GEDB Social Issues Within Our Worlds: Environmental Issues (Lesson 4 of 4)
In this lesson, the students will have the opportunity to come up with possible solutions to an environmental issue. Students will conduct research using the internet to discover a variety of environmental issues. Students will choose an environmental issue that is of most interest to them, create a solution, and present their poster to the class. They will complete this lesson with a learning poster that demonstrates their understanding and learning of environmental issues, along with a solution. These include but are not limited to: pollution, wasting energy, littering, wasting water, and deforestation. Students will collaborate within small groups to explore and discuss environmental issues that not only occur locally, but globally as well. This lesson was developed by Christina Hartzell as part of their completion of the North Carolina Global Educator Digital Badge program. This lesson plan has been vetted at the local and state level for standards alignment, Global Education focus, and content accuracy.
In this lesson, the students will have the opportunity to come up with possible solutions to an environmental issue. Students will conduct research using the internet to discover a variety of environmental issues. Students will choose an environmental issue that is of most interest to them, create a solution, and present their poster to the class. They will complete this lesson with a learning poster that demonstrates their understanding and learning of environmental issues, along with a solution. These include but are not limited to: pollution, wasting energy, littering, wasting water, and deforestation. Students will collaborate within small groups to explore and discuss environmental issues that not only occur locally, but globally as well.
Students will begin this lesson by learning what environmental issues are and how they impact the lives of people all around the world. The teacher will need to provide instruction and resources to help students gain a better understanding of the concepts being taught using websites or other materials. Students will learn about the five different types of environments, ways to recycle, air and water, plants and animals, and the future.
Learning Targets and Criteria for Success
- I can understand the ways to reduce my impact on the environment.
- I can research a variety of environmental issues and analyze the causes for current environmental challenges both locally and globally.
- I can demonstrate a clear understanding of my learning about environmental issues.
Criteria for Success
- I will be able to evaluate my process of learning by completing the "Environmental Checklist".
- I will generate a list of what causes both local and global environmental issues.
- I will create a poster that demonstrates an environmental issue along with a solution and will orally present my ideas to my peers.
- Websites or other instructional resources to teach about the five different types of environments, ways to recycle, air and water, plants and animals, and the future. (Eekoworld from PBS was previously used but is no longer available.)
- White construction paper for poster
- Chart paper
- Environmental Issues Checklist
- Rubric for posters from Read-Write-Think
Learning Tasks and Practice
1. Hand out the "Environmental Issues Checklist". Have the students work independently to complete the checklist. When the class has finished, students will form small groups to discuss how each person thought about a particular environmental issue. Once students have had a chance to discuss, come together as a whole class to discuss how our everyday issues expand world-wide. By completing this activity, students will be able to see that not only do problems exist in their house and community but they also extend to the planet as a whole.
2. In small groups, students rotate tables to brainstorm solutions for environmental issues. Write each environmental issue at the top of half a piece of chart paper before the lesson, including Wasting Energy, Pollution, Littering, Wasting Water, and Cutting Down Tress (Deforestation). Each table will have one poster and markers so students can record their ideas. Groups will have a few minutes to brainstorm solutions to the environmental issue on the poster at the table. Signal to the groups when it is time to rotate to a different table. Continue this until all groups have brainstormed for all five issues. Once the rotations are complete, each group will share the ideas on the poster at their table.
3. After all learning has taken place, students will return to his/her seat to start working independently on their own poster using the white construction paper provided by the teacher. Each poster should demonstrate a clear understanding of learning. On each poster, a problem and a solution should be evident. Once all students have completed his/her poster, oral presentations to the class should take place.
- Computers with internet access
Collecting and Documenting Evidence of Learning
Evidence of Learning
- Completion of Problem/Solution poster
- Anecdotal Notes
Student Self-Reflection and Action Steps
After this lesson, students will become more aware of the environmental issues that not only affect them as individuals, but as a community, which is part of the whole. Students will be able to reflect upon the ideas that even though there are many issues that affect countries world-wide, there are many possible solutions to help our environment. Students can now become active participants in their own future by becoming problem solvers. Students can continue their learning and knowledge base by researching other environmental issues that were not discussed in class.
- Students who do not do well with drawing, may print images and make a collage.
- More time may be needed.
- Continued learning about environmental issues (background knowledge).
Extended Learning Opportunities
- Students can research other environmental issues other than the ones discussed in class.
- Students can research countries that do not have viable resources to promote solutions.
- Independent studies can be done on solutions for particular problems.
- Students can become involved in community/world events (Earth Day, Adopt-A-Highway, etc.).
- Students can teach others about what they learned.
Teacher Reflection of Learning
This was a lesson to make the students more aware of problems in our environment. It gave me the opportunity to show students that these issues take place not only in our homes and communities but that these problems exist world-wide. It also demonstrated to my students that we need to take action NOW in order to preserve the world in which we live in. The students were able to make connections between themselves and children from other countries. Students need to learn that all sorts of environmental issues are damaging our world and that if we don't start making changes now, we may not have a world to live in any more.