Teachers in the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) Science Cadre created this lesson to engage students in three-dimensional learning as they design a solution to reduce human impact on an environmental problem. The lesson uses the 5E instructional model (Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, Evaluate) and is expected to take seven 50-minute class periods. The driving question for the lesson is, “What are ways that humans impact the environment and how can the negative effects of humans on the environment be minimized?” Students engage in the lesson by first watching a short video about the phenomenon of large oceanic garbage patches. Following a group discussion after the video, research questions are developed to help answer the driving question. Working either in groups or individually, students research their chosen topic, make a claim, find evidence to support their claim, and propose a solution. Students use a cost/benefit analysis to evaluate their solutions. Students choose how to communicate their solutions to their peers using either a newspaper article, a blog, a radio show (voice recording) or video news report. Lastly, students work on their own to write an argumentative paper that describes and supports their chosen solution. Instructional support, a human impact student project planning sheet, sample responses, a cost/benefit analysis grid, and rubrics for student work are all provided. Teachers will need to create a login and password on the Share My Lesson website (https://sharemylesson.com ) to access the lesson plan and handouts.
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