Lesson 1 (Days 1 & 2):
Divide the class into four separate groups:
Hazardous waste: http://www.sierraclub.org/toxics/superfund/
B) Nuclear Waste/Radiation: http://msnbc.msn.com/id/3072031/
C) Water: http://www.duluthsuperior.com/mld/duluthsuperior/9185491.htm
D) Air: http://www.sierraclub.org/cleanair/factsheets/factsheet7-01.asp
Give each student an article related
to their topic from the websites above:
Administration Slows the Pace of Toxic Waste
B: “Nuclear waste: No way out?”
C: “Milwaukee’s sewage problems highlight
D: “Clean Air: Power Plants”
Have the students read their article
independently. As they read ask them to
do the following:
a sheet of paper make two columns by dividing
in half, length-wise.
Label the first column: Main Ideas, second column:
Comments & Questions Write the title
of the article and the name of your issue
top of your
As you read the article, keep
a record of your findings on
your read log.
Using the fishbowl technique, hold a class
discussion on each of the articles.
All of the students who read the article on toxic waste
(group A) will sit in the
center of a circle; they
are the “fish”.
b. All of the rest of the students will sit on the
outside of the circle; they are observers sitting on
of the fishbowl.
c. The “fish” will discuss the article they
read by listing the environmental health concerns that
are addressed in their article and sharing their opinions
and any questions they have. They should also comment
on what the government’s role should be in addressing
d. Students on the outside of the fish bowl (the non-fish)
may ask questions or share their comments only if they
are called on by one of the “fish”. In order
for the “non-fish” to get recognized they
must tap on the fish bowl by raising their hand.
e. You will repeat this process for each group.
f. Allow approximately 10 minutes for discussion on
g. End the discussion with the following wrap-up questions:
What is the responsibility of the government in maintaining
a healthy environment for it’s citizens? (Remind
students that government is not just elected officials
but also government agencies). Is the current government
doing its job? What are the responsibilities of private
citizens in maintaining an environment conducive to human
2 (Day 3):
Copy article from: http://www.mpra.org/laidlaw.htm “Supreme
Court Decision Defends Public’s Right to Clean
Do you agree with the premise of Friends of the Earth
that citizens should play a responsible role
the anti-pollution laws?
2. Do you agree with the 4th Circuit Court’s decision?
3. What is the issue for the Supreme Court to decide?
4. What is the significance of the Supreme Court’s
the class discussion assign the following homework
an environmental concern that you have such as one
of the issues that was considered
a “reading log”, following the
same criteria from lesson 1.
the title and source of the article
prepared to discuss the article when you come to class.
Tell the students that federal agencies are not always successful in enforcing
their regulations to protect citizens from becoming exposed to pollution
caused by industry and private corporations. In these cases private citizens
and interest groups take action by taking the polluters to court. In
this unit they will study how this process works.
Students are to research one issue that concerns them about environment health
by finding a current news article on the subject. The issue should
be about a form of environmental hazard that has a health impact on
humans and possibly wildlife. After reading the article they should
record the main ideas using the reading log technique outlined in Lesson
1. They will bring the article and reading log to class for discussion.