Rivers for the Common Good
Keeping the water supply clean is everyone's responsibility for the common good. Learners practice core democratic values, explore literature through the book A River Ran Wild, follow the path of pollution in a river, focus on the concept of one million, and use the scientific method to examine the water cycle. They take action to address the issue of water pollution.
The purpose of this lesson is to introduce the concept of the life of a river and pollution through the story A River Ran Wild.
Learners will study the impact of humans on the environment of a river valley over time and recognize stewardship and the common good in a real life example.
Learners will develop a graphic way of visualizing the concept of a million by utilizing what had happened to the Nashua River due to the dumping of raw sewage in 1962. In the first class period, the learners will be introduced to the concept of a million by creating containers that will hold a million small items (i.e. grains of rice). In the second class period the learners will create a model of the Nashua River. Using the concept of a million from the previous class period, they will see what happens to this river by simulating the action of dumping raw sewage (i.e. grains of rice) into our model of the Nashua River.
The purpose of the lesson is to show learners how the water cycle functions. The learners will also learn about what effects improper waste disposal and water pollution have on the water cycle. The learners will learn how philanthropic acts can help protect the water cycle and keep our water and planet clean.
The learners will demonstrate to other learners the following concepts: common good, decision making model, opportunity cost, limited resources, pursuit of happiness, and civic writing through a courtroom simulation which they will present to other learners.