Lesson: Tom Young_Pollution, Our Role in Reducing the Global Pollution Problem

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Lesson Objective

1. Students will have a basic understanding of history including cause and effect, chronology, concepts of time, continuity and change and global interconnectedness (local, state, nation, and world). 2. Students will understand the interactions between the environment and human societies, and the political, economic, and social impact of those interactions. 3. Students will develop an ability to think, including a process for problem solving, recognition of multiple perspectives, and analysis. 4. Students should investigate how everyday people have the ability to make changes and impact their "community" in unique ways. Knowing historical figures is important, but realizing that all people can make history is paramount. (4 month unit)

Lesson Plan

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Lesson Resources

global fellow unit.doc  


Thomas Young Posted 11 months ago:

Thank you for your feedback.  I like your idea of trying to connect with schools from these continents.  We already recycle or compost alot of our garbage.  The paper towels is one more thing to help reduce our waste.  Our custodians empty all of the classroom bags into three or four bigger bags each evening.  My thinking is if the classroom bags are less full, then the amoutn of bigger collection bags used will be reduced.  Staff buy in will not be a problem.  We are a 9 classroom school and are very conscientious of our carbon footprint.  We have one several awards from the state because of our environmental initiatives.  

Deborah Cunningham Posted 11 months ago:

Having students take steps to reduce their trash while exploring the broader theme of global pollution is a great way to explore this significant global topic and this lesson engages students in the four domains of the Global Competency Matrix (investigate the world, recognize perspectives, communicate ideas, take action). 

The overall structure of the unit flows and helps translate a complex problem into terms that 1st and 2nd graders can grasp. Choosing a particular country from each continent to focus on allows students to go in depth while seeing an array of problems; be thoughtful in selecting the countries in order to represent a range of pollution challenges. Perhaps you can use statistics from those countries (or connect with a school from that country) at the end of the project so that students can compare their project with other countries around the world. Logistically, there are a few things you might want to consider. You chose to compost paper towels in your school. Will the reduction of paper towels make a significant impact that your students will be able to measure? If students and counting trash bags, is it possible that custodians would throw out the same number of bags even though the bags would contain less trash? If staff buy-in to the project is a problem, is there a way to make the students the data collectors instead of asking the custodians to mark the number of trash bags? 

Having students write about and present their findings is a great practical application to this project; think about how they might connect or extrapolate their own research to other global efforts to resolve this critical environmental challenge.

--Primary Source staff



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