As educators, we each have particular subjects that we are just itching to teach. We look forward to the days we get to introduce such topics to spark interest and excitement in the hearts of our students. For me, one of these content areas would be caring for our environment. It can be a heavy topic, but children of all ages have compassionate hearts, willing to make our world a better place.
We say that our student are the future. If we believe this, then we must take the time to teach them how to care for our planet. For this unit plan, I will be providing lesson examples for
two weeks of SOL 1.8
SOL 1.8 The student will investigate and understand that natural resources are limited. Key
a) identification of natural resources;
b) factors that affect air and water quality; and
c) recycling, reusing, and reducing consumption of natural resources
Background for the Instructor
- Natural resources provide us with the things we need in order to live, including food, clothing, water, air, shelter, land, and energy.
- What we put into the air, especially the products of the fuels we burn, affects the qualityof the air. Waste produced by animals, including humans, and factories can affect the quality of water. Some pollution washes from yards, streets, and farms.
- Many natur
al resources are limited can cannot be renewed. Other resources are limited and cannot be renewed, but they may last a very long time.
- Recycling recovers used materials. Many materials can be recycled and usedagain,sometimes in different forms. Recycling helps to save our natural resources. An example of a recycled material is newspapers that are turned into writing tablets
- Reusing materials means using them more than once. Examples include using dishes and utensils that arewashed after use rather than using paper plates and plastic utensils and putting them in the trash.
- Resources will last longer if we recycle them, reuse them, or reduce consumption of them.
- The creation of parks can help preserve land. Parks have many uses, including recreation.
- natural resource
- e resource
Day 1: Introduction to Environmentalism and Natural Resources
Students will identify
items as being natural resources or created by man.
- Read Miss Fox's Class Goes Green
Discuss what it mea
- ns to "go green". What did Mrs. Fox's class do to help our environment?
- Explain that we are going to spend the next two weeks thinking through ways to help our environment.
- Pull out some natural resources that the Virginia Indians used to make tools and clothing. Also pass around items that have been made from natural resources.
- Pull out some products made out of man made materials, created from natural resources Have students pass around objects and discuss the difference
- Write on the board resource, natural, and man made
- Ask students if they have ever heard any of these words before, and predict what they may mean.
- Writecorrect predictions on the board
- Have students go back to desks to write definitions in science notebook, with apicture
- Have students fill out worksheets (from page 40) to think through resources and what things are made from.
Day 2: Natural Resources Cont.
Students will be able to sort items as being a natural resource or product of man
ill identify resources as renewable or non-renewable
- Provide a chart on the board/SmartBoard, showing various resources.
- Review natural and man-made resources
- Have students cut out and sort various resources, as natural or man-made products.
- Have students model correct sort on board
- Have students make a foldable, sorting natural versus their products
- Model for students how to fold and cut.
- Have students glue natural resources on the front of the foldable and their matching man-made on the inside.
- Discuss differences between natural and man-made resources.
- Discuss which resources we should try to use more of. Which can we get more easily? Could we ever run out if we use too much? Which ones could we grow or make more of?
- Define renewable and non-renewable resources.
- Put definition on our vocab list for the unit, along with examples.
- Have students guess which sorted resources are renewable and which are non-renewable.
- Explain the reasons why renewable is a good thing and non-renewable is a bad thing.
- Model the use of happy face stickers and frowny face stickers to mark which resources are renewable and which are not.
- Provide answers and have students put stickers on the insides of foldables.
Day 3: Trash!
Students will recognize how recycling helps the environment.
Students will be aware of how and what to recycle properly.
- Show students a picture of land fill
- Ask them to write down two things they see and two questions they have about it.
- Discuss as a class
- Read Garbage.
- Think, Pair, Share-What was something you learned from the book? What is something we can do to help our earth from getting covered with land fills?
- Discuss as a grouprecycling.
- Show Recycling Blues and Singing Trash Cans video.
- Ask students if they can remember different things that we can recycle?
- Back at desks, students will receive a paper bag with various items in it, some recyclable and some not.
- Explain that we are going to try to see which team can figure out the correct materials that we should recycle. After a few minutes, give a cheat sheet with recycling guidelines.
- After students have placed items into the correct bags, discuss what we can and cannot recycle.
- Pass out different materials, such as playground mulch, crayons, fake wood, and other various products created from recycled products. Have students guess with theirtable what it is made out of.
- Show via power point, the different materials each item could have been made out of, and discuss why renewable resources and recycled materials are the best choice.
Day 4: Recycle, Reduce, Reuse
Students will distinguish between recycling, reducing and reusing.
Students will create items that model reusing and will help them to reuse and reduce.
- Ask a student to remind class about what R word we talked about yesterday
- Show the class a few pages from Make it! to review the types of materials we can recycle
- Write Recycle, Reduce, Reuse on the window, using a paint, soap mixture.
- Explain to students that it is ok, and it will wash off. Explain that it will be our way of sharing ideas about helping our earth, without using paper.
- Explain the meaning of each R word
- Have students fill out worksheet on three Rs to paste into their foldable.
- Tell students that today we are going to be doing one of the Rs: reusing
- Show the Bag the Bag video to show an example of reducing and reusing. Explain that we will make our own bags later today, to carry groceries in, instead of plastic bags. *Try to get canvas bags donated to the class, for students to sponge paint/decorate with various buttons and fabric scraps.
- Explain that we are going to be doing some projects where we reuse materials, instead of throwing them away.
- Project 1: Create either a paper mache bowl or paper mache necklace. *See Make it!for instructions
- Encourage kids to make this for a grown-up in their house so they can teach them how to care for our environment too.
- Decorate bags
- Have students reuse file folders to create a foldable that will be used the rest of the week.
- Pass out folders, pictures of the earth, to be cut out and pasted onto the front of the foldable.
- Have students glue Three Rs worksheet into the middle of the foldable.
Day 5: Review natural vs man-made resources
Students will produce ideas on how to help our environment
Students will identify resources as natural, man-made, renewable, or non-renewable.
- Have student turn to a neighbor and take turns explaining what is natural or man-made, using the foldable
- Have studentslook at foldables and quiz each other on which items are renewable, and whichones are non-renewable.
- Tell students that they are going to have the chance to write on the window today and the rest of next week, as a way to share ideas, and not use up too much paper. Explain that you want each student to think of a way to help our environment. It can be a way we have discussed already, or a new idea.
- Explain that while a table is at the windows, another group will be at the computers and another will be reading various books about helping our environment.
- While groups are in centers, meet with a table one at a time to give an assessment on natural resources and ways we can conserve.
- Have students fill out worksheets (from page 40) to think through resources and what things are made from.
- If students finish work at a center early, they should look over their definitions in their science notebook and write the more difficult ones down on a foldable (to go inside of their file folder one).
Day 6: Ground Water
Students will explain how chemicals harm our earth and water.
- Read book Oil Spill
- Show class the model of land
- Using sprinkles, ink, and a spray bottle with water, show what happens to our earth and ground water when pesticides, oil, and other pollutants spill.
- Have students get into their small groups to talk about what these pollutants could effect.
- Have students share with class their predictions
- Have each student write in their science journals and draw a picture about what it could effect
- If students finish work early, they may add something to the window.
Students will recognize what people do everyday that uses up too much electricity and causes global warming.
Students will form plans of action, proposing ways that we can change our current carbon footprint.
- Show Climate Change video, pausing it to ask what the family is doing wrong. What could they do instead.
- Discuss what causes global warming, using board to draw ozone and carbon dioxide to provide visual.
- Play the rest of the video and discuss what we see.
- Why is it bad that the planet is warming?
- Discuss the changes made in the end of the video.
- Talk about what we could do to help
- Have students go back to their desks to make posters to petition for this change, using fabric scraps from our scrap bin.
- *Teacher will later glue these onto our class quilt, made out of ribbons and fabric strips, woven together
by the students.
- Have student share ideas with the class. They may write their ideas on the window as well.
Day 8: We can make a difference!
Students will recognize that each kid can change the world.
Students will share ways that each person can better serve our environment.
- Looking over ideas written on window, discuss a few of them and have students give "shout outs" to the ones they liked the best.
- Show class clips of movie stars (from kids movies) talking about
- ways to go green, and how kids can make a difference.
- Have students make pocket foldables, out of scrap materials (from magazine, brown lunch bags, fabric, etc). Next, Students will write a list of the various ways they can make a difference in the world, using the notes in their journals, books in the class, or ideas posted on the wall. They should cut these out to keep in the "helping" folder. Students should also make a "hurting" pocket to contain examples of how we can sometimes hurt our environment.
Day 9: Protecting nature
Students will examine how
our world is changing and for what purposes.
Students will recognize
who this destruction is impacting.
- Read The Lorax
- Ask students about what happened in the book
- Show the students a picture of an area in Richmond years ago, where there was land, and then show a picture of it today, with land destroyed for new buildings.
- Ask students what happened and who it effected? Whose home was destroyed?
- Have students add to/remove/cover animals from our nature collage (that students have taped images to) to show how nature is impacted by construction. Use scraps of course :)
- Explain the importance of parks
- Discuss the requirements for the field trip tomorrow.
- Explain that tomorrow, you will expect them to use their great observation skills to look for different animals, habitats, trees, and plants that have been protected by the park.
Day 10: Field Trip
Students will recognize that parks help to protect our environment.
Students will record observations of what specifically parks protect.
- Readbook while waiting for parents
- Goover rules
- Field trip!
- Once back at school talk in circle about what they saw
- Pass out worksheet for students to complete for homework.
Garbage. By Robert Maass. 2000. 32 p. Henry Holt and Company, (978-080505919). Gr K-3.
This is a great introductory book on the subject. It starts with trash, and explains why we should think about how much trash we use. It is full of photographs and vocabulary words on every page.
Keeping Water Clean. By Courtney Farrell. 2010. 32 p. Cherry Lake Pub, (978-1602796591). Gr 4 and up.
Although this book is designed for older readers, I loved the pictures and facts the book provided. There were many great examples from around the world, of how water is polluted.
Make it!. By Jane Bull. 2011. 64p. DK Children, (978-0756682286). Gr 1-5.
is definitely one of my favorite craft books on recycled projects. The book is split up into four sections: paper, plastic, metal, and fabric, providing colorful pictures, easy how-to steps, and recycling advice from little plastic characters along the way.
Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. By Cecillia Minden. 2010. 32p. Cherry Lake Pub, (978-1602796621) Gr. 4 and up.
This book is from the same series as Keeping Water Clean. There were many great examples from around the world, of how people have reduced, reused, and recycled (Mount Trashmore being one of them).
What Can We Do About Trash and Recycling?. By Lorijo Metz. 2009. 24 p. PowerKids Press, (978-1435824836). Gr 1-5.
I chose this book because it is a non-fiction that some of my students could read on their own. It is full of large, colorful photographs, big text, highlighted vocabulary words, and headers on each page.
The Adventures of an Aluminum Can. By
Earth Smart: How to Take Care of the Environment. By Leslie Garrett. 2006. 32 p. DK Readers,(978-0756619121) Gr 1-3.
I liked this book because it was an early reader that some of my students could read on their own. The story follows two kids as they go about their day, learning how to take care of the environment. The story also contains helpful, eco-friendly tips along the way.
The Lorax. By Dr. Suess. Illus. by author. 1971. 72p. Random House, (9780394923376). Gr K-3.
This book isa fun way for students to see the impact we have on our world, and how one tree after another makes a big difference.
Miss Fox's Class Goes Green. By Eileen Spinelli. Illus. by Anne Kennedy. 2009. 32 p. Albert Whitman and Company, (978-0807551660) Gr K and up.
This is a fun book to read to get the class excited about "going green". It is a fun and lighthearted look at a class that choos
es to make some changes in their lives in order to help out the planet.
Oil Spill. By Melvin Berger. Illus. by Paul Mirocha. 1994. 32p. Collins, (978-0064451215).
This is another great
early reader for my first grade classroom. This will be a book that many students will choose to pull from the science shelf to learn more about helping our environment. It also includes colorful pictures, diagrams of cleanup operations, and provides ways to prevent oil spills.
This game is a simple one, but provides some new ideas of how to save electricity around the house. Students click on vari
ous areas of the house where they think energy could be saved, and a bubble pops up with a multiple choice question about how to save energy
with the appliance.
This website is a refresher for my students
on what we've discussed so far. It provides ways to help the environment, what people in America think about global warming, and an easy to understand explanation of renewable and
non-renewable resources. The site even has a word bank with some more challenging vocabulary.
This site is an amazing resource for my students to learn more, specifically my mor
e advanced students. Energy Quest is easy to navigate and contains a lot of extra material not discussed in class, such as energy scientists, links, art, facts, etc.
This is game can be used to have students teach themselves how various wood products come from the tree to where we see them today. Students should also look into the "Ask a Scientist" section to learn more.
From this same website, my more advanced students could play the Matching the Resources game, where they drop the correct item into the pit of renewable, nonrenewable, and
I liked this game because it was very friendly for my younger students. It was the
only game I found where there was an audio component, to read the directions. Although it is a short game, it provides some more ideas into how each child can make a difference. Students click on people in the house and it will tell them what they are doing to help save our resources.
The Greens is website that I find super cool. It contains short cartoons staring kids who love the environment. The students will like the graphics and find the characters funny. It also contains some really fun games, with the directions given verbally. One game teaches kids about altering clothing into something new by allowing students to change various characters costumes. There is also a quick paced game where you must turn off lights in the house, as characters move from room to room.
Natural Resources Assessment (pg 40)