Students learn basic background information about the plastics crisis, including what defines plastics, where plastic pollution comes from, and how it gets into the ocean. Working together as part of a publishing team, they synthesize a variety of multimedia resources to create their own Ocean Plastics Movement Model explaining the forces that affect plastics on a global scale. This lesson is part of the Plastics: From Pollution to Solutions unit.
Students use the work of the “Sea to Source: Ganges” river expedition team to learn about different methods for plastic waste data collection and use those methods to conduct their own field research in their school. They use a variety of text and videos to learn about possible solutions that can be implemented in their community. This lesson is part of the Toward a Plastic-Responsible Future unit.
Students investigate the impacts of plastics on marine organisms in different marine ecosystems. They construct a food web for an assigned ecosystem, using it to illustrate the principle of biomagnification visually. Students draw on evidence presented in this lesson and in the previous lesson, Plastics, Plastics, Everywhere, to justify an argument about whether plastic pollution affects humans as well. This lesson is part of the Plastics: From Pollution to Solutions unit.
Students explore the varying roles people can play to save endangered species. Students create an eco-artist social media profile sharing information about artists who encourage conservation through their work. This lesson is part of the Engaging in the Fight Against Extinction unit.
Students research and compare several proposed solutions to the ocean plastics crisis. Then, publishing teams create their own rubrics to evaluate competing solutions and choose a contest winner. Finally, each publishing team identifies a target audience and begins crafting their Call to Action. This lesson is part of the Plastics: From Pollution to Solutions unit.
Students compare their own tap water use in light of global freshwater access to develop an understanding of water security. They learn how watersheds work, locate their local watershed, then turn their attention to the importance of Mount Everest’s watershed and the people who rely on it. They use a variety of resources to learn about key sources of freshwater. Finally, students collect evidence connecting Mount Everest’s ice to water security by exploring maps, analyzing graphs and infographics, reading articles, and more. This lesson is part of the Peak Water: Mount Everest and Global Water Supply unit.
Students learn about droughts and the link between climate change and water access through videos, readings, and discussions. They then brainstorm how to avoid a “Day Zero” in their watershed and how Mount Everest mountaineers can help protect the mountain's watershed. Students draw from their Project Journals to create and present a public education outreach campaign and supporting scientific arguments illustrating how humans impact water security. This lesson is part of the Peak Water: Mount Everest and Global Water Supply unit.
Students learn how human activity has impacted animal migration. They begin by watching a video of elk migration through Yellowstone National Park to understand what animal migration is, why elk migrate, how far they travel, and why humans should care. They then imagine themselves back in time and think about how they would adapt the land to better meet the evolving needs of their developing community. Finally, students learn more about specific ways people have altered the environment, explore one geographic area in the United States, and map the human activity in that region. This lesson is part of the Interrupted Migrations unit.
Students learn about solutions to plastic waste that have been implemented in other places. They conduct a policymaker analysis to decide which organizational level is the most appropriate for implementing their proposed solutions to plastic waste in the community. Students campaign for a policy change in the community before a class vote on which proposal has the most impact and should be brought to the appropriate decision-maker. This lesson is part of the Toward a Plastic-Responsible Future unit.
The teacher will present an informational text from the website, ReadWorks. Students will interact with this non-fiction text by annotating the text digitally. The students will answer the questions associated with the article as an assessment. This learning activity can introduce students to fossil fuel alternatives, serve as reinforcement after students have already learned this concept, or be used as an assessment at the conclusion of a lesson. This learning activity could be used to demonstrate how students across the country have started to become environmentally aware and encourage students to start developing these solutions at their school.
This lesson is entitled Spaceship Earth to reinforce the idea that our planet is–in reality–like a spaceship hurtling through space on a long-duration mission. There is no resupply from outside sources. Recycling is as much a part of the natural order of things as is the sunrise every day. Pollution occurs when there are outputs that cannot be used as inputs for something else. Pollution is harmful and can be downright dangerous. The connections between parts of the natural system are imperative to its normal operation. By actively thinking through what it takes to keep people alive on a spaceship, the students will come to understand more fully what it takes to keep people alive on this planet.