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Elementary

Environmental Issues

Lesson Plan Links

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Environmental Research and Education Foundation's Educational Activities for Secondary Schools - Activity 1 deals with Landfills. Activity 2 concerns packaging and transporting municipal solid waste and hazardous waste. Classes who complete the activities will receive a Certificate of Completion from EREF. For grades K-5, EREF offers its Solid Choices curricula, also available on the website. All EREF materials can be downloaded as pdf files.
www.erefdn.org/
Freddy the Fish - A nice activity for lower grades that helps students identify ways man pollutes our water supply; determine the harmful effects of our careless habits; and state the effects water pollution has on plant and animal life.
www2.tltc.ttu.edu/Thomas/conference%20paper/tes1998/Freddy%20the%20Fish.htm
RECYCLING -
In Materials 1: Materials and Manufacturing
This lesson is the first of a two-part series on the properties and uses of different materials.
The familiar tale of The Three Little Pigs is used as an introduction to materials and manufacturing. Students examine the properties, limitations, and durability of a variety of materials, then evaluate which of the materials would be best for building a model house. If used in its entirety, this lesson could take several science class times. [www.sciencenetlinks.com/lessons.cfm]
In Materials 2: Recycled Materials
Students are introduced to the idea that some materials can be recycled. They will investigate the types of materials that can be reused, as well as potential uses for each type of recyclable material. [www.sciencenetlinks.com/lessons.cfm]
Air Quality Lesson Plans and Data - all grades. What causes air quality problems? How bad is the air quality? Here is a lead page for a series of lesson plans about air quality. A number of the plans link to data from different parts of Texas.
www.tnrcc.state.tx.us/air/monops/lessons/lesson_plans.html
Fresh Water Streams - What are healthy streams like? What can make a stream unhealthy. This tells how the food web is important to a healthy stream. It also tells how acid rain and other pollution can hurt streams. Puzzles and games.
www.epa.gov/ost/KidsStuff/winter97/winter.pdf
Hubbard Brook Ecosystem Study - Why have a research forest? Find out that answer and read about the long-term forest and associated aquatic ecosystems studies that are being done here.
www.hubbardbrook.org/
Earth Systems in a Bottle - Article describing this activity and the activity itself.
www.nsta.org/main/news/pdf/tst0009_48.pdf
As the World Turns - Ecosystems are communities of plants and animals in their immediate surroundings. An ecosystem can be in a desert, a tropical jungle, an ocean or a pond. Create your own ecosystem in a bottle and observe the growth of plants.
www.kineticcity.com//old/lab/HCHO/hcho6.html
Virtual Pond Dip - Discover some of the animals that are present in the pond at Canterbury Environmental Education Centre by clicking on the creatures in the spoon.
www.naturegrid.org.uk/pondexplorer/pondexplorer.html
To Plant or Not to Plant - Learn about deserts, other biomes, and the plant life they support as you travel with Bill Botanist. Use the interactive game to help him determine which biome will be best for his plant specimens.
earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Laboratory/Biome/
Where are the Penguins? - a webquest for first graders about penguins. Not really earth science, but great for getting first graders on the computer.
http://www.sd401.k12.il.us/CURRIC/webquests/PenguinWQ/FINAL_WQ_files/frame.htm
SciZone at the Ontario Science Centre - The Ontario Science Centre's mission is 'to delight, inform and challenge visitors through engaging and thought-provoking experiences in science and technology. There is a good activity called "Why is the Sky Blue?" - click on Home Lab; Discover Our Rainforest is cute too.
www.ontariosciencecentre.ca/scizone/
Bucket Buddies - is an online classroom project where students (grades 1-5) around the world participate in an environmental study. The project takes place during the fall and spring of the school year. Students will collect samples from local ponds to answer the question: Are the organisms found in pond water the same all over the world? Participants will identify macroinvertebrates in water samples; compare their findings with other participating classes; determine which, if any of the organisms are the same in other, more distant water sources; and look for relationships and trends in the data collected by all project participants.
www.k12science.org/curriculum/bucketproj/index.html
Singing for Wilderness - Many songs have been written recently which have an environmental theme. Music can get across environmental messages, can inform and influence attitudes about issues.
www.sd5.k12.mt.us/glaciereft/envirk-5.htm
Create A Food Chain (K-2) - Educators know that young children better visualize a concept after experiencing it with all their senses. When trying to teach them about the simple food chain, just eating a variety of foods and discussing their origin is not enough. Milk carton blocks are easy to assemble and your child can manipulate them to experiment with the pyramid that is created in an actual food chain.
www.sd5.k12.mt.us/glaciereft/foodchk2.htm
Create A Food Chain (3-5) - Remember how much children enjoy making paper chains? Let's use paper to make a food chain in order to learn how all Earth's creatures and plants are linked to each other and to the sun.
www.sd5.k12.mt.us/glaciereft/foodch35.htm
Spinning the EcoWeb (3-12) - Through a physical activity, students discover the components and relationships of ecoregions and the role of ecosystem management in these ecoregions. The student will: 1. Describe some non-living and living components of an ecoregion (a geographic area where the combination of climate and soils produce a distinct plant community). 2. Demonstrate a component of an ecoregion. 3. Describe how each living component in an ecoregion is related to the sun and to other ecoregion components.
www.sd5.k12.mt.us/glaciereft/envir3-1.htm

See Environmental Issues >> Intermediate >> Additional Resources
for Web sites with information on ecosystems.

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