Teaching about the Environment


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Presentation by Evelyn Williams, Supervisor Secondary Social Studies, Washington County, Maryland

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Teaching about the Environment

  1. 1. Students as Policy-makers: Confronting Global Environmental Problems Brought to you by The Choices Education Program Watson Institute for International Studies Brown University
  2. 2. Our Mission: To empower young people with the skills, knowledge, and habits necessary to be engaged citizens who are capable of addressing international issues with thoughtful public discourse and informed decision making.
  3. 3. Current Programs • Curriculum Development  33 published curriculum units  Online “Teaching with the News” lessons • New Digital Materials  Over 300 Scholars Online videos  Digital lessons currently under construction  E-text available for all units • Professional Development  75-100 programs annually  Teacher Leadership Summer Institute Thiss m r’ Ins um e s titute: TheC lle eo Nuc a We p ns ha ng f le r ao
  4. 4. Types of Curriculum Units U.S. Perspective Foreign Perspective 1. Global Environmental Problems 1. Caught Between Two Worlds: Mexico at the Crossroads C. I. 2. Genocide: Never Again? 2. Contesting Cuba’s Past and Present 3. Shifting Sands: Balancing U.S. Interests in the Middle East 1. Colonialism in the Congo: Conquest, Conflict and Commerce 2. Indian Independence and the Question of H.T.P. Pakistan 3. Freedom in Our Lifetime: South 1. America Enters the Age of Africa’s Struggle Imperialism 4. Iran Through the Looking Glass: History, Reform, Revolution 2. WWI and the League of Nations Debate
  5. 5. Why Use Role-plays? • Using a variety of lesson formats addresses students’ different learning styles. • Role-play simulations places students at the center of the learning process. • They create a dynamic classroom environment that can be motivating for students.
  6. 6. Why use the Choices Options Role-play • They help students to recognize that the making of history is a dynamic process and not predetermined. • Role-plays help students see issues and history in a more nuanced light and force them to consider multiple viewpoints. • They develop students analytical skills. • Engaging in role-plays familiarizes students with key terms and people central to an event or issue.
  7. 7. Background Reading • Part I: Global Environmental Problems – Climate Change and Ozone Depletion, Water Pollution, Deforestation, Biodiversity • Part II: The Environment and Economic Development – Global Population Growth, Energy Resources, Resource Consumption • Part III: Environmental Issues on the International Agenda – The Environment and International Security, International Environmental Agreements, Determining U.S. Policy • Optional: Following the Path of the Carbon Cycle
  8. 8. Choices for Teachers • 3 or 5 day lesson plan, interdisciplinary • Rubric for oral presentations (TRB 46) • Day one alternative plan, using Google Earth • Alternative study guides (differentiate) – Organize information from the readings – Analysis and synthesis before class
  9. 9. Additional Student Resources • Key Terms (TRB 42) – Vocabulary by reading section • Toolbox (TRB 43) – Quick summaries of big concept • Scholars on-line www.choices.edu/resources – Scholars explaining the issues, public policy – International experts, variety of perspectives
  10. 10. Variety of Student-Centered Lessons • Global Environment Problems and Local Concerns • Exploring the Amazon Using Google Earth • Global Environmental Problems in the International Arena • Understanding the Carbon Cycle • Options Role-play: Responding to Global Environmental Issues • Looking into the Future
  11. 11. Global Environmental Problems and Local Concerns (TRB 4) Objective: Students will understand the concept of stakeholders and competing interests. • Class brainstorms what they know about the Amazon • Students read information in small groups and complete handout (TRB 7-9) 7. Discuss policy decisions 9. Refer to the questions in Assessing Data and Creating Recommendation to create a student write-up.
  12. 12. Global Environmental Problems and Local Concerns Activity: • Brainstorm- “Why is the Amazon rainforest important?” • Read “Environment & Economy” (TRB 7) • In your table groups, divide up the reading, “Stakeholders in the Region” (TRB 8) • Complete handout “Stakeholders in the Region” (TRB 9) – complete the section you read • Using the cards, categorize them in groups who share common priorities.
  13. 13. Exploring the Amazon using Google Earth
  14. 14. Exploring the Amazon Using Google Earth (TRB 10) Objective: Students will deepen their understanding of the Amazon region • Divide students into 4 groups; each group completes “Exploring the Rainforest” (TRB 12) • Then each group focuses in on a specific area; answers handout (TRB 13-16) • Jigsaw the groups; groups complete “Competing Concerns in the Amazon” (TRB 17)
  15. 15. Global Environmental Problems in the International Arena (TRB 18) Objective: Students will compare environmental concerns in four distinct regions of the world. 2. Divide students into 4 groups. Assign each group a region. 3. Using the readings (pgs. 14-16), scholars on-line & UN website, groups UN Commission develop a presentation regarding the On Sustainable Development environmental problems and concerns www.un.org/esa/sustdev of the region. 4. After presentations, students analyze the viewpoints of each region.
  16. 16. Examine Global Perspectives • What are the major points of contention? • How might actions in one region affect conditions in another? • What is the likelihood of global consensus on environmental issues?
  17. 17. Hearing on Global Environmental Policy Role-Play (TRB 29 & 37) Objectives: Students will analyze the issues that frame the debate on U.S. Policy on the global environment. 4. Organization is key to success! 6. Divide students into 4 Option groups Handouts (TRB 34-35) • Remainder of class becomes the Presidential Advisory. Handouts (TRB 36 & 38)
  18. 18. Role-play: Environmental Policy Options Various roles: Option1: Put the Economy First (p.31-32) Option 2: Take the Lead in the Green Economy (pp.33-34) Option 3: Promote Sustainable Development (pp.35-36) Option 4: Protect Mother Earth (pp. 37-38) Presidential Advisory Panel: Review Options in Brief (p.30)
  19. 19. Role-Play Preparation Presenting Option Groups: You will make a persuasive presentation in order to convince the Presidential Advisory Panel that your environmental policy option in the best one for America to pursue. You will need to address the following in you presentation:  How important are environmental problems compared to other problems facing the United States?  How should international responsibility for environmental issues be determined?  What should be the role of the United States in the world?  On what values is your option based, and how do these values impact your policies?  Why is your policy the best one to pursue?
  20. 20. Role-Play Preparation Presidential Advisory Panel: Read over each of the options with a critical eye and develop challenging questions for each of the option groups. The questions should: - demonstrate an understanding of each of the option’s main arguments. - be designed to find the short-comings of each of the options. - help clarify the differences between each of the options.
  21. 21. Wrap-up • Choices materials engage students in their own learning. • Through role-play, students deepen their understanding of important issues (historic or current) • Choices materials incorporate various standards within History-Social Science as well as cross-curricular with Language Arts, Science
  22. 22. It’s fun and rewarding! The first time utilizing the role-play in your classroom can be challenging; But it gets easier! It is definitely worth it.
  23. 23. T h End e