Lesson Spotlight: Name

Get my free resource to help you navigate Google in Education Apps. Get the Unit

Unit on solving environmental problems

The truth is the natural world is changing and we are totally dependent on that world. It provides us food, water and air. It is the most precious thing we have and we need to defend it.
~ David Attenborough

Do you want your students to learn about various environmental problems, ask questions and learn strategies on how to come up with solutions to those problems? This lesson will bring awareness to students so they can understand the complexity of environmental issues and get on the path to problem solving. Awareness of issues is the first step to becoming a problem solver. If people aren’t aware, they will continue on this destructive path that will be more difficult to remedy. Earth Day shouldn’t be one day out of the year. It needs to be everyday if we are going to positively contribute to the preservation of our planet and its inhabitants.

Students can choose to watch videos and gather facts or read online articles. As the teacher, you can change those articles and videos to suit the needs of your students. Once they have gathered enough facts from the videos or articles, they come up with questions. I tell the students about a quote I read stating that a good leader asks good questions. After coming up with questions, they research online articles that provide possible solutions to the questions. When I completed the answer key, I had some amazing ideas and I had hope because there are people coming up with innovative solutions to our problems. Students need to feel empowered and this unit will get them on the path to more confidence and hope.

I would show the how-to-video on slide #2 so they understood how to complete this unit. They can always watch it again for clarity. After showing the video, you could show one of the videos and pause occasionally to brainstorm what facts they could write in the facts section of the slide. Once you complete the facts on the slide as an example, students can brainstorm questions that you can add in the question section of the slide. Students can then share what kind of keyword search they would do to find solutions to the problems they are concerned about. Those solutions can then be added to the slide. As a class, you can brainstorm what images to add to the gallery that would complement the story of the slide you are working on.

If you don’t want to do an example in front of the class, you can show the video of the first example on slide #4. Read what I wrote for facts, then share the questions and possible solutions. Students can add what they would have written instead and a wonderful conversation can take place.

As a former design teacher, I encourage consistency in design. Each slide was laid out to be visually appealing. If students write too much, they will need to change the font size to make it fit in the text box, which will impact the design. With that said, they might need to write more succinctly, or delete some information that isn’t as important. Having them write limited characters will help them with writing and memory. According to Eric Curts, a technology integration specialist, putting limits on the number of words or characters our students can use forces them to summarize key points, select what is most important, choose words that best convey meaning, restate concepts and avoid unnecessary filler and fluff. Source They are to be discouraged from copying and pasting from online sources to prevent plagiarism and to help them improve their writing and to remember what they are learning.

If you have any problems or have any questions about this unit, please send me an email and put TpT in the subject line. I will be happy to get back with you.

After completing my lessons with your students, I would love your feedback on any of my units. Fill out the survey and I will randomly draw names for another free digital lesson at the end of each month. I encourage any educator who uses my resources to reach out to me if they have issues. I plan on dedicating my time to helping teachers to make their lives easier. I know how hard it is to be a teacher. We have so many hats to fill and teaching is only part of a teacher's job. I think back on my first years of teaching and am amazed how much technology has changed. I have spent a great deal of my free time to become more proficient with tech integration in the classroom. I have continued to modify my lessons to maximize the learning experience of my students. I find it challenging and very exciting. You can see student comments by visiting this link.

Survey on lessons