PULSE Logo



Health Friendly Energy Production - Government Lessons


Big Idea
Federalism: The border between the federal and state governments in carrying out the laws is not always clear.
Essential Question
Who is responsible for enforcing environmental legislation?
Learning Cycle
Lesson Title & Description
Objective
Students will:
Class period & week
Engage

"Can We Breathe Easier?”
Students will debate the pros and cons of federalism and then analyze the Clean Air Act to ascertain the role of the states and federal government in enforcing it.

1. List the exclusive and shared powers of the state and national governments.

2. State the specific role of the national and state governments in enforcing environmental legislation.

2 periods-
week 1

Explore/Explain

“What’s in the Water? Students will apply the Clean Water Act as an example of Federalism to understand how the Federal and State Governments enforce and implement laws.

1. List the specific powers and duties the state, federal and local governments have in enforcing water quality standards.

2. Discuss how private citizens can help ensure that all levels of government are enforcing the law.

1 period-
week 1
Apply

"State Report Card”
Students will evaluate their state on the effectiveness of the government in sustaining a healthy environment by looking at four issues: water and air quality, toxic waste and level of radiation.

1. Identify and list the environmental health concerns for their state regarding; water and air quality, level of toxic waste and radiation in their state.

2. Discuss the responsibility of the state and federal government for sustaining a healthy environment by enforcing environmental standards.

2 periods-
week 1

Project
     

 

Big Idea
The Judicial Branch: How the justice system interprets the laws and settles legal disputes.
Essential Question
How does our legal system work?
Learning Cycle
Lesson Title & Description
Objective
Students will:
Class period & week
Engage

“It’s All About Justice?” Students will identify an environmental concern and explore the justice system by participating in a treasure hunt, then discuss how they could use the legal system to bring about change.

1. Discuss the meaning of federal and state jurisdiction.

2. Compare civil and criminal cases.

3. Identify the major characteristics and powers federal judges.

2 periods-
week 2

Explore/Explain

“Inside the courtroom”
Students will look at an example of a class action lawsuit in order to understand how it compares to a civil suit filed by an individual. They will also compare civil and criminal cases by analyzing examples of both.

1. Explain the difference between a class action and civil law suit.

2. Compare criminal law and civil law.

3. Explain the steps in the criminal process

3 periods-
week 2
Apply

“The Supremes”
Students will explore the role of the Supreme Court in the justice system by looking at actual cases that have been ruled on by the Supreme Court. They will also look at the route that cases take in order to reach the Supreme Court and then appreciate the impact that Supreme Court decisions have on their rights and the laws passed by congress.

1. List the steps that cases go through to get to the Supreme Court.

2. Discuss how Supreme Court decisions impact their rights.

5 periods-
week 3

Project
     

 

Big Idea
Environmental Justice: The courts are often called on to settle disputes between the federal and/or state government and members of the private sector.
Essential Question
What happens when Federal agencies are ineffective in protecting the citizens from the harmful effects of pollution?
Learning Cycle
Lesson Title & Description
Objective
Students will:
Class period & week
Engage

“I Won’t Live in a Toxic World”
Students will look at four separate environmental health issues using a fish-bowl technique. They will discuss the role of government in maintaining a pollution-free environment as well as the role citizens. This lesson is an introduction to the concept that litigation is sometimes necessary when the government is unable or unwilling to employ sound environmental practices.

1. Discuss some of the major environmental issues currently facing the country.

2. Evaluate the government’s role in maintaining a healthy environment.

3. Describe the opportunities citizens have to ensure that clean environmental practices are followed.

3 periods-
week 4

Explore

“Toxic Torts”
Introduce the concept of toxic torts and the role courts play in the enforcement of environmental laws.

1. Define; negligence, nuisance, tort and toxic tort.

2. Discuss how courts settle disputes involving environmental laws

2 periods-
week 4
Explain

“A Civil Action”
Students will analyze segments from the movie “Civil Action” to understand the civil procedure and the impact that civil suits have on environmental health.

1. Describe what the impact of Superfund has on toxic waste removal.

2. List the steps in a class action lawsuit.

3. Discuss the rationale for joining in a class action lawsuit for deterring environmental pollution.

4 periods-
week 5

Apply
“Moot Court Preparation” Students will investigate various appellate cases in order to prepare for a moot court in order to understand the appeals process.

1. Explain the purpose of the appeals process.

2. Identify and list issues that have been heard by the twelve U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals.

4-5 periods-
week 6
Project
“Moot Court”
Students will either take on the role of a defense lawyer for a corporation or a lawyer for the plaintiff who is filing a civil suit due to an environmental health issue. Students will use written briefs to prepare oral arguments before a judge.

1. Describe the appellate process.

2. Analyze persuasive arguments used in court cases

9 periods

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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

LOGO - SWEHSC
LOGO - NIEHS Center LOGO - NIEHS

Supported by NIEHS grant # ES06694


1996-2007, The University of Arizona
Last update: November 10, 2009
  Page Content: Rachel Hughes
Web Master: Travis Biazo