In this lesson, students explore the role of regulations ininfluencing air quality decisions as they examine trendsin air pollution. The students are encouraged to thinkcritically about important technological developments thathave influenced the lives of individuals since the start ofthe twentieth century.
Students first consider what supports all life on Earth
and are then introduced to the levels of environmental
organization (biosphere, biome, ecosystem, community,
population, and organism).
Students use a ball of twine to create a forest ecosystem “web of life,” illustrating interdependence within a natural community and the importance of diversity within it.
Students are then introduced to the concept of biodiversity and its importance.
Students examine short readings about individuals’ land use preferences and identify the different views of the land held by different individuals. They compare and contrast these individual views of the land. The big idea for this lesson is that land can be used
for many different purposes
In this extension lesson, students examine and graph data about land use patterns and trends in their local county. As a result, the lesson plan is a procedural outline, since the content will be unique to each county. .
The intent of the lesson is to introduce students to the process that people in a local community undertake when they ask for a change in land use zoning. The lesson is intended to show students how a local government agency makes decisions and how individual citizens are part of the process. The lesson also presents a typical urban land use conflict through a play.
Students examine photographs of brownfields and greenfields, and residential and commercial land uses with accompanying captions. They discuss the information
shown in the photographs after reading the captions.
Students synthesize information about land use, water, and air from a poster. In this lesson, students are asked to use prior knowledge about water and air issues and combine those with what they have been studying about land use.
This lesson focuses on how we use water in our daily lives.Students calculate their weekly water use and predict howtheir use would change if water were less available or morecostly.
This lesson builds on students’ prior knowledge of the water cycle. The teacher creates a watershed model to demonstrate runoff. Next, students locate their watershed on Michigan’s Water World poster and determine into which Great Lake their watershed empties. Lastly, they investigate how streamflow characteristics vary between Michigan rivers depending upon watershed size, time of year, and other factors.
Students discover the direct link between land use andthe water quality of streams, rivers, and lakes whenthey observe how pollutants from various land uses canbe carried by runoff through the watershed, eventuallyreaching one of the Great Lakes.
Building upon their prior knowledge of the water cycle,students explore how groundwater moves and howit interacts with surface water in a watershed.
Students discover that many contaminants cannot be seen,smelled, or tasted, so water chemistry analysis has tobe done to ensure the safety of drinking water. Studentsperform a serial dilution to observe that even an extremelysmall concentration of a contaminant can still pose a threatto human health.
Students are introduced to the physical, chemical, andbiological characteristics of an ecologically healthystream and to the procedures used by scientists andaquatic biologists for assessing the health of a stream.
Students identify common pollutants in storm water,compare the quantity of runoff from different land covers,and then apply this knowledge to their comparison oftwo aerial photos taken in 1975 and 2010, respectively, tohypothesize how land use and cover changes may affectthe quantity and quality of storm water runoff.
Students reflect on what is “great” about the Great Lakes.Next they investigate aquatic food chains in the GreatLakes and how some contaminants can bioaccumulate inGreat Lakes and inland lake fish, resulting in state fishconsumption advisories.