This is where we share lessons. These lessons are produced under a Creative Commons Attribution – Non Commercial – Share Alike 4.0 International License. We kindly ask you to respect this. 

We have only recently started and most lessons have not been piloted yet. Therefore, we ask you, should you try one of our lessons in your classroom, to share your experience with us. You can contact the author directly at either jacqueline@21steconomics.org or henny@21steconomics.org

We deliberately write everything in English, to be able to reach as wide a crowd as possible. Should you want it translated in Dutch, we are able to help you, since we are native speakers. With regard to any other language it is likely Google translate does a better job.

We have divided the lessons into three categories: the ecological ceiling, the safe haven and the social foundation. To help you on your way, we added some didactic suggestions and some tips for preparation, where applicable. All lessons include possible answers to the questions in that lesson. We have indicated the lessons that have been piloted with a P.

Ecological Ceiling

This lesson is meant as an introduction to the lessons on the biogeochemical cycles. You can assign it as homework in preparation of a lesson on one of the cycles, and go over the questions in the classroom before you start the cycle lesson. This lesson does not link to any outside resources.

This lesson introduces the nitrogen cycle as nature designed it. It goes over the different stages of nitrogen throughout the cycle and notes that a nitrogen element can go at different paces through the cycle. The lesson is concluded with the assignment to draw the story of a nitrogen molecule through the cycle. 

You can either assign this lesson as homework and have some students present their cycle in class. However, this lesson links to two outside resources, one of which is optional and best used individually. 

Alternatively, you can watch the video that is included in the lesson with your students. It is advised to go over it in increments and have students take notes to prepare for the assignment, which they can finish as homework.

You have to decide how you want them to present their work. Some students may prefer to write out the whole process, others might prefer to draw. If you like, you could also allow for other options, like performing a play. This is up to you.

You can complement this lesson with a walk-through of the nitrogen cycle, which you can translate in your own language. This is explained here.

This lesson introduces the phosphorus cycle. It covers the different stores of phosphorus in the biosphere. The lesson is concluded with the assignment to link the text to an image of the phosphorus cycle. 

You can either assign this lesson as homework and have students hand in their work so you can check their understanding. This lesson links to two outside resources, which are both optional, but recommendable. 

Alternatively, you could use one of the outside resources to go over the phosphorus cycle step by step. You could discuss the assignments 1-3 in class and assign the last one as homework, which your students can hand in.

  • Dead Zones Case Study

This case study covers the nitrogen and phosphorus loading element of the ecological ceiling. More specifically, it covers dead zones. The case study consists of three parts:

  • Dead Zones Introduction Lesson – in which we cover the nature, magnitude and cause of the problem. It is advised to use this lesson as an introduction to either one, or both, of the Case Studies below. You can also decide to pass by the in-depth case studies and use only this lesson.
  • Dead Zones – Case Study I – which goes deeper into the magnitude of the problem. It invites students to do research on a dead zone near them. Alternatively you could assign a well-known dead zone like the Gulf of Mexico or the Baltic Sea. It is advised to work on this case study as a class and have tasks divided amongst the students.
  • Dead Zones – Case Study II – which goes deeper into the solution of the problem through the evaluation of some alternatives. It is advised to have groups of 2-4 students present one solution and have each solution covered by at least one group, so you need at least four groups.


Safe Haven – Into the Doughnut

Nothing published yet.

Social Foundation

Nothing published yet.