ALEX Lesson Plan


We Speak for Earth!

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Bria Burnette
System: College/University
School: University of Alabama in Huntsville
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 33435


We Speak for Earth!


After completing a four-day unit on environmental awareness, as it relates to the events that occur in Dr. Seuss's The Lorax, students will create a short Public Service Announcement about deforestation, air pollution, and water pollution. The PSA will provide facts about these three concepts, display images of each, and propose a solution of some sort. 

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
Social Studies
SS2010 (2010)
Grade: 2
Living and Working Together in State and Nation
10 ) Identify ways people throughout the country are affected by their human and physical environments.

Examples: land use, housing, occupation

•  Comparing physical features of regions throughout the United States
Example: differences in a desert environment, a tropical rain forest, and a polar region

•  Identifying positive and negative ways people affect the environment
Examples: positive—restocking fish in lakes, reforesting cleared land

negative—polluting water, littering roadways, eroding soil

•  Recognizing benefits of recreation and tourism at state and national parks (Alabama)
Unpacked Content
Strand: Economics, Geography, History
Course Title: Living and Working Together in State and Nation
Evidence Of Student Attainment:
  • Identify ways people are affected by their human and physical environments and provide examples of each.
  • Compare physical features of regions throughout the United States.
  • Identify positive and negative ways people affect the environment, including the benefits of recreation and tourism at state and national parks.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • identify
  • human environment
  • physical environment
  • compare
  • physical features
  • regions of the United States
  • recognize benefits
  • recreation
  • tourism
  • state parks
  • national parks
Students know:
  • Difference between human and physical environments the physical regions of the United States and the features of each.
  • Affects of environment on human behavior and ways of life.
  • Positive and negative affects of humans on the environment.
  • Examples of types of tourism and recreation and the affects of each, including state and national parks.
Students are able to:
  • List examples of the ways human and physical environments affect people and the ways they live.
  • Differentiate between regions of the United States based upon their physical features.
  • Differentiate between positive and negative effects that people have on the environment.
  • Explain the benefits of recreation and tourism, including at state and national parks.
Students understand that:
  • There are various ways that people are affected by their human and physical environments, as well as the effects, both positive and negative, that humans have on the environment.

Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
SS.AAS.2.10- Identify the benefits of recreation and tourism at state and national parks in Alabama.

English Language Arts
ELA2021 (2021)
Grade: 2
2. Present information orally using complete sentences, appropriate volume, and clear pronunciation.

a. Use oral language for different purposes: to inform, to entertain, to persuade, to clarify, and to respond.

b. Use complex sentence structures when speaking.

c. Ask and answer questions to seek help, clarify meaning, or get information.
Unpacked Content
Key Academic Terms:
  • Present
  • Orally
  • Complete sentences
  • Appropriate volume
  • Clear pronunciation
  • Oral language
  • Purposes
  • Inform
  • Entertain
  • Persuade
  • Clarify
  • Respond
  • Complex sentence structures
  • Ask
  • Answer
  • Seek
  • Clarify
2. Students know:
  • Speaking skills for oral presentations.
  • Oral language skills for different purposes of communication.
  • The structure of a complex sentence.
    Questions to seek help.
  • Questions to clarify information.
  • Questions to get information.
  • Responses to questions with appropriate information.
2. Students are able to:
  • Form complete sentences, use appropriate volume based on the situation or environment, and use clear pronunciation when sharing information orally.
  • Use listening and speaking skills to inform, entertain, persuade, clarify, and respond.
  • Use complex sentences when sharing information orally.
  • Ask and answer questions to seek help, clarify meaning or get information.
2. Students understand that:
  • To communicate clearly, a speaker should use complete sentences, a voice volume that can be heard by the audience, and clearly pronounced words.
  • They can use their oral language should vary depending on its purpose.
  • Using complex sentence structures when speaking helps to provide details and combine ideas in an interesting way.
2c. Students understand that:
  • They can get help, learn new information, or express information they know or have learned by asking and answering questions, depending on the task at hand.
English Language Arts
ELA2021 (2021)
Grade: 2
46. Gather and use research to answer questions to complete a research product.

a. Create topics of interest for a research project.

b. Create questions to gather information for a research project.

c. Find information from a variety of sources.

Examples: books, magazines, newspapers, digital media

d. Define plagiarism and explain the importance of using their own words.
Unpacked Content
Key Academic Terms:
  • Gather
  • Research
  • Questions
  • Create
  • Topics
  • Research project
  • Questions
  • Variety of sources
  • Plagiarism
46. Students know:
  • Information must be gathered from a variety of sources, and the information can be used to answer questions.
  • A topic of interest must be selected before beginning a research project.
  • Generating questions and finding information to answer those questions is an important component of a research project.
  • A variety of sources can be used to find information and answer research questions.
  • Plagiarism is presenting someone else's words or ideas as their own without crediting the source.
46. Students are able to:
  • Gather and use the research to answer questions and create a research product.
  • Generate a list of interesting topics for a research project.
  • Create questions and gather information to answer those questions to complete a research project.
  • Find information to answer research questions using a variety of sources, such as books, magazines, newspapers, or digital media.
  • Define plagiarism.
  • Explain the importance of using their own words in their writing.
46. Students understand that:
  • A research product requires gathering information from a variety of sources and using the research to answer questions.
  • Creating topics of interest prepares them for the writing process.
  • By creating topics of interest for a research project, they are completing the brainstorming part of a research project.
  • Asking questions helps get information for their research projects.
  • Creating questions helps guide their research and that questions may be changed or added based on answers to previous questions.
  • Information can come from a variety of sources.
  • They should use different sources to gather information for a research project.
  • It is important to use their own words and ideas in writing and/or presentations.

Local/National Standards:


Primary Learning Objective(s):

Students will:

  • Recall information learned about deforestation, air pollution, and water pollution. 
  • Research facts from given resources.
  • Write complete sentences stating what they have learned about the three concepts. 
  • Search for images that portray the concepts. 
  • Create a PSA displaying the facts they have written and images they have found. 
  • Share their PSA's with an audience. 

Additional Learning Objective(s):

 Preparation Information 

Total Duration:

91 to 120 Minutes

Materials and Resources:

Students will need their "We Speak for Earth" booklets to utilize as additional sources of information. 

Technology Resources Needed:

Students will require the use of a computer, tablet, etc.; Internet access; and an account with WeVideo.


The teacher should first check that students can access WeVideo from their devices. The teacher should become familiar with the site and ensure that it is student-friendly and easy to use. Another suggestion would be to provide step-by-step instructions for creating the video if they deem necessary. 

Students should already have been introduced to and grasped the concepts of deforestation, air pollution, and water pollution. They have connected these concepts that are portrayed in The Lorax  to real-world examples. Also, they have created "We Speak for Earth!" booklets that contain facts, definitions, connections to the story, simple solutions, and cause-and-effect charts. This prior knowledge and the books should serve as resources from which to pull information and incorporate into their digital PSA. 


1. Teacher will begin the lesson by reviewing the environmental awareness concepts that have been discussed throughout the week

  • Deforestation
  • Air pollution
  • Water pollution

2. During a whole-group discussion, the teacher can quickly check for student understanding of these concepts by asking students to define the concepts, display where they were shown in the story, and even give an example of a solution. 

3. The teacher will now introduce the driving question for the day's lesson:

"How can we let others know the dangerous effects of deforestation, air pollution, and water pollution?"

4. The teacher explains that a Public Service Announcement is a message in the public interest with the objective of raising awareness. Students will be creating their own PSAs with the WeVideo video creation platform. 

5. The teacher will explain the purpose of creating the PSAs:

Students will create a PSA with WeVideo in order to raise awareness about deforestation, air pollution, and water pollution. 

6. Teacher will explain instructions and requirements for the video:

7.  After students have created and published their videos, the teacher can wrap up the unit by asking what the students themselves will begin to do to make a difference. Will they begin recycling? Will they share their videos with friends and family to spread the word? The teacher may even choose a few exemplary videos to showcase later. 

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Assessment Strategies

A rubric will be used to assess the students' Public Service Announcements. They will be evaluated on the basis of content, requirements, sources, attractiveness, and mechanics.




Students may run into trouble researching the sources or comprehending what the end product should look like. 

If the students need assistance with their research. the teacher should teach students how to use headings and subheadings to quickly locate essential information. The three sites provided all have specific tabs and headings that allow students to find the information they need.

Students may have trouble visualizing what the PSA should look like. Attached is an example created with the WeVideo tool:

View the Special Education resources for instructional guidance in providing modifications and adaptations for students with significant cognitive disabilities who qualify for the Alabama Alternate Assessment.