Natural Resources In My Backyard!

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Students will be able to identify and describe natural resources that are used locally.

Big Idea

Students will participate in a scenario where they role play as county council members in a planning meeting to determine a plan for using the county's natural resources.


1 minutes

Warm Up

10 minutes

I will begin the lesson with a whole group discussion. I will inform the students that as a class, we will brainstorm a list of natural resources here in Montgomery County, MD. As students share their ideas, I will list them on the promethean board. Next, I will encourage students to think of different natural resources that can be found within the state of Maryland. Some of the natural resources that we will discuss are soil, fresh water, trees, seafood, sand, clay, and coal.

Next, we will take a look at the digital resource, Maryland at a Glance. This informational resource  identifies different resources here in Maryland. As students view the resource, I will ask probing questions to ensure the students are understanding the information that is being presented to them. I will ask the students as we go through the resource how each natural resource is used by us and others.


25 minutes

To begin the explore section, I will ask students to share their ideas regarding the benefits of using local natural resources such as providing jobs, costing less to transport the resources, and the higher quality of freshness we receive from the resources because they are right here in our own backyard. 

Next, I will ask students to share their thoughts on the costs of using our local natural resources. We will discuss how using our own natural resources disturbs the landscape and the wildlife who live there, decreases the supply of the resource, and can produce pollution. 

To conclude the class discussion, I will introduce the purpose of the county council here in Montgomery County, MD. I will explain to the students that the purpose of the county council is to support the production and use of natural resources that are used to produce goods and services locally.

I will share with students that they will be role playing a scenario as county council members who are planning a meeting. I will divide the class into small groups. The groups must be an even number. Half of the group will present a plan to the other group members, and the other group members will oppose their plan using details to support their view.

I will distribute a different natural resource card to each group. As students present their plans, I will ask the students to share the costs and benefits of using this natural resource. They also will be encouraged to share the steps they would take to use this resource.

The opposing side will then have an opportunity to share their position on the decision.

This role playing is a great approach for the students to “show what they know” and provide evidence to support their claim.

Wrap Up

10 minutes

To conclude the lesson, the students will transition back to the carpet. Each group will be given the opportunity to share their scenario with the class. Their classmates will serve as citizens in the community. As each group shares, I will encourage the class to add their input and ideas as community members would do in a real life situation. This role playing strategy allows the students to gain a deeper understanding of real world situations and how problems are resolved in their own communities.