Environmental education is a process that aims at the development of environmentally literate citizens who can compete in global economy, who have the skills and knowledge and inclinations to make well informed choices concerning the environment, and who exercise the rights and responsibilities of the members of a community.
Environmental knowledge contributes to an understanding and appreciation of the society, technology and productivity and conservation of natural and cultural resources of their own environment. Environmental education has an ability to solve the societal needs, the needs of a community problem and their solutions and workforce for tackling cooperative minds. We need the school children to share and develop the motivation from school about various environmental issues, which are the challenges of today and prepare them for the future.
Environmental education must become a vehicle for engaging young minds in the excitement of first hand observation of the nature and understanding the patterns and processes in the natural and social worlds in order to take care of the habitat and its surroundings which becomes a major part of EE in both primary and upper primary stages of school education. In the secondary and senior secondary stages also some of the major issues such as environmental protection, management and conservation are to be dealt in more detail. In Karnataka textbooks and workbooks from classes I to IV, environmental studies are in use.
The textbooks for environmental studies which are prepared by N. T has taken cross curricular approach to teaching environmental concepts through language, mathematics about the environment. EE has been further reinforced under the art of healthy and productive living AHPL for which a single teacher's handbook has been developed for classes I to V. The textbooks lay emphasis on raising awareness levels and sensitising children about environmental concerns.
Emphasis has also been laid on the need to organise learning in local specific contexts, which will provide more meaningful experiences to children. Aspects of indigenous knowledge have also been introduced. There are references and suggestions for conducting activities in and outside the classroom. The NCERT textbooks for environmental studies generally take a comprehensive view of the natural, physical, social and cultural environment.
It is evident that the textbooks represent relevant ideas commensurate with the age and developmental level of children so as to provide them the necessary understanding about their immediate environment. However, there is a scope for inclusion of more activities to enable children to translate awareness into effective behavioral action.
The contents of textbooks present an extension and elaboration of the concepts introduced at the primary stage. The textbooks of Karnataka for class V in the subjects of science, social science and language have environmental ideas infused with these subjects.
The State of Orissa , deals with the environmental concepts and concerns in its textbooks for science and geography. These are also included in a single textbook of history and civics. While most of the areas of EE have generally been covered, there is a need for the inclusion of more individual and group activities and project work in order to promote both the effective and cognitive domains of learning. Co-scholastic activities including organisation of plays, cultural programs, debates, mock parliament, discussions and community activities may help further in achieving the objective.
The concepts of EE have been provided in the textbooks of science and social sciences in the states of Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. In Orissa, there are textbooks, namely science part-I physical science , Science part-II biological sciences and geography. The environmental concepts both are at concrete and abstract levels. The concepts covered are:. Ths is the stage of diversification.
Students opt for either the academic stream or the vocational stream. The treatment of concepts becomes deeper and more discipline oriented since the content caters to the demands of the concerned subject, as an independent discipline a comprehensive view about EE is not available in the textbooks. Majority of the concepts are found in the textbooks of biology, chemistry and geography, which are optional subjects. Students opting for any one of these subjects would accordingly benefit in different aspects of EE.
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The coverage of EE concepts in the textbooks of various subjects includes:. Specific answers for the following questions must be obtained:. We must care not only for the organism but also for the environment because a good environment means a good home for all the orgnisms. The Task: Ask children to make a list of all the people living in their house.
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Help them to categorise them into naturally available things and man-made things and arrange them in a table as shown below:. The Teacher: Analyse the items in the table and emphasise that all the naturally occurring things come from the environment. Unless we care for the environment and use these materials carefully, some materials will get depleted gradually and get exhausted one fine day! Divide them into groups of children. Critically observe the surrounding environment air, water, and soil.
Dig the soil a little and observe the soil below the surface; list as many things. Care must be taken to classify only things that are naturally available and not man made. The Teacher: Teacher examines the list and leads the discussion to conclude that environment consists of both living and non-living things. Non-living things should not be construed, as things are not necessary or less important. Emphasse that everything in nature has some use or the other. Materials : Dry leaves, flowers, fruits, a few plastic covers, used refills, buttons, mumty , water.
The task : Dig 2 Shallow pits at a distance of a foot from each other. The pits should be approximately. Into pit 1, put the dry leaves, flower, and fruits and into pit 2 put the plastic covers and refills. Cover both pits with mud such that the materials are completely buried.
Water the pits every day. After 15 days, dig up the pits and carefully observe the materials. Teacher's Guide The wraparound teacher's guide includes a unit overview, a time line for completing. National Geographic Kids Network series. Washington, D. Program Overview The National Geographic Kids Network series is a telecommunications-based program for grades that emphasizes collaborative student research on real-world issues. The series includes 7 units for grades and 9 units for grades Each unit includes a kit and an 8-week telecommunications package.
Telecommunications-Based Unit Recommended grade level: In Acid Rain, an 8-week telecommunications-based curriculum unit, students explore the issue of acid rain through research and a series of experiments. They learn how to read a pH scale, design and build rain collectors, explore how acid rain forms, examine the effects of acid on nonliving things, and measure the acidity of local rainwater. Then, through the National Geographic Society Kids Network—a computer network that links students around the world doing the same unit—they compare their pH measurements with those taken by students in different parts of the world.
As they do so, they look for patterns and make predictions about the geographic distribution of acid rain. In the final week of the unit, students discuss their opinions about acid rain and what should be done about it. Activities incorporate science, geography, social studies, language arts, mathematics, and statistics. Throughout the unit, students use computers and software called NGS Works to record information, write letters, make graphs, display maps, and send data to other network participants.
They also consult electronically with a scientist about the data they collect. Acid Rain includes a teacher's guide, reproducible readings and activity sheets, overhead transparencies, posters, wall maps, and a diskette of supplemental information to use with the NGS Works software. Materials: Available from commercial suppliers, or in kit. Program Overview Biology Is Outdoors! A Comprehensive Resource for Studying School Environments contains investigations that help life science and biology students discover the ecological wealth available in their own schoolyard.
The unit can be adapted for various geographic locations and urban or rural settings. Biology Is Outdoors! During these open-ended investigations that focus on data collection and measurement, students first draw a site map of the school building and grounds. Then they identify and make a list of the plant life on the school grounds, investigate the health of these plants, and conduct a soil analysis. Collecting and observing soil organisms, students look for and identify opportunistic plant and animal species.
They also explore the microenvironments found in pavement cracks, in puddles, and on shrubs. Students investigate the effect of the school building itself and that of human activities on the local environment. Each investigation in Biology Is Outdoors! The teacher's section provides background information, procedures, discussion questions, extensions, a supplies list, and references. The student's section includes reproducible student directions and data sheets, as well as suggestions for further investigations.
Materials: Available locally. Unit New York, N. The series is constructed around 7 major themes: 1 systems and interactions, 2 scale and structure, 3 stability, 4 energy, 5 evolution, 6 patterns of change, and 7 models. The subject of each unit—for example, changes in ecosystems—is presented from the perspective of one or more of these themes. One theme is designated as the "major theme" for a unit, and any others are treated as "related themes.
Student Edition Recommended grade level: Changes in Ecosystems contains 5 lessons in which students learn about ecosystem changes that occur both naturally and as a result of things people do. All of the lessons stress the importance of interactions among different organisms, and students learn that such interactions keep an ecosystem in balance and allow each organism to survive.
Both positive and negative aspects of human interaction with ecosystems are discussed. The organizing themes for this unit are systems and interactions major theme and stability related theme. Each of the 5 lessons in the unit typically requires 6 days for completion.
During the unit, students observe and describe the components of an ecosystem. They learn about factors that shape the environment and about the orderly way in which ecosystems. They learn the difference between a habitat and a niche. Students also list some of the ways humans influence the environment, evaluate the role of pollution in the degradation of the biosphere, and learn about ways to conserve resources.
They also learn about different causes of animal and plant extinctions and study the roles humans have played in such extinctions. Sample activities include growing and observing a mold garden, and observing and comparing 2 grassy plots over time. Other activities include experimenting with different concentrations of fertilizer to see how a substance that is not a poison can be destructive, and constructing bar graphs of wildlife habitat loss in different countries.
Each lesson contains narrative information and a series of sequential, hands-on activities—such as an introductory "minds-on" activity, short "try this" activities, and a longer "explore" activity. The latter, which are lab activities, each take a class period to complete. Students use activity logs to record ideas, observations, and results. Special unit features include curriculum links to language arts, literature, mathematics, music, and art; information about science careers; and narrative sections highlighting science, technology, and society connections.
Teacher's Planning Guide The teacher's planning guide, a spiral-bound, wraparound edition, provides information and strategies for teaching the 5 lessons in the student edition. Each lesson is introduced by a 4-page section that offers background information, a lesson-planning guide, and assessment options. Marginal notes on the lesson pages provide discussion ideas, tips on meeting individual needs, suggestions for addressing misconceptions, assessment ideas, and curriculum connections.
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Program Resources and Support Materials A wide range of materials, including some optional components, is available. Examples include consumable and nonconsumable activity materials; audio- and videotapes; interactive videodiscs; color transparencies; assessment materials; a teacher anthology of short stories, poems, fingerplays, and songs; trade books; teacher resource masters; activity cards; activity logs; concept summaries and glossaries for students acquiring English as a second language; and software with problem-solving simulations for students.
Environmental Action series. Menlo Park, Calif. Program Overview The Environmental Action series consists of 6 stand-alone modules for middle and secondary school students. The series focuses on environmental issues and on the impact of these issues on human health and environmental quality.
Each module includes a student edition and a teacher's resource guide. In Chemicals: Choosing Wisely, students investigate the types of materials for example, various plastics , chemical products, cleaning supplies, and pesticides used in their school. They find out how these materials are used, stored, and disposed of, and what their potential effects are on human health and the environment.
About 18 to 20 class sessions are needed to complete the 15 activities in Chemicals: Choosing Wisely. Teacher's Guide The teacher's resource guide includes examples of possible student responses to discussion questions, annotated answers to. Blackline masters for student activity sheets are also included.
The modules focus on chemicals and the interaction of chemicals with people and the environment. This teacher's guide contains 2 modules: Chemical Survey and Solutions and Pollution. Chemical Survey is a 3-activity introduction to chemicals and their relationship to societal issues. During the activities, students conduct a 5-question class survey of their knowledge and attitudes about chemicals, analyze the data, and explore possible sources of influence on students' ideas about chemicals. Then they compare the class data with data they obtain from their parents using the same survey.
The survey addresses such issues as the best definition of the word "chemical," what things are made up of chemicals, and whether chemicals are dangerous. Solutions and Pollution, a 7-activity module, introduces students to properties of water and to the issue of water pollution. Students explore the solubility of various substances in water and learn the difference in meaning between "dilute" and "concentrated"; they learn about "parts per million" by successively diluting food coloring solutions in water.
Students also explore the reactions of an acid, a base, water, and universal indicator when these substances are mixed together in various quantities. They develop an operational definition for acid and base and explore the question of whether dilution is an answer to water pollution. Students are introduced to the concept of acid-base neutralization, and they carry out a quantitative experiment to determine the relative concentration of 2 solutions. They design an experiment to determine the relative concentration of household ammonia when compared to a base solution of known concentration, and they use their acquired knowledge about acids, bases, and relative concentrations to solve a simulated water-pollution problem.
The 3 activities in the Chemical Survey module take 3 class periods of 40 to 50 minutes each to complete. The 7 activities in Solutions and Pollution take 12 class periods of 40 to 50 minutes each. Included in this slim, wire-bound book are reproducible student sheets, directions for guiding activities and discussions, and an end-of-unit test. In the module Cleaning Water , students investigate some of the contaminants that can get into drinking water, discover how chemical tests can reveal some of the impurities that contaminate the water supply, and learn how some contaminants can be removed by special types of filters.
During the module, students role-play the part of marketing employees for a water filter company. They also conduct research on different types of drinking water contaminants. They use map skills and the concept of a watershed to determine where impurities could have entered the water supply. They also test water samples for a variety of impurities and experiment with different types of filtering materials to determine their effect on impure water samples. Students then design, build, and test a filter for the home market. In the final activity, they present a marketing plan for each other's filters.
Cleaning Water is a 3-week module divided into 6 activities, which each take between 2 and 3 class periods to complete. A narrative section at the end of the module provides background information for students on water pollution and water testing. Teacher's Guide The wraparound teacher's guide includes a unit overview, a time line for completing the module, a materials list, background information, and teaching suggestions.
The subject of each unit—for example, earth's ecosystems—is presented from the perspective of one or more of these themes. Earth's Ecosystems contains 5 lessons that introduce students to interactions among living and nonliving parts of the environment and to the unique roles of humans in their ecosystems. The organizing themes for this unit are systems and interactions major theme and stability, evolution, patterns of change, and energy related themes.
During the unit, students learn about the living and nonliving parts of an ecosystem. They examine the water, carbon, oxygen, and nitrogen cycles. They discover 6 major land biomes and 2 aquatic ecosystems on earth and learn how human activities can change these. Students also study populations in ecosystems and factors that limit their growth; they distinguish between a population, a community, and an ecosystem; and they compare and contrast primary and secondary succession.
Sample activities include observing the physical conditions in which brine shrimp grow, noting particularly the effect of light and temperature; and examining the differences in components of various soil samples. Other activities include graphing temperature and precipitation data from different earth regions and making inferences about the climate in those regions; counting the numbers and types of plants in a square-meter plot; observing and identifying animal skulls found in an owl pellet to learn about the owl's niche in its ecosystem; formulating a model of a food web and inferring the effects of changes in the food web; and observing succession in pondwater.
Examples include consumable and nonconsumable activity materials; audio- and videotapes; interactive videodiscs; color transparencies; assessment materials; a teacher anthology of short stories, poems, fingerplays, and songs; trade books; teacher resource masters; activity cards; activity logs; concept summaries and glossaries for students acquiring English; and software with problem-solving simulations for students. Kathleen Hogan. The modules build students' understanding of ecological processes in their local environment. Learning practical ecology from a local perspective is the focus of Eco-Inquiry.
This guide offers 3 modules, each with a different ecological challenge for students. In module 1, students fulfill a request from a local community to survey what is living on a plot of land. They construct a food web from the study site and write environmental impact statements to trace how one change in the site could affect the entire food web. In module 2, students explore decomposition and construct a classroom decomposition chamber.
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In module 3, they explore nutrient recycling, doing research to test the effects of compost tea on radish growth. The modules can stand-alone or can be used in sequence at one or several grade levels. Each module contains from 7 to 10 lessons and requires from 4 to 7 weeks for completion. Module 1 takes 4 to 5 weeks, module 2 takes 4 to 5 weeks, and module 3 takes 6 to 7 weeks. The guide offers numerous tips on how best to use the modules. It includes a variety of assessment strategies. Program Overview Designed for the upper elementary grades, the Science Technology and Reading STAR series consists of 8 thematic "labs" in the natural and physical sciences.
Each lab focuses both on science activities and on a genre of children's literature, developing correlations between the science. In addition to a teacher's guide for each of the 8 labs, the STAR program includes a mentor's guide for scientists, engineers, and others assisting in the classroom.
In Ecology Lab , students become residents of a mythical town—Anytown—whose residents must decide what to do with a large tract of undeveloped land, known as Lakeland. Through a series of hands-on activities, students conduct experiments and gather data to help them decide what to do with the land. Students represent various interest groups—conservationists, recreation advocates, developers, business-growth advocates, and so on—at a town meeting.
Then they vote on the plans offered. Students draw up a site plan using the school grounds as the plot of land to be developed. They test air quality and soil permeability and percolation rate, learn about water filtration, conduct a population study and a recreation survey, and use mathematics to interpret employment data for Anytown. Ecology Lab includes ideas for cross-curricular integration, from writing an "eco haiku" to making a relief map of Lakeland. It also includes a list of resources, including books, computer software, and audiovisual materials.
Reproducible pages for students, such as lab procedures, data sheets, and information handouts, are also provided. In Energy Conservation , students explore the sources, production, uses, and environmental effects of energy, and they examine ways to improve the energy efficiency of their school and homes. About 18 to 20 class sessions of 50 minutes each are needed to complete the 16 activities in Energy Conservation.
Teacher's Guide The teacher's resource guide includes examples of possible student responses to discussion questions, annotated answers to student activity sheets, and some additional resources and assessment tools. Berkeley, Calif: Lawrence Hall of Science, The series also. Global Warming and the Greenhouse Effect uses a variety of hands-on laboratory activities, simulations, and discussions to help students learn about the greenhouse effect and its causes, the uncertainties of global warming theory, and the possible consequences of global warming.
At the same time, students improve their understanding of important scientific concepts, such as the molecular model of heat, ways in which energy is transferred, how objects attain a stable temperature, and the structure of the atmosphere. Among the activities in the unit, students compare the heating of air in an open container with the heating of air in a closed container to develop the concepts of heating and cooling and equilibrium.
Students play a board game that simulates what happens to the light energy from the sun when it enters the earth's atmosphere. They also perform a series of experiments in which they compare the relative concentration of carbon dioxide in gas samples from 4 different sources ambient air, human breath, car exhaust, and a chemical reaction between vinegar and baking soda. Students consider a wide range of impacts that might result from global warming. They role-play people from various countries and interest groups as they participate in a "world conference" to discuss how people might cooperate to decrease the greenhouse effect or how they might cope with the changes it causes.
The unit requires 9 or 10 class periods of 45 to 60 minutes each. Designed for the single-computer classroom, the 4 units in this series focus on environmental pollution and health-related issues from a variety of perspectives. For each unit, all video, graphics, and text-based materials—including the teacher's and students' guides—are contained on a CD-ROM. Computer-Based Classroom Program Recommended grade level: Health Risk is a 1- to 2-week computer-based investigation that involves students in researching and evaluating potential health risks in an imaginary community.
The investigation begins as several birds and other animals are discovered with deformities that may be related to environmental pollutants. Assuming the role of a public health investigator in a regional health department, students work in collaborative groups to determine if a toxic agent is present in the environment. They try to identify the source of the toxic agent and to ascertain whether the health of area residents is at risk.
Various computer-based sources of information are available as students work through the investigation. Among them are interviews, medical records, tests of biological and environmental media, and a guide to environmental pollutants. Students learn about pesticide contamination, effects of heavy metals, toxicity of various substances, and nonpoint-source pollution. They also engage in a number of activities—such as creating evidence charts, data tables, and concept maps—that help them learn how to organize, interpret, and present data.
The teacher's guide contains suggestions for classroom management and off-computer activities. The student guide offers research strategies, background information, profiles of people in environmental health careers, skill-building activities or labs, and projects. Harold R. Hungerford, Ralph A. Litherland, R. Ben Peyton, and others. Champaign, Ill. Program Overview Investigating and Evaluating Environmental Issues and Actions: Skill Development Program is designed to teach students how to investigate and evaluate science-related social issues.
During this one-semester unit, students conduct independent research on environmental issues and follow up on this research with action as responsible citizens. Investigating and Evaluating Environmental Issues and Actions is designed under the assumption that students have a foundation in basic ecological concepts such as energy transfer, population dynamics, homeostatic balance, and community and ecosystem interactions. Five of the unit's 6 modules are "training" modules.
In them, students define the term "environment"; analyze a set of environmental interactions in terms of human impact on the environment; and learn to identify the various players, positions, beliefs, and values involved in many environmental issues.
Students also learn how to locate, analyze, and use information sources; they learn the difference between first-hand and secondary sources of information; and they identify government or private agencies to which they can write for information. Students write a succinct summary of an article on an environmental topic. They also acquire the skills and strategies useful for collecting data first-hand—for example, doing surveys and using questionnaires—and they discuss techniques for communicating and interpreting data, including both descriptive and graphic methods.
Students apply what they have learned by conducting their own autonomous investigation of an environmental issue. They choose a topic to investigate, formulate a research question, establish the techniques to collect the data that will answer the research questions, and carry out the research. The teacher's tasks during this module are to establish guidelines for the investigation and to serve as a facilitator.
In the final module, students are introduced to the basic elements of environmental action—persuasion, consumerism, political action, and ecomanagement. They also are presented with a list of 14 criteria that comprise a decision-making model relative to responsible citizenship action in the environmental realm. The unit, which takes about a semester to complete, includes a teacher's guide and student book.
Topics discussed during the unit include aquifers and aquitards, concentration and dilution, pollutants, toxicity, and uncertainty in sampling. Among the activities in this unit, students experiment with the movement of water through materials such as gravel, sand, and clay to learn about factors affecting groundwater movement, and they perform serial dilutions as an introduction to methods of expressing concentration levels in parts per million. Students attempt to locate the source of groundwater contamination in Fruitvale by testing water from various test wells using simulated samples ; they identify the contamination source and plot its distribution; and they role-play a town meeting in which information is presented to the citizens of Fruitvale, who must decide on a plan to clean up the contaminated area.
The 7 sequential activities in Investigating Groundwater take 9 class periods of 40 to 50 minutes each to complete. Included in this slim, wire-bound book are reproducible student sheets, directions for guiding activities and discussions, suggestions for extensions, and an end-of-unit test. In Investigating Hazardous Materials , students participate in a simulation that involves identifying liquid and solid hazardous wastes in a drum found on a lot that is to be developed as the site of a new school.
At the beginning of the module, students view a videotape of a hazardous materials team responding to the discovery of a drum of potentially dangerous waste. Students are introduced to the methods and equipment used to identify waste. During the rest of the module, they explore the major categories of hazardous wastes flammable, corrosive, toxic, reactive , and they develop tests to identify substances belonging to these categories. Students work in groups to plan a separation of a complex mixture of liquids and solids. Then they use these plans to separate the mixture, which represents the contents of the barrel of simulated hazardous waste.
Later in the module, students are asked to consider the costs and risks of disposing of an additional 99 barrels of hazardous materials. They are introduced to decision trees as a system of categorizing or identifying unknown materials quickly. Students also consider the issues involved in the transportation of potentially toxic and hazardous substances through communities, and they discuss trade-offs involved in the transportation, use, and disposal of hazardous substances.
The 5 activities in Investigating Hazardous Materials take 9 class periods of 40 to 50 minutes each to complete. Maura O'Connor. Living Lightly series. Milwaukee, Wis. Each volume focuses on the environment and on decision making related to environmental issues. The series includes 4 volumes, 1 of which is designed for grades Living Lightly on the Planet , an activity and resource guide, contains 29 investigations designed to develop young people's environmental awareness and ability to think about and make decisions for a healthy environment. The investigations are organized in 5 units on the following topics: 1 population growth and carrying capacity, 2 land use patterns and development, 3 the mechanics of groundwater pollution, 4 the interdependence of plants, animals, and the environment, and 5 the advantages and disadvantages of making consumer choices from an environmentalist point of view.
Among the activities in the guide, students graph the past and projected growth of the global human population. They bid for land at a simulated land auction. They create a display depicting the purposes for which average Americans use water each day and how much they use. Students also construct food chains and food webs on the basis of their observations of plants and animals. They determine how their consumer choices would be affected if a natural-resource rationing system were imposed. Most of the information in the units is background for the teacher and suggestions for carrying out the investigations.
Each unit contains resource materials for students—data sheets, readings on environmental concerns, role cards for use in simulations, and a "taking action" page with suggestions for extending concepts and applying them to local situations. Module 3. Student Edition Recommended grade level: 8. In the module Managing Crop Pests , students learn how crop pests such as fungi, rodents, insects, and weeds are managed on farmlands. They explore pesticides and alternative agriculture methods for managing crop pests and examine the trade-offs—such as cost, efficiency, and environmental impact—associated with both methods.
During the module, students conduct library research on the types of organisms that can have a detrimental effect on crops. They also make and use a model of groundwater to learn how substances from farm runoff can contaminate the water supply. In other activities, students test local water samples for the presence of nitrates, and they participate in a simulation that shows how pesticide-resistant strains of crop pests can develop.
Managing Crop Pests is a 3- to 4-week module divided into 6 activities, which each take between 2 and 4 class periods to complete. A narrative section at the end of the module provides background information for students on crop pests and the water cycle. Program Overview The Monitor's Handbook is a reference booklet containing information about testing water quality. Although not written as a curriculum unit, the guide will support an environmental unit on water quality. The Monitor's Handbook , a 4-chapter reference guide, was developed for people who want to learn more about local waterways and to find out about methods and tests for measuring water quality.
Topics covered include the reasons for monitoring water quality, the difference between "good" and "bad" water, the concept of watersheds, where and how to sample water, guidelines for collecting water samples, water-quality factors such as temperature, turbidity, pH, dissolved oxygen, odor, alkalinity, hardness, nutrients, coliform bacteria, salinity and their significance, and how to analyze and present data.
An appendix provides basic information on starting a water-quality monitoring program. It explains how to manage people, operate on a budget, and select the right type of equipment. A short but fairly technical bibliography on water-quality monitoring and data analysis is included. Russell G. Event-Based Science series. Program Overview The Event-Based Science series is a program for middle school students in grades Each module tells the story of a real event—such as the outbreak of the Ebola virus in Zaire—through reprinted newspaper articles and personal interviews; sections of background information explain relevant scientific concepts.
A central task related to the module's story line leads to a final product that allows students to apply the science they have learned. Oil Spill! Students begin the module by watching television news coverage and reading reports from USA Today about the oil spill off the southern coast of Alaska. Then they are told that their major task during the module will be to conduct, in 5-member teams, an in-depth study and analysis of 6 city ports as potential sites for an oil terminal.
Team members assume the roles of a harbormaster, a physical oceanographer, a marine biologist, an economist, and a risk planner. The module's 11 activities provide students with the background information and skills for this task. Among the activities, for example, students use soda bottles and water to investigate how temperature differences in the ocean can cause currents. They use a tide chart as a tool for deciding when a tanker can leave a harbor. They also construct a chart of the major ocean life zones, showing typical life forms found in each. Students design a cost-effective method for using soundings to obtain a profile of a harbor, and they investigate how many gallons an oil tanker can carry and how large an oil spill it could potentially create.
Students calculate the accumulation of oil as it passes through a food pyramid. Middle school students who lived near the Valdez oil spill tell their stories throughout the module. Other information that students. The unit culminates with team reports and the selection of 1 harbor on the East Coast and 1 on the West Coast for oil terminals. Teacher's Guide The teacher's guide provides brief overview information on the module's structure and activities.
It includes suggestions for guiding specific student activities, a scoring rubric for a performance assessment at the end of the unit, and an annotated bibliography. In Plastics in Our Lives , students learn some of the physical and chemical properties of plastics and examine societal issues involved in the use and recycling of plastic materials. Among the activities in the unit, for example, students identify common plastic products and list resources used to produce plastics. They examine the physical properties of 4 common plastics and the advantages and disadvantages of plastic compared with the attributes of natural materials.
Students synthesize 2 polymers and compare their properties. They use paper clips to make models of polymer molecules and then describe the behavior of various plastics in terms of molecular structure. They compare the insulating value of popcorn and polystyrene foam "popcorn" and compare the absorbency of cloth diapers and disposable diapers. In other activities, students examine issues related to the disposal of plastics and consider the decision of whether to use plastic or paper bags in light of the trade-offs that accompany each choice.
The 8 activities in Plastics in Our Lives take 12 class periods of 40 to 50 minutes each to complete. Program Overview The Delta Science Module DSM series has 51 life, physical, and earth science units for grades K-8 that emphasize science concepts, science content, and process skills. The series includes 12 modules for grades and 8 modules for grades Each requires about 3 to 4 weeks to complete and includes a teacher's guide and materials for a class of 32 students. Pollution introduces students to the concept of pollution—the contamination of the environment caused by the introduction of natural or humanly produced waste or harmful substances.
They also make a device to measure the concentration of particles in the air at different sites, construct a simple water filtration system and examine the particles that get "filtered out" of several samples, and discover how difficult it is to remove oil from water and from feathers. In other activities, students determine the relative hardness of water samples, test the pH of 6 different water samples, and investigate the purity of rain water.
They also compare the rate of growth among plants that have been watered with tap water, acidic water, and a mixture of both, and infer the reason for the different growth rates. They listen to sounds to develop a definition of noise pollution and take a sound survey of 3 different areas at school. The 12 activities in Pollution take from 30 to 60 minutes each, and can be done by students working individually or in groups. In addition to directions for activities, the teacher's guide provides a module overview, a schedule of activities, objectives for each activity, background information, materials management and preparation tips, sample answers to discussion questions, teaching suggestions, and reinforcement activities.
Also included are reproducible activity sheets for student work and a performance-based assessment. A "connections" feature at the end of each activity provides suggestions for extending or applying the concepts addressed. Program Overview The Pondwater Tour is an activity kit for carrying out a project that focuses on the quality of surface water—for example, in ponds, streams, or marshes. The chemical and environmental effects of natural and human influences on surface water are studied. Activity Kit Recommended grade level: The Pondwater Tour engages students in a water-quality testing project.
Students collect water samples from a surface-water body and add variables such as plants, fish, and nutrients. Then they experiment with these water samples in class, measuring pH, dissolved oxygen, and nutrient levels over a number of days using colorimetric testing procedures. When the tests are completed, students record their results on bar graphs and discuss the results. The environmental changes demonstrated in the experiments are more dramatic in freshwater than in saltwater.
In addition to its experiments, The Pondwater Tour provides introductory discussions on water chemistry and several paper-and-pencil activities that lead up to the water-quality tests. Among the activities, for example, students create a large poster showing land uses, activities, and natural features that may affect a surface-water source. Resource information on pH, ammonia, dissolved oxygen, and nitrate is provided to help students interpret the results of their experiments.
The Pondwater Tour includes instructional material for the teacher, chemical tablets for the testing procedures, 6 glass vials for the dissolved oxygen test, and several reproducible student handouts. Some of the other required materials, such as fishbowls for storing water, are not included. Albany, N. The series was designed so that teachers can select modules and units that address local needs and draw on local community resources.
A module requires 3 to 8 weeks to complete, depending on the units selected. Supplies and equipment may be required that are not typically part of a school's science inventory. Solid Waste: Is There a Solution? The module's 19 activities address the topics of waste reduction, reuse and recycling, waste-to-energy facilities, landfills, and community involvement in solid waste management decisions. For example, students determine how much solid waste they produce on average each day; they take a field trip to a local landfill.
They also design a plan for making experimental minicompost piles in bottles; recycle newspapers in the classroom, creating usable paper; and measure how much heat is released from a burning walnut. In a simulation activity, students decide whether a landfill should be constructed in their community. In Too Much Trash? Students classify trash, investigate how their school and community manage trash, estimate the total weight of the trash discarded daily by the entire class, and explore ways to reduce the amount of the trash they generate.
Then, through the National Geographic Society Kids Network—a computer network that links students around the world doing the same unit—they share data and information on trash generation and disposal with students in different parts of the world. They graph the data and look for patterns and correlations. In a final activity, students develop a presentation to share their findings with an audience outside their classroom. Too Much Trash? In Toxic Waste , students are presented with the problem of safe disposal of a toxic copper-plating waste for an imaginary computer chip manufacturer.
In the first activity, they use copper chloride solution to electroplate an object, and in the next 6 activities they test and evaluate various methods of disposing of the used copper chloride solution, which contains a toxic heavy metal. For example, students explore the use of dilution as a strategy, by determining the volume of water needed to dilute 1 liter of a 50, parts per million ppm solution to produce a legally disposable concentration of 5 ppm.
They look at the reclamation of copper using metal replacement reactions, and examine how effective different metals are at removing a toxic metal from solution. They investigate the usefulness of precipitation reactions as a method for removing and securing toxic metal ions under simulated environmental stresses. Students also examine a fixation process that converts a liquid waste containing hazardous metal ions to a solid; then they test the solid's ability to resist leaching of the metal ions by acidic water. At the end of the module, students review the various processes for disposing of the copper chloride solution.
They discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each method in relation to the ultimate fate of the materials; they consider ease of carrying out the process, cost, and general environmental concerns. The discussion emphasizes the importance of source reduction in all waste management decisions. The 7 activities in Toxic Waste generally take 1 or 2 class periods of 40 to 50 minutes each to complete.
Included in this slim, wire-bound book are reproducible sheets, directions for guiding activities and discussions, suggestions for extensions, and an end-of-unit test. Original ed. Tomera, revised by Joel Beller. Portland, Maine: Walch, Program Overview Understanding Basic Ecological Concepts is a combined textbook and workbook that focuses on ecological concepts and the interrelationships of living things and their environments.
Students examine current environmental problems such as acid rain, toxic waste, tropical deforestation, and destruction of the ozone layer. Understanding Basic Ecological Concepts allows students to investigate such ecological concepts as populations, homeostasis, food webs, food chains, succession, and carrying capacity.
Organized in 16 pencil-and-paper problems and 4 field laboratories, the workbook asks students to answer questions and complete exercises by using information supplied in the text together with their own knowledge and observations. For example, students list the living and nonliving factors that might interact with a flower shown. They calculate the "student population density" of their classroom. Students also construct a food chain based on an illustration of a redwood forest community, and they investigate how waste is disposed of in their community.
In the laboratory investigations, students conduct a long-term study of a fruit fly population. They watch the fruit fly population increase, observing simultaneous environmental changes. Then they watch the population decline and try to determine the responsible factors. Students investigate the effect of light energy on an aquarium, the effect of automotive exhaust on roadside plants, and the effect of shade on biotic conditions. They observe 2 areas in the community for evidence of succession, and compare these 2 areas in terms of the kinds and numbers of organisms present.
Students also monitor the pH of precipitation events in their local area over a period of several months. Many simple black-and-white photographs illustrate ecological concepts in the volume, helping students make scientific inferences and answer questions.
One appendix contains additional worksheets for studying selected resources and environmental problems, such as a sanitary landfill, water consumption, and sewage treatment. Another appendix provides hints and suggestions for answering selected questions and problems in the main text. Students consider routes and methods of disposal on the basis of a "waste hierarchy" developed by the U. Environmental Protection Agency.
Among the activities, for example, students survey the amount and categories of trash they personally discard, and compare their generation of trash to national norms. Students also use a test to examine dilution as a disposal option for solutions containing toxic heavy metals. They investigate the problem of heavy-metal leachates in a simulated landfill. They contrast sanitary landfills with dumps considering issues such as weight versus volume, contamination of underground aquifers by leachates, methane gas production, and the Not-in-My-Back-Yard syndrome.
In other activities, students investigate the pluses and minuses of high-temperature incineration; recycle a plastic and examine data on the recycling of paper, scrap metals, glass and plastics to explore the strengths and limitations of recycling; and examine the advantages and disadvantages of replacing a toxic heavy-metal-based ink with less toxic or nontoxic substitutes as an example of the advantages of source reduction.
In a final, role-playing activity, students are challenged with the problem of the closure of their town's landfill in the near future. They must reconsider the household wastes they generate as a source of both benign and hazardous wastes. Throughout the module, questions are posed for student discussion and for fact-gathering and synthesis of ideas.
The 6 sequential activities in The Waste Hierarchy take 16 class periods of 40 to 50 minutes each to complete. Included in this slim, wire-bound book are reproducible student sheets, directions for guiding activities. IMaST series. Normal, Ill. The materials in each are designed to be used by a team of mathematics, science, and technology teachers concurrently over a 9-week period.
Each module includes a teacher's guide and a student book. Student Book Recommended grade level: 7. The Waste Management module is designed to promote students' active involvement in reducing, reusing, recycling, and rethinking solid waste. Among the activities, for example, students calculate the surface area and volume of a rectangular prism and then make comparisons of surface area to volume in the context of reducing solid waste.
They also conduct a controlled experiment to investigate the variables that influence composting, and they construct and interpret graphs that relate to waste management. Students also design a device that will crush an aluminum can for storage and transportation to recycling centers. The 23 activities in Waste Management are divided in 3 groups, according to their emphasis on mathematics, science, or technology. The activities require both individual and cooperative work. Each activity takes between 2 and 7 class periods to complete. Teacher's Guide Accompanying the activities in the teacher's guide are brief directions, along with ideas for class discussions and extension activities.
Three sections following the activities provide background reading and basic information on waste and waste management, and include discussion questions with sample answers. Guidelines for assessing student performance are provided. In Waste Reduction , students sort and analyze school garbage to identify recyclable and compostable materials. Then they develop a plan to reduce their consumption and waste at school and at home. About 18 to 20 class sessions are needed to complete the 16 activities in Waste Reduction.
Teacher's Guide The teacher's resource guide includes examples of possible student responses to discussion questions, annotated answers to student activity sheets, and some. The series was designed so that teachers might select modules and units that address local needs and draw on local community resources. During the module, students carry out tests to compare the properties of water with the properties of corn oil.
They also design and implement a plan to prepare a local surface-water sample for everyday human use, and they test water samples for hardness. In other activities, students map their local water resources and learn about the concept of a watershed. They plan and carry out a field investigation of a local waterworks where water is treated to produce drinking water.
They learn what happens to water after it goes down the drain. Students also build models to visualize how little of the earth's water supply exists in groundwater and surface water. They design and implement a household water-monitoring program. They plan and carry out a student-designed action project involving water use or resources in their local community. In What's in Our Water? They determine the source of their school's tap water, explore the definition of "pollutants," and test their tap water for nitrates and chlorines.
Students set up an experiment with grass seeds and fertilizer to explore the trade-offs between the beneficial effects of a substance nitrate and its potentially harmful effects on water quality. As they do so, they look for patterns in the data and examine a map of the network data. In the final week of the unit, students focus on international implications of water pollution.
What's in Our Water? Wildlife and Humanity is designed to increase students' interest in issues pertaining to wildlife and to encourage their participation in the resolution of local wildlife issues. The guide's 3 units each contain several classroom or outdoor activities; many of these involve reading or research. Students plan and carry out local field walks and investigations, implement a bird feeder project, and visit a zoo or environmental education center. Through readings, simulations, debates, and reports, students then focus on wildlife and human interactions.
They use a simple model, for example, to illustrate resource depletion. They also explore the impact of introduced species, and they gather information on wetlands and relate the effects of habitat destruction to changes in wildlife populations and communities. Finally, students produce case studies on controversial wildlife issues of their choice, and they plan and carry out a project to enhance an outdoor habitat.
Each activity includes suggestions for extensions, evaluations, and interdisciplinary connections. Ideas for long-term studies or for repeating outdoor activities during different seasons of the year are also given. Although the module was produced for use in New York State, it can easily be adapted for use elsewhere.
Limited background information is provided. Barbara Thomson and Martin Hartog. Recommended grade level: Activities to Teach Mathematics in the Context of Environmental Studies contains 35 activities that teach mathematics and problem-solving skills. The activities are designed to respond to the standards of the National Council of Teachers in Mathematics NCTM and to promote integrated mathematics and science learning, global awareness, and issue-oriented instruction. Topics covered include energy and natural resources, plants and animals, population growth, solid waste disposal, transportation, water, and weather.
Among the activities, for example, students thin a population of growing plants in several different ways to observe which method promotes the fastest growth of seedlings. They also form number patterns to describe cell populations at successive stages of growth. They develop an understanding of powers of numbers through a problem on population growth.