Concern + Action = Clean Air Solutions

Grades: 
6, 7, 8

This lesson will serve as the final learning piece, and the accumulated knowledge will be used to assist the learners in utilizing a role play scenario to come to a consensus plan of action that moves “their community” toward compliance with Air Quality Standards (AQI).This unit is also intended to inspire personal or group action plan for promoting the common good. Academic service learning options will be made available for the learners to plan how to be engaged in direct service, indirect service or take an advocacy position that addresses concerns about air quality.
 

Lesson Rating 
0
Duration 
PrintTwo Forty-Five Minute Class Periods
Objectives 

The learner will:

  • respond to literature orally in group discussion.
  • make text-to-text and text-to-world connections.
  • use critical thinking skills to engage in brainstorming, problem solving and decision making.
  • use speaking and dialogue skills to present and respond to ideas.
  • use consensus or voting to recommend a final plan of action intended to move “their community” into compliance with Air Quality Standards.
  • be encouraged to develop a personal plan of action to improve the quality of air for the common good.
Materials 
  • The Lorax by Dr. Seuss (book or video)
  • Recording Sheet for Strategic Planning (Handout One)
  • Decision Making Discussion or Model (Handout Two)
  • Reflective Feedback (Handout Three)
  • Formative Reflection – What Do I Think? (Handout Four)
Bibliography 
  • The Lorax (book). Seuss, Dr.  ISBN 0-394-82377-0, Random House, NY, 1971
  • The Lorax (video). Seuss, Dr.  Either the 1972 short video or the 2012 full-length movie.

Instructions

Print
  1. Anticipatory Set: Read The Lorax by Dr. Seuss (or show the animated video). After “It all started way back...such a long, long time back...” Ask learners to predict events that caused the Lorax to disappear. Ask learners to identify the common resources (Truffala Tree, Brown Bar-ba-loots, Hummin-Sish, rippulous pond, clean clouds, fresh morning breeze, green grass) enjoyed by the community. Ask learners what they think of the statement, “And business must grow regardless of crummies in tummies, you know.” Ask them how the two opposing forces could both work for the common good and guarantee that the right to the pursuit of happiness could be ensured (accept all reasonable answers).As learners identify the consequences of pollution (smog/smoke; Gluppity-Glupp, Schloppity-Schlopp; gummed gills; lack of trees). Encourage learners to make text-to-text and text-to-world connections between the ideas in this book and those discovered in Lesson One and Lesson Two of this Unit..Day One:

  2. Use the compelling and prophetic words of The Lorax as a theme for this final lesson that will lead into the Academic Service Learning Component (experiential learning) and compel learner action: “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better.It’s not.”

  3. Complete the strategic planning meeting started in Lesson Two. Learners have selected and clarified their roles and narrowed their priorities as regulatory/legal OR voluntary measures AND transportation OR point and non-point sources of pollution.

  4. Distribute the Recording Sheet for Strategic Planning (Handout One) for the strategic planning meeting. Although learners will work in small groups (of their same numbered diverse group members), each learner should have a recording sheet for individual follow-up reflection.

  5. Once learner groups have reached consensus about a multi-faceted plan, they should circle or highlight their consensus ideas to develop a proposal for voting. Distribute the Decision Making Discussion or Model (Handout Two) for recording.

  6. Provide chart papers, computer presentation software, overhead, or other means of visual presentation in which learner groups may share their proposals for consideration.

  7. Day Two:

  8. While groups are presenting, learners can record reflective feedback for consideration on the Reflective Feedback (Handout Three) form.

  9. Upon the completion of the presentations, engage the learners in a consensus building (or voting) activity that narrows the potential service projects to one or two. (See also “extension” ideas for this final step. The class and/or classroom guests may vote on a plan that has the most benefits.)

Assessment 

Examine the learners’ recording of ideas and thinking on the Recording Sheet for Strategic Planning (Handout One), Decision Making Discussion or Model (Handout Two), and Reflective Feedback (Handout Three). The final assessment for this unit will be to have the learners reflect on their learning by completing the Formative Reflection – What Do I Think? (Handout Four). For grading purposes, take into consideration the complexity, completeness, and depth of understanding reflected in these written responses.

Cross Curriculum 

Allow learners to lead in choosing one or more of the following: Academic Serving Learning opportunities to ensure maximum participation and successful outcomes. The learners can work in “service groups” and report back to peers about progress. Direct Service Options: Engage in Air Quality Testing (the EPA, Departments of Environmental Quality and Meteorological Stations can be an excellent resource) Participate in Ozone Action Days (inform the community – get the word out, take surveys about how and how frequently individuals participate) Check the AQI daily Contact a local garden club or other environmental organization to plant trees and shrubs. Raise money and plant treesand shrubs in a local beautification project (school or community based) Start an educational campaign about open burning (dos and don’ts) Start a composting project within the school or local community www.dnr.state.wi.us/org/caer/ce/eek/earth/recycle/wormcomp.htm. Indirect Service Options: Follow environmental air quality issues in local, state and national publications. In response, learners can write letters to the editor and/or state representatives regarding air quality. Raise Money to Donate to Environmental Groups/Causes such as: Diane Fossey Gorilla Fund World Wildlife Fund Earth Trust Sierra Club Friends of the Earth International National Wildlife Federation National Geographic National Audubon Society Greenpeace Internationalor countless others. Learners can research the cause and engage in a decision making process about which addresses air quality in the most effective manner. Advocacy Options: The learners can create posters or flyers to promote fifty things people can do to reduce air pollution in their communities and then contact the local businesses to display them www.arb.ca.gov/html/brochure/50things.htm.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 03. Philanthropy and Economics
      1. Benchmark MS.3 Give examples of <i>opportunity cost</i> related to philanthropic giving by individuals and corporations.
      2. Benchmark MS.7 Give examples of common resources in the community.
      3. Benchmark MS.9 Recognize problems different communities encounter using a "commons" and possible solutions.
    2. Standard PCS 05. Philanthropy and Government
      1. Benchmark MS.3 Identify the relationship between individual rights and community responsibilities.
    3. Standard PCS 07. Skills of Civic Engagement
      1. Benchmark MS.4 Analyze information to differentiate fact from opinion based on the investigation of issues related to the common good.
  2. Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
    1. Standard PI 01. Reasons for Individual Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark MS.11 Identify a corporation's responsibilities to its community.
  3. Strand PHIL.IV Volunteering and Service
    1. Standard VS 01. Needs Assessment
      1. Benchmark MS.1 Identify a need in the school, local community, state, nation, or world.
      2. Benchmark MS.2 Research the need in the school, neighborhood, local community, state, nation, or world.
    2. Standard VS 02. Service and Learning
      1. Benchmark MS.1 Select a service project based on interests, abilities and research.
    3. Standard VS 03. Providing Service
      1. Benchmark MS.2 Describe the goals of the project and their impact.
      2. Benchmark MS.3 Describe the task and the student role.