Lesson Plans

Environmental Health: What is it?

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Graduate student Asia Beder holds a mature red king crab pulled from a tank at the Alutiiq Pride Shellfish Hatchery in Seward, Alaska. New research suggests ocean acidification poses a significant threat to Alaska’s famed red king crab industry. Image by Steve Ringman. Alaska, 2013.

Ismail Yakup, a 71-year-old Turkish-Bulgarian writer and beekeeper in Krumovgrad, Bulgaria. Image by Dimiter Kenarov. Bulgaria, 2011.

Riccardo Gangale/Special to the Des Moines Register

A Borneo pygmy elephant looks for food along the Kinabatangan river in Malaysia's state of Sabah on the Borneo island in this file photo. Image by Bazuki Muhammad. Borneo, 2013.

Long a preferred cooking ingredient in developing countries, palm oil is now in greater demand in Western markets because of its low price and long shelf life. Image by Jason Motlagh. Malaysia, 2012.

Ismail Yakup, a 71-year-old Turkish-Bulgarian writer and beekeeper in Krumovgrad, Bulgaria. Image by Dimiter Kenarov. Bulgaria, 2011.

This lesson is written as a series of notes for the facilitator.

Educator Notes: 

1. 5 min warm up: Students use prior knowledge to answer the title question, Environmental Health: What is it?

 2. 5-7 min discussion: Class shares answers. Teacher gives definition: Enviornmental Health is study of how enviornmental factors affect human and other animal health.

 3. 10 min: Show slide of "what we should learn from news: during slide, students will be asked to write down what they feel is the most and least important issue from the slide.

4. 20 min Show video of 5 environmental health issues (link that came from one of the resources in pulitzercenter.org. (1. garbage dreams 4:18; 2.Jordan converts waste to energy 2:59; 3. Seed warriors 5:40; 4. Fly ash bricks 2:59; 5. Bio-biquette: an alternative source of energy 4:54) This is to introduce students to various environmental health issues from around the world.

5. 25 min Have students break up into groups of 3s. Each group should read two articles (six artiles to the left in resources). Then they will present the one they feel is the most relevant to the environmental health issue that is important to them. They will read it aloud as narrator and actors. The rest of the groups will be comparing and contrasting the points brought up from the group and their own ideas. At the end, the whole class will vote on the two most relevent topics to do further research on for future projects in class.

6. 10 min: Students will answer the following short answers: 1. What is the one thing that I do that negatively effects the environment? 2. How does my behavior negatively affect other parts of the world? 3.Describe a substitute behavior that will take the place of your answer in number 1?

7. 30 min: The following videos will then be showed, with a homework assignment of a 1 pager response to the video that most effected them and they will answer why it affected them how it affected them.

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