You are on page 1of 8

Inquiry Lesson Plan Template

Teacher: Content & Title: Grade Level:

Cassandra Norman Human Impacts 8
MS-ESS3-3. Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a
human impact on the environment.* [Clarification Statement: Examples of the design process
include examining human environmental impacts, assessing the kinds of solutions that are
feasible, and designing and evaluating solutions that could reduce that impact. Examples of
human impacts can include water usage (such as the withdrawal of water from streams and
aquifers or the construction of dams and levees), land usage (such as urban development,
agriculture, or the removal of wetlands), and pollution (such as of the air, water, or land).]

Objectives (Explicit & Measurable):

Students will be able to explain the materials economy system and synthesize
the human impact along the processes within the system by comparing the
Story of Stuff focus question worksheet to the results of the Footprint
Students will evaluate methods of reducing material waste by completing a
rational for their Story of Solutions Student Choice Project.
Evidence of Mastery (Measurable Assessment: formative and summative):
Students will do the following to show evidence of mastery:
(formative) Students will compare the Story of Stuff focus question worksheet
to the results of the Footprint Calculator. The teacher will listen closely to the
class conversation to redirect any misconceptions.
(summative) Students will write questions and thoughts they have about the
materials economy and stick them on the corresponding process (extraction,
production, distribution, consumption, disposal) large sticky sheet of paper. The
teacher will read questions for valuable content and addressing misconceptions.

Sub-objectives, SWBAT (steps that lead to completion of objective; sequence from simple to more
Apply scientific principles to design an object, tool, process or system.
Relationships can be classified as causal or correlational, and correlation does
not necessarily imply causation.
Scientific knowledge can describe the consequences of actions but does not
necessarily prescribe the decisions that society takes.
Conduct short research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated
question), drawing on several sources and generating additional related, focused
questions that allow for multiple avenues of exploration.
Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, using search
terms effectively; assess the credibility and accuracy of each source; and quote
or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism and
following a standard format for citation.
Recognize and represent proportional relationships between quantities.
Lesson Summary and Justification: (summary gives detailed information about what students
are doing. Justification why is this lesson being taught)
Students will use internet-ready technology to use the Footprint Calculator. For 10
minutes or less, students will discuss amongst their near peers how this relates to
their chosen projects and processes in the materials economy system, and what they
could do to reduce their impact. As a class, watch "The Story of Solutions." Tie in the
student's results of their calculated footprint by discussing how the local community
could reduce that impact by so much more than individuals working alone.
Essential Question: How can students influence the local population to reduce its
Using large sticky note paper labeled with each process (extraction, production,
distribution, consumption, disposal), students will formulate a question they have
about the system or processes of the materials economy. The teacher will read some
questions from each process aloud to help students brainstorm a rational for their
"Story of Solutions" project.
Background Knowledge: (What do students need to know prior to completing this lesson)
Students will need to know that plastic is made using oil and other chemicals.
Students will need to understand how processes interact to become a system.
Students will need to know the difference between landfills and recycling plants.
Misconception: (what possible misleading thoughts might students have?)
Students may have heard that every other country is equally as responsible for
the impacts caused by humans.
Students may think that it is not our responsibility to clean up the mess made by
Students may not see a correlation between the environment and the economy.
Students may be scared into thinking that all Americans are going to get serious
illnesses like cancer from the toxics in, toxics out portion of the Story of Stuff
Process Skills: (what skills are you introducing or reinforcing)
Communication articulation and expression through written and verbal methods.
Classification organizing things into classes or categories of the same type.
Comparing/Contrasting to examine in order to discover likenesses or differences
Relating seeing relationships between and among things in our environment
Applying the process by which we use knowledge
Four Ways of Thinking connection: (Provide a complete explanation of how your lesson plan
connects to futures, system, strategic, or values thinking. Define the way of thinking you selected and
used in this lesson plan. Remember, this should be included meaningfully in the lesson plan.)

Systems thinking: Realizing the interconnectedness of every day processes and how a change in one of
the processes could affect the entire system.

This lesson connects to systems thinking. Story of Stuff explains where the things we buy come from
and each step the products must go through to reach us. The system that is the materials economy,
has limits which will vastly affect the entire system if depleted. This lesson uses systems thinking to
engage students in thinking about the methods they could use to influence that system.
Safety: (what safety rules and items need to be addressed?)
The use of the internet is limited to the Weebly cite, Footprint calculator, and
Yale EPI cite, only.
During discussion, students will practice respect for their peers and empathy for
their peers beliefs.
Inquiry Questions: (testable in the here and now.)
1. How do we reduce our waste to landfills using other methods than recycling?
2. How would the materials economy system be impacted if we ran out of
Key vocabulary: (list and define) Materials: (list item and possible quantity)
Impact: The unintended outcome of Computers, tablets or cell phones
an event. (1 per student)
Public Service announcement: An Large sticky note paper (5)
educational video/movie made to Regular sized sticky notes (5 per
inform the public about something student)
important they likely do not know Markers (1 per student)
about, already. Magnetic Gear Toys (1 set of 150
White board markers (1 per
Engage - In this section you should activate prior knowledge, hook student attention,
pose a question (IQ#1) based on your lesson objective that students will seek to
answer in Explore.
Teacher Will: (hook) Students Will:
Using internet-ready technology, tell Log into their student accounts
students to go to and type in and
follow the tabs to the For Students
section. Scroll down slightly past the header
to the button Footprint Calculator and Click on the button under the
click. This will open up a new tab to the header that says, Footprint
Global Footprint Network Footprint Calculator
Calculator. Students will begin by selecting
the geographic area, USA. Students will
click, Begin, Get Started, Randomly
Generate an Avatar, then, using the
bottom half of the quiz for more detailed
information, students will complete the Complete the Footprint Calculator
calculator to the best of their knowledge. If to the best of their ability
students do not know the answer to some
questions, like the approximate amount
spent on house bills, tell students to select
I dont know, which is an option. When
students are done, go to the white board Graph the number of Earths they
and draw set up a bar graph with the
totaled at the end of the
vertical axis as #of Earths and the
calculator simulator.
horizontal axis students names. Call on
each student individually to graph the
number of Earths it would take to support
the entire population living like them. Take
the average number of Earths when done
by dividing the sum by the number of Answer, Leonard talks about how
students. Tell students to get out their focus the global population has already
questions from Day 1. Ask students, used up 1/3 of the resources
Leonard talks about how the global available on Earth. How could that
population has already used up 1/3 of the be true if we are using (example 4
resources available on Earth. How could Earths) of resources?
that be true if we are using (example 4 Answer, how many Earths do you
Earths) of resources? Give students an think we would need if we lived
opportunity to discuss freely for up to 5 like people in Somalia?
minutes. Scaffold students to realize that
the footprint calculator estimates the entire
7 billion people living like we do by asking Answer, How many Earths do you
students, how many Earths do you think think we would need if everyone
we would need if we lived like people in lived like the people in Finland?
Somalia? If students are curious about the Answer, How do our households
Country of Somalia, Google image search,
contribute to the materials
people in Somalia. Discuss with students
economy? with specific examples
how the people in Somalia have no choice
like, Land for energy.
but to live within their means, which is
much less than what they need. Ask
students, How many Earths do you think
we would need if everyone lived like the
people in Finland? Ask students, How do
our households contribute to the materials
Best Teaching Practice Strategy/Differentiation/ELL and Teacher Notes
Scaffolding- Using minimal assistance, the teacher will support students by
questioning to make connections between personal behaviors and impacts to global
behaviors and impacts.
Visual Support- The teacher will follow the same steps as the students in transitioning
Differentiation- Any students who would have trouble seeing what to type in the url
box or would take far longer than other students to get to the cite for any reason, the
teacher could assist them by saving the website to bookmarks beforehand or typing it
in when needed.
ELL Support- In the event ELL students are present for the discussion, sentence frames
should be provided in addition to word walls and more visuals.
Multiple intelligences- tactile, mathematical, intrapersonal, interpersonal, linguistic,
and auditory learning make for stronger connections in the brain.
Explore - In this section students should take the lead and actively use materials to
discover information that will help them answer the question posed in Engage.
Teachers may choose to give steps to follow, especially for younger students, but the
goal is for students to discover some or all of the sub-objectives of the lesson.
Teacher Will: (pose IQ #1) Students Will: (list all steps)
Play The Story of Solutions in class. Tell Watch The Story of Solutions
students to have their focus questions
available from Day 1 and ask, How do we
reduce our waste to landfills using other Answer, How do we reduce my
methods than recycling? Tell students to waste to landfills using other
go back to the Weebly website and access methods than recycling?
any of web-based material to assist them in
their research for their Story of Solutions
Student Choice Project. Remind students of Return to the For Students page
internet etiquette. on the Weebly Website.
Follow available links to research
sustainability topics relating to the
chosen projects. Take notes.
Best Teaching Practice Strategy/Differentiation/ELL and Teacher Notes
Circulating- Teacher will walk about the room to support students when needed and
redirect those who wander away from the allowed websites.
Ell Support- Ells may not understand what the data means on the websites. Simply
explain using basic language, visuals and hand-gestures.
Multiple intelligences- intrapersonal, linguistic, and auditory learning make for stronger
connections in the brain.
Explain In this section students share what they discovered, teacher connects
student discoveries to correct content terms/explanations, students
articulate/demonstrate a clear and correct understanding of the lesson sub-objectives
by answering the question from Engage before moving on.
Teacher Will: Students Will:
Tell students, after 10-15 minutes, to finish Close out of websites and put
up looking at the website they are currently technology away
on, put the technology away, then gather Get into groups of 4
into groups of 4. Tell students to compare
their notes they just took and add anything Compare notes from the websites.
they may have missed. Use your peers as
resources. We all know different things. Just
make sure that whatever you write down, Talk about what was interesting,
you check on later for accuracy. We also
surprising and relevant to the
make mistakes." Tell students to discuss in
their groups what they found to be
interesting, surprising and relevant to their
Best Teaching Practice Strategy/Differentiation/ELL and Teacher Notes
Circulate- As a simple form of assessment, listen to what students gained from
exploring the different websites. Address any misconceptions as a whole class.
Multiple intelligences- intrapersonal, interpersonal, linguistic, and auditory learning
make for stronger connections in the brain.
Elaborate In this section students take the basic learning gained from Explore and
clarified in Explain and apply it to a new circumstance or explore a particular aspect of
this learning at a deeper level. Students should be using higher order thinking in this
stage. A common practice in this section is to ask a What If? question. IQ #2
Teacher Will: (pose IQ #2) Students Will:
Bring out the toy gear set explored in Day
1. 5 gears are labeled with the processes of Observe the teacher model how to
the materials economy, extraction, arrange the gears.
production, distribution, consumption,
disposal. Give students 10 minutes to Spend 10 minutes to work as a
arrange the set in an operational system class in identifying each system
that labels each small piece as a component that all work together.
component of the processes. En example by
the teacher might be to attach a medium Observe the teacher take out all
gear to distribution and label it Semi- gears related to natural resources
Truck-travel. Then, attach a smaller gear
and label it workers. Then add another Take down all gears impacted by
medium size gear to distribution and label
the loss of natural resources
it Gasoline. Provide enough dry-erase
markers for each student to have one each.
When students are done, remove the
limited resources from the system and ask,
How would the materials economy system
be impacted if we ran out of resources?
Allow one student at a time to take down
one gear that is affected by the resources
being taken out. Put away the gear toys.
Best Teaching Practice Strategy/Differentiation/ELL and Teacher Notes
Modeling- The teacher will model to students how to compose the system of gears and
how to label them using the magnets on the back to stick to the whiteboard and
whiteboard markers to label the gears.
Ell Support- ELL students will be encouraged to write down any word, perhaps from a
word wall or sentence frame, to connect to the system of gears. If ELL students need
visual support, use the computer projector to provide a visual hint.
Multiple intelligences- tactile, mathematical, intrapersonal, interpersonal, linguistic,
and auditory learning make for stronger connections in the brain.
Behavior Strategy- Students who struggle to stay in their own space should be told
before the activity that there will be no warnings. Any disorderly conduct will be
referred to the office immediately.
Evaluate In this section every student demonstrates mastery of the lesson objective
(though perhaps not mastery of the elaborate content). Because this also serves as a
closing, students should also have a chance to summarize the big concepts they
learned outside of the assessment.
Teacher Will: Students Will:
Post 5 large Post-it notes (labeled with the
processes of the materials economy) on
the walls of the classroom while students
are settling in their seats. Ask 2-4
students to pass out 5 sticky notes to Write name on 5 sticky notes
every students. Tell students to write their
names on the sticky notes and give them
2 minutes to do so. Tell students to think
of questions or any thoughts they had
during the learning about the materials Observe the teacher modeling 1
economy system. Model to students question and 1 thought.
writing a question on a sticky note, How
much of my stuff has oil in it? and post it
on the Extraction large sticky pad. Write Write 5 thoughts or questions on
on another sticky note, I could reduce sticky notes and post them to the
the amount of new things I buy by finding Processes sticky pads
things I need at 2nd-hand stores. Tell
students to relate their thoughts to their
projects as much as possible. Allot 5 Listen as the teacher reads the
minutes for students to write and post
thoughts and questions.
their questions, then read valuable
statements and questions. Clear up any
Write a thesis or rational for Story
misconceptions. Tell students to take out
one sheet of paper and a writing utensil. of Solutions Student Choice Project
Students are to use research, questions,
systems analysis and peer discussions in
arranging a rational for their project or
thesis statement for their research
project. Circulate in case assistance is
Closure: (revisit objective, IQs and make real world connections)
Teacher will read inquiry questions and ask one student to asnwer each
1. How do we reduce our waste to landfills using other methods than recycling?
2. How would the materials economy system be impacted if we ran out of
Teacher will tell students to keep in mind the system processes we discussed in
todays class as they go on with the rest of the day. Tell students, Watch what
you buy and ask yourself, am I going to use this often enough to justify buying
my own? Could I buy it used? Also, watch what you throw away and ask yourself,
could someone else use this? Could I use this for another purpose? Does this
belong in a landfill?
**Best Practices List the Best Teaching Practices you will use to enhance the learning
outcomes. In each section where prompted, list the best practice, how the practices
will be used and the purpose.
Multiple intelligences- tactile learning, writing, reading, and conversations
make for stronger connections in the brain.
Circulating- Teacher will be walking around the room constantly to assist any
Modeling- Teacher will model to students how to ask a question and state a
thought using the Stop, Think and React method.