Lesson One (Intro to Unit: Regional Environmental Issues)
Students will be introduced to local/regional environmental issues and how people can make positive impacts. Teachers can choose from a variety of issues to focus on and may take something from the state of PA to emphasize ideas.
- Discuss Earth Awareness. Create a KWL chart on ways to make our planet better and cleaner. Ask students to what topic they would like to learn more about (air pollution,, humans and the environment, recycling, water supply, etc)
- Protecting Our Planet: http://www.discoveryeducation.com/teachers/free-lesson-plans/protecting-our-planet.cfm
Lesson 2-7 (Background Knowledge)
Students will learn background information on Natural Resources, Recycling, Composting, Watersheds, and Environmental Health or whichever topics the teacher chooses. Lesson plans included in the Google doc. Through these lessons students will get a grasp on the value of conserving our natural resources and ways they can make changes in their lives to improve the quality of their environment.
Hands on Activities (Lesson 6 and School Waste Audit)
Hands-on activities include:
- Waste Audit of specific classrooms, cafeteria, etc
- Watershed Extension Activities
Lesson 8-9 (Final Project)
With the final project students will take the background knowledge gained from previous lesson and utilize this to develop a project to make a positive impact on a local environmental issue. This could be through implementing a program such as recycling or composting in a classroom or schoolwide, or creating an education campaign for students on non toxic products, and more.
Teacher will review topics discussed and ask students to imagine and generate some project ideas based on these topics (see attached document for examples). Once a list of ideas have been generated, the instructor will guide students to pick which topic/idea they are most interested in. Students will be grouped together with students with shared project interest
Teacher will give students a work day to develop their project ideas and sketch out a plan for what they will do, how they will do it, and why (ie what is the need for their project).
Each group will get review time with teacher to fine tune their project ideas.
Students will receive a selected number of class periods to work on their project. Teacher feedback will be key throughout to ensure students are on the right track and have needed materials (computer access, hard supplies, etc) to complete their idea.
Lesson Ten (Final Project Presentations)
Students will present their final project/idea/campaign to their fellow classmates over the course of one to two class periods. Students will be responsible for explaining to their classmates why they chose the project/idea they did, what impact the project could have on their community or school, and how it will positively impact the environment. After each presentation, students in the classroom will give a written response highlighting what they think were the strengths and the weaknesses of each presentation (See Student Presentation Feedback Form for example). These will be collected by the teacher and reviewed with all students on the final day.