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Activity 1: How I Impact the Earth (ELA and Science)

Objective:
Students will write at least 5 facts related to how humans
impact the pollution of our planet.
Description: Students will investigate, research, and learn how they impact
the pollution of our planet.

Start with this compelling YouTube video of Dear Future


Generations, which talks about what we are doing as
humans to our environment and how we can help.

After-video discussion: Ask students Why is he saying


sorry? Is he being reasonable for saying he is sorry?

Explain Merriam-Webster defines pollution as: the


action or process of making land, water, air, etc., dirty and
not safe or suitable to use.

Explain to the students that population growth, energy


use, and pollution are some of the driving forces related
to global change. Then, explain to the students that they
will be focusing specifically on what we are doing as
humans related to pollution issues and how there are
various types of pollution (air, water, soil, noise, light).

As a class, first brainstorm on the board and make a list


of possible causes of pollution (fertilizers, pesticides,
industrial growth, etc.)

In groups of 2-3, students will then research (using print


materials and internet resources) the actual causes of
pollution, focusing on finding information on what we are
doing as humans to impact pollution.

Each group will create a poster in the outline of a body


and write these facts of how humans cause pollution then
present to class.

As a class, we will come up with our own definition of


pollution.
Assessment Students will create a large human paper outline of their
:
bodies. Inside this human outline, students will write at least 5
facts of how they have an impact on the pollution of the earth.
They will then present these posters to the class.
Standards:
RI.9-10.1. Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support
analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences
drawn from the text. a. Develop factual, interpretive, and
evaluative questions for further exploration of the topic(s).
SL.9-10.4.Present information, findings, and supporting
evidence clearly, concisely, and logically such that listeners can
follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development,
substance, and style are appropriate to purpose, audience, and
task.
Resources:

Vergnoux, A., Allari, E., Sassi, M., Thimonier, J., Hammond, C., &
Clouzot, L. (2011). A Multidisciplinary Investigation of Aquatic
Pollution and How to Minimise It. Journal Of Biological

Education, 45(1), 37-49. Available here.


Kuby, M., & Association of American Geographers, W. D. (1996).
Population Growth, Energy Use, and Pollution: Understanding
the Driving Forces of Global Change. Hands-On! Developing
Active Learning Modules on the Human Dimensions of Global
Change. Available here
Manufacturing Chemists Association, W. D. (1973). Water
Pollution, Causes and Cures. Available here.
http://www.conserve-energy-future.com/PollutionTypes.php
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eRLJscAlk1M
Activity 2: Introduction to a Research Plan (Science)
Objective:
Students will be able to list and describe the six components of
a research plan.
Description:

In this lesson, students will be learning about research


plans, which they will be creating and adding to
throughout the unit.

The lesson will begin with the class brainstorming what


they know about and the components they think are
included in a research plan

We will then discuss the 6 key parts, and an acronym to


remember them by (PGHERC: Pigs Get Hiccups Eating
Rotten Cheese), that they will be focusing on for this unit
and how each of them ties into the activities we will be
doing
1. Problem: Research question--Is Lake Onondaga a
polluted lake?
2. Gather Information: Research (history, human
impact, DEC, legislature) (History and ELA)
3. Hypothesis: After gaining information and learning
about the history of the lake
4. Experiment: Testing lake water (Science)
5. Record data: Testing lake water
6. Conclusion: Determine whether or not their
hypothesis was correct and why; tie this in with writing
the letters (whats wrong, what should be done)

Students will be provided with a note packet that


contains each of the components that they are to fill in as
they complete each section

We will discuss the first step (the problem) and how that
will be the focus for the rest of our unit

By the end of the lesson, students should have the first


page filled out and be prepared for the next activity
Assessment At the end of the lesson, students will be instructed to use their
:
cell phones to text Wifitti (service that allows students to text in
their answers to questions to the teacher) one thing they want

Standards:

to learn through creating their research plan


Living Environment Standards:
Living Environment. 2.2A. Development of a research plan
involves researching background information and
understanding the major concepts in the area being
investigated. Recommendations for methodologies, use of
technologies, proper equipment, and safety precautions should
also be included.
Living Environment.1.2A. Inquiry involves asking questions and
locating, interpreting, and processing information from a variety
of sources.

Activity 3: The History of Onondaga Lake (Social Studies and ELA)


Objective:
Students will be able to correctly recall five facts related to the
background history of Onondaga Lake and its pollution.
Description:
To familiarize students with the topic that will be the
focus of their research plan, students will be
researching Lake Onondaga and the various
components that have added to the lake earning the
title of the most polluted lake in the United States.
The students will work with a partner and will choose 1
of 12 topics to research using a minimum of 3 sources.
Once the students have their topic, they will find
information relating to their topic and how it pertains to
the study of the lake.
Students will present the information they have
researched in a document that will be added to a
collaborative class document that all students will have
access to. Students will then be instructed to view and
study other students research to familiarize
themselves with the information their peers have
presented.
The topics students will be researching will be:
The area surrounding the lake (city, size of the lake,
etc.)
Mercury (what is it? What does it mean for the lake?
Side effects?)
Nutrients in the lake (ammonia/phosphorous)
Toxic waste (why is it in the lake? Where does it come
from?)
Solvay Wastebeds
Major events in lake history (human waste disposal, etc)
-- 2 groups
Clean Water Act of 1973
Effects of industrialization
Aquatic life within the lake

Any cleanup efforts that are taking place today

Assessment Students will complete a formative assessment in the form of


:
an exit ticket in which they fill out three boxes:
3 things I learned today:
2 things I found interesting:
1 question I still have:
Addition to Students will be gathering information to add to their research
Research
plan packet regarding the history of the lake. After todays
Plan
lesson they will make their hypothesis of whether or not they
believe lake Onondaga is a polluted lake.
Standards: Social Studies Practice Grades 9-12
B. Chronological Reasoning and Causation
3. Identify, analyze, and evaluate the relationship between
multiple causes and effects
4. Distinguish between long-term and immediate causes and
multiple effects (time, continuity, and change).
D. Graphic Reasoning:
3. Identify, analyze, and evaluate the relationship between the
environment and human activities, how the physical
environment is modified by human activities, and how human
activities are also influenced by Earths physical features and
processes
F. Civil Participation:
2. Participate in activities that focus on a classroom, school,
community, state, or national issue or problem
Reading Standards:
RH.9-10.3. Analyze in detail a series of events described in a
text; determine whether earlier events caused later ones or
simply preceded them
RH.9-10.7. Integrate quantitative or technical analysis (e.g.,
charts, research data) with qualitative analysis in print or
digital text
Writing Standards:
WHST.9-10.2. Write informative/explanatory texts, including
the narration of historical events or technical processes
b. Develop the topic with well- chosen, relevant, and
sufficient facts, extended definitions, concrete details,
quotations, or other information and examples appropriate to
the audiences knowledge of the topic
d. Use precise language and domain-specific vocabulary
to manage the complexity of the topic and convey a style
appropriate to the discipline and context as well as to the
expertise of likely readers.
Speaking and Listening Standards:
SL.9-10.4.Present information, findings, and supporting

evidence clearly, concisely, and logically such that listeners


can follow the line of reasoning and the organization,
development, substance, and style are appropriate to
purpose, audience, and task.
SL.9-10.5. Make strategic use of digital media (e.g., textual,
graphical, audio, visual, and interactive elements) in
presentations to enhance understanding of findings,
reasoning, and evidence and to add interest.
Activity 4: Testing the Lake Water (Science and ELA)
Objective:
Students will explain in writing how they tested the water and
the level of pollution present in the water.
Description:

Onondaga Lake is the most polluted lake in the United


States, however, how is that determined? What do
scientists have to do in order to determine if the lake is
polluted? This lesson will explore how water samples are
tested and how pollution is determined from the water
sample.

View video and have students record notes regarding the


steps to test a water sample; discuss notes as a class and
write them in order on the board

Explain that we are testing water for bacteria, lead,


pesticides, nitrates, pH and chlorine levels and describe
the effects of each and why it cannot be in our water

Take students through using the First Alert Wt1 Drinking


Test Water Kit
Assessment In order to tie writing into this science lesson, students will
:
explain how they tested the water samples and how they
determined the level of pollution in the water. This will allow
students to practice content based writing and demonstrate
their knowledge of the pollution in Onondaga Lake. It will also
assess the students knowledge of the water testing process
and whether or not they understand how the water is tested.
Standards:
Writing Standards:
WS.9-10.2. Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and
convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and
accurately through the effective selection, organization, and
analysis of content.

Resources:

Living Environment Standards:


Living Environment.1.2a-Inquiry involves asking questions and
locating, interpreting, and processing information from a variety
of sources.
Resources:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y45t9Ch_joE:
Video showing a county testing their lake/stream water

Activity 5: Testing the Lake Water (Science and ELA)

Objective:
Description:

Students will explain in writing how they tested the water and
the level of pollution present in the water.

Yesterday, we looked at a water sample of Onondaga


Lake and worked to determine whether or not the lake
was polluted. Today, we are going to look at different
water sample and compare it to the sample in Onondaga
Lake and determine whether or not this water sample is
polluted.
Practice determining whether or not lake water is
polluted using the simulator on
http://www.glencoe.com/sites/common_assets/science/vir
tual_labs/CT04/CT04.html as a class
What made Onondaga Lake polluted? What key
components will we be looking for to determine whether
or not this lake water sample is polluted?
Have students complete the same water testing process
for this water sample and communicate their findings.

Assessment Very similar to activity 4, students will be writing their findings


:
and expressing whether or not the lake water is polluted and
how they know. Then, they will have to restate the process they
used to determine whether the lake water is polluted and the
characteristics that this water sample showed that was different
than the previous, in order to demonstrate their knowledge of a
polluted vs. an unpolluted lake.
Standards:

Writing Standards:
WS.9-10.2. Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and
convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and
accurately through the effective selection, organization, and
analysis of content.
Living Environment Standards:
Living Environment.1.2a-Inquiry involves asking questions and
locating, interpreting, and processing information from a variety
of sources.

Resources:

Resources:
http://www.glencoe.com/sites/common_assets/science/virtual_la
bs/CT04/CT04.html :
A site where students can virtually test water samples and
determine if the sample is safe enough to drink

Activity 6: Regulations and Laws (Social Studies)


Objective: -By the end of the lesson, the students will be able to explain
and discuss with a partner the key facts from the Environmental
Protection Act (EPA)s Clean Water Act of 1972. The students will
also be able to restate those key facts and complete a guided
notes worksheet that can be used for a portion of their research

plan.
Descriptio -To help activate prior knowledge and make connections with
n:
the students schema, the teacher will complete a pre-reading
vocabulary lesson with the students. The words that will be
selected are words or terms that may be unfamiliar to the
students but are essential for comprehending the reading topic.
-The teacher will then present the students with the EPAs
website and a youtube video that provides key information
regarding the Clean Water Act of 1972. The resources will be
available on student iPads.
-The students will be able to work with a small group to engage
with the resources while working together to complete guided
notes. The website will also have different links that the
students can click on to find more informations about the Clean
Water Act.
Assessme
nt:

The formative assessment will be whether or not the students


complete the guided notes page correctly, and also by engaging
the students in discussion about the Clean Water Act.

The students will use the data that they have learned in this
activity to help build the portion of their research plan where
they have to research background information.
Standards RI.9-10.1. Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support
:
analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences
drawn from the text. a. Develop factual, interpretive, and
evaluative questions for further exploration of the topic(s).
SS.4.1 Relationship between human populations and the
physical world (people, places, and environments)
SS.4.2 Effect of human activities on the environment
Resources Infomation for the website can be found at
:
https://www.epa.gov/laws-regulations/summary-clean-water-act
Youtube video on history of the Clean Water Act
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TbgKwEkseVo
Activity 7: DEC Letter Writing (ELA)
Objective: For this activity, the students will be writing an
informative/argumentative letter to the DEC presenting their
findings, providing our information in a way that shows our
concerns, then ask ways that they (the students) can help the
reduce the water pollution for that region.
Descriptio -The students will write a letter to the DEC, including the
n:
information that they learned about Onondaga Lake pollution.
-The letter will consist of some of the history that they have
learned, along with the water sample experiment they
conducted. They will also include the results of their water
sample.
-They will also ask in their letter what they can do to help the

pollution at Onondaga Lake.


Onondaga Lake is located in region 7 of the DEC
Main Office:
Syracuse- Main Office
615 Erie Blvd. West
Syracuse, NY 13204
315-426-7400
Regional Environmental Educator
Betsy Ukeritis
Phone (315) 426-7532; Fax (315) 426-7408
Assessme
nt:

The students will write this letter as part of their conclusion to


the research plan. They will provide information that they have
learned as well as asking what they can do to help with the
effort to clean Onondaga Lake.
Standards WS.9-10.2. Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and
:
convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and
accurately through the effective selection, organization, and
analysis of content.
Activity 8- DEC Guest Speaker (ELA and Science)
Objective: - The students will be able to obtain information from a DEC
guest speaker. The students will interact with the guest speaker
by asking questions and taking informed notes. The information
that the students learn from the guest speaker will also be used
in their research plan.
Descriptio -In the research packet, there is a DEC guest speaker portion
n:
under the gather information section.
-In the packet, the students will write down three questions that
they have and they want to ask the DEC speaker.
-The students will then use the section at the bottom of the
page to jot down any notes that they feel will be beneficial to
their research plan.
-The purpose of this activity is to have a collaborative and
interactive discussion with an informed guest speaker.
Assessme
nt:

The teacher will be able to assess if the student came prepared


to the discussion with questions ready to ask. The students will
also be assessment on their level of interaction and
involvement with the guest speaker.

Standards SL.9.1.C. Initiate and participate effectively in a range of


:
collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacherled) with diverse partners on grades 910 topics, texts, and
issues, building on others ideas and expressing their own
clearly and persuasively. Propel conversations by posing and
responding to questions that relate the current discussion to
broader themes or larger ideas; actively incorporate others into

the discussion; and clarify, verify, or challenge ideas and


conclusions.
Activity 9: Cowspiracy (Science and Social Studies)
Objective:
Students will be able make at least five insightful and media
driven entries into a class blog while watching Cowspiracy.
Posts should be connected to the overall direction of the
discussion in the blog posts or connected to the current topic
being presented in the film. These entries can be in the form
a summary, a question, or answer to another blogger's
question.
Description:
Cowspiracy is a documentary about a young man who
sets out to investigate the agricultural impact on
environmental destruction and global warming.
Building Background knowledge: In Social Studies
(Activities 3 and 6), our students will be learning that
industries have impacted the pollution of the earth for
decades. They will learn that air pollution and chemical
dumping were the key contributors of world pollution.
Additionally, in ELA (activity 1) students will
investigate how they specifically impact the pollution
of our planet, such as overflowing landfills, Co2
emissions, overusage of clean water supplies, etc.
Through these three activities they will learn that air,
water and land pollution are a result of industrial
impacts, as well as, daily decisions of the human
population. They will also learn that these causes of
pollution are the largest focus of anti-pollution interest
groups. Students will have the same background
knowledge that the main character in the Cowspiracy
documentary initially had.
Cowspiracy will then present the idea to the students
that no matter what we do to prevent the global
impacts that they learned about previously in ELA and
S.S. they will not make an impact due to the
agricultural industry and the world's love for animal
products. They will learn that the agricultural industry
impacts our water supplies through over-usage and
contamination. They will also learn that the major
contributor to the depletion of our ozone is the
excessive amounts of nitrogen that manure releases
into the air. The documentary suggests that humans
will need to lower their consumption of animal
products drastically in order to make an environmental
impact. Cowspiracy suggests that we need to reduce
our meat consumption from the current consumption
of about 9oz a day to 2 oz a week.
Assessment:

Students will be able make at least five insightful and media


driven entries into a class blog while watching Cowspiracy.

Posts should be connected to the overall direction of


discussion in the blog posts or connected to the current topic
being presented in the film. These entries can be in the form
a summary, a question, or answer to another blogger's
question.
Standards:

ELA Speaking and Listening Standards: Presentation


of Knowledge and Ideas
SL.9-10.4.Present information, findings, and supporting
evidence clearly, concisely, and logically such that listeners
can follow the line of reasoning and the organization,
development, substance, and style are appropriate to
purpose, audience, and task.
SL.9-10.5. Make strategic use of digital media (e.g., textual,
graphical, audio, visual, and interactive elements) in
presentations to enhance understanding of findings,
reasoning, and evidence and to add interest.

Resources:

Connection
to the
Research
plan

Cowspiracy on Netflix:
Andersen, K., Kuhn, K., xTrue Naturex (Musical group),, A.U.M.
Films & Media (Organization),, & First Spark Media,. (2014).
Cowspiracy: The sustainability secret.
The Cowspiracy video is a resource that contradicts the
pollution efforts they learned about in their first ELA lesson.
They will learn that recycling, saving water and driving an
eco-friendly car is not all they need to be doing to stop the
destruction of our earth. They will learn that farms are also
major contributors to our pollution problems, in which the
only way to stop this pollution is to change their diet.
Students will then take all the information they learned over
the course of this unit and write the conclusion to their
research plan.

Culminating Activity/Final Assessment: The Research Plan (Science)


Cumulative
Objective: The students will create a well thought out cumulating research
project related to the study of pollution. The students will use
the data from the different activities to complete the various
elements in the research project. The students will then write a
letter to the DEC, region 7, providing them the findings from
their research project.
Descriptio -The students will be have already had experience with writing a
n:
portion of a research study in prior science lessons. The
teacher will spend a day reviewing the steps of a research
study, and provide the students with the rubric and directions
for their project.
-The teacher will provide the students with the research

question, then give them a graphic organizer to help guide


them as they are working on researching the effects of pollution
and Onondaga Lake. Problem: Research question--Is Lake
Onondaga a polluted lake?
Gather Information: Research (history, human impact, DEC,
legislative) (History and ELA)
Hypothesis: After gaining information and learning about the
history of the lake
Experiment: Testing lake water (Science)
Record data: Testing lake water
Conclusion: Determine whether or not their hypothesis was
correct and why; tie this in with writing the letters (whats
wrong, what should be done).
-The students will work with through the unit, engaging with
various activities. The students will then be able to use the work
that they have already completed to develop their research
plan.
-As a way to present their research plan at the end of the unit,
the students will write a letter to region 7 DEC, and provide
them a summary of their findings from their research plan.
Assessme
nt:

The assessment for this activity will be the actual research plan
that was written. The students and teacher(s) will be able to
evaluate the assignment based off the rubric that was provided.
This will be a summative assessment, evaluating the different
components of the plan that was developed over the duration of
the unit.

Standards -Living Environment. 2.2a Development of a research plan


:
involves researching background information and understanding
the major concepts in the area being investigated.
Recommendations for methodologies, use of technologies,
proper equipment, and safety precautions should also be
included
-WS.9-10.2. Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and
convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and
accurately through the effective selection, organization, and
analysis of content.
-RI.9-10.1. Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support
analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences
drawn from the text. a. Develop factual, interpretive, and
evaluative questions for further exploration of the topic(s).
-Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas
4.Present information, findings, and supporting evidence
clearly, concisely, and logically such that listeners can follow
the line of reasoning and the organization, development,
substance, and style are appropriate to purpose, audience, and

task.