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Fertilizers, Pesticides and Human Health - Language Arts Lessons

Big Idea
Native American communities have traditionally seen human beings as a part of the environment in which they live.  A Native People’s connection to their land is rooted in the spiritual but impacts every aspect of daily life.  Relocation wrecks havoc within these communities.
Essential Question

How do Native American communities impact their environments and how does the environment affect every aspect of Native People’s lives?  
How does the Native American relationship to the land differ from dominant culture’s perspective on land as a commodity?

Learning Cycle
Lesson Title & Description
Objective
Students will:
Class period & week
Engage

A Sense of Place
There are two parts to this lesson:
1. In the first students will identify and describe one or two places significant to them using vivid language. 

2. In the second students will delve into what constitutes a map and the cultural biases we take for granted when looking at maps

1. Identify one or two places important to them by connecting information and events in texts to experiences;

2. Describe one of those important places in accurate, evocative language showing an original perspective;

3. Identify the major components of a standard map (an organizational structure)

 

3 class periods

Explore

The Idea of Place for Native Peoples
Students will view/read four selections on information about Native American view of how people are connected to their land.

1. Identify the main ideas in a text

2. Make comparisons between texts to find similar ideas and points of view

3. Generate clarifying questions to understand complex and/or new ideas in the texts

4. Write a series of coherent and connected sentences summarizing similar ideas in a variety of texts by creating a Venn diagram

 

4 class periods
Explain

Far From Here

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5 class periods

Apply

When Worlds Collide
Students will read a literary description and a scientific explanation of the connection between Native People and their significant “places.”   The class will generate ideas about the overarching implications of being taken away from one’s place in the world and the problems caused from a move.  The class will be divided into small groups that will research different tribes that were put on a forced migration or traditionally nomadic tribes that were stranded on a reservation, cutoff from their way of life and means of substance.  The lesson will conclude with class presentations on the research.

1.  Research on a focused topic and gather information from a range of sources and orally cite it in a presentation.

2. Connect information learned in previous lessons with research on the assigned topic

8 class periods

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Big Idea
The environment has a strong impact on the lives of the various groups that make up the dominant culture.  Recent historical experiences with the dust bowl of the Great Depression and the migration of different ethnic groups in connection with agricultural jobs have brought to light environmental health problems.  Communities can be empowered to combat environmental health problems through a scientific understanding of these problems. 
Essential Question
How did the dust bowl of the Great Depression and the migrant worker experience of contemporary times promulgate certain environmental health problems?  How does one make a cultural bridge to an audience in order to help that audience engage the scientific information that will empower them to correct environmental health problems endangering their community?
Learning Cycle
Lesson Title & Description
Objective
Students will:
Class period & week
Engage

A Glimpse of The Grapes of Wrath
The students explored the Native American sense of place and have a deeper understanding of their own relationship with the place in which they live. 

1. Place the location and time in history in which The Grapes of Wrath takes place;

2. Identify the major characters in The Grapes of Wrath and describe how their lives were changed by an environmental disaster;

3. Write a timeline of the significant events in The Grapes of Wrath highlighting how a change in the environmental conditions triggers events in human experience;

4. Identify and explain two important themes in The Grapes of Wrath that relate to a sense of place and how the environment has a direct affect on people’s lives.

5 class periods
Explore

The Correct Depression & Now
Students will begin this lesson by viewing and responding to pictures taken during the Great Depression (use the powerpoint provided).

1. Identify the concerns of people caught in desperate times during the Great Depression;

2. Make connections between The Grapes of Wrath and historical images from the Great Depression;

3. Make connections between the experiences of migrant workers from the Great Depression and more contemporary times.

2 class periods
Explain

Speaking from the Heart
Students will choose an environmental health topic, which they have, a personal connection or a special interest.  Then they will do sufficient research from a variety of sources to deliver an impromptu speech appealing to the audience on an emotional level while containing significant facts in a public arena.

1.Gather information on a focused topic dealing with an environmental health issue.

2. Choose an environmental health issue to which the student has an emotional connection.

3. Consult enough sources to compile sufficient information to create an impromptu speech that has both emotional appeal and factual grounding.

5 class periods
Apply

Environmental Health Improptu Talk
Students will learn the criteria for and create the framework of an impromptu speech about an environmental health issue that is especially important to them.

1. Create the outline for a speech that can be delivered in an impromptu manner on an environmental health issue that is of importance to the student.

2. Identify how different audiences would have different emotional ties to the same issue.

3. Incorporate facts, figures, and information gathered in the previous lesson into appropriate areas of a speech.

5 class periods

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PULSE is a project of the Community Outreach and Education Program of the Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center and is funded by:


an
NIH/NCRR award #16260-01A1
The Community Outreach and Education Program is part of the Southwest Environmental Health Sciences Center: an NIEHS Award

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Supported by NIEHS grant # ES06694


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Last update: November 10, 2009
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