clinton took care to consider its impact on the environment. When the doors were opened in 2004, the center carried the LEED Silver certification. By 2009, that certification had been upgraded to LEED Platinum, the highest certification for environmentally friendly buildings. In this activity, students should consider some of the ways that the Clinton Presidential Library has cut down on its environmental impact. Students should collaboratively compile a list of the green technologies and practices that make the building so environmentally friendly and discuss the way that they work.

Extension Activity/Informed Action Component:

Students should consider their own school building and the ways in which it impacts the environment. Working in teams, students should be assigned areas around the school to survey for possible improvements to the building’s environmental impact. When completed, each group will brief the class on their findings. Then, the class will create a letter to the principle detailing their collaborative work and suggestions. 

 

Option Three:

During the Clinton Administration, Vice President Al Gore was instrumental to building international consensus to sign the Kyoto Protocols which placed limits on greenhouse gas emissions for industrialized nations. Ultimately though, the Senate never ratified the Kyoto Protocols and the United States remained outside the agreement. For this activity, assign students into two debate groups to support or oppose the Kyoto Protocols. After students engage in research, the class should hold a debate between the opposing sides. 

Extension Activity/Informed Action Component:

Students should research the ways in which their state is addressing climate change and consider if the current approach is enough to tackle the problem or if more work is needed. Then, students should write a letter to their state legislators either praising their approach or beseeching further action.