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American History Lessons

American History is incorporated into two units of the PULSE curricula: Industrialization, Chemicals and Human Health andFertilizers, Pesticides and Human Health. There are components relating to American History in other units as well.


The lessons are organized to concentrate on important big ideas, which are addressed by a learning cycle approach. At the completion of each big idea’s learning cycle students should be able to answer the corresponding essential question.

Typically, each learning cycle contains four lessons. The lessons associated with a specific learning cycle may take from a couple of days to a few weeks to complete. The first lesson engages the students' interest in the big idea, prompting them to demonstrate the background they bring to the topic and to ask questions. In the second lesson, students explore the big idea, searching for answers to their questions and expanding their understanding of the concept. The third lesson is an opportunity for students to explain the big idea. In the fourth lesson the students apply what they learned to a new situation.

The American history learning cycles of Industrialization, Chemicals and Human Health andFertilizers, Pesticides and Human Health, address National Standards for Social Studies. Students explore concepts of American History that have shaped the United States. These two units also address science, language arts and general mathematics.

  • In "Industrialization, Chemicals and Human Health", described below, students investigate advances in technologies that have revolutionized our lives. Accompanying these advances are new chemicals, different levels of exposure and new work conditions. This unit addresses the question of, “How does a society maintain a safe environmental health in the work place and the home?”
  • In "Fertilizers, Pesticides and Human Health", described below, students explore the increases in knowledge in the field of chemistry, which have led to advances in more that just “heavy” industry. Chemicals are discovered and designed to assist in almost every field imaginable. This unit will focus on the impact chemistry has on human health via agricultural practices; including the use of fertilizers and pesticide.

At the end of the unit, the students will be able to apply their new understanding to the Major Project where they produce a product to demonstrate what they learned in the unit

  • For "Industrialization, Chemicals and Human Health", the major project emphasizes the responsible use and disposal of chemicals by industry and targets a widespread environmental health issue that affects many communities today.
  • For "Fertilizers, Pesticides and Human Health", students will respond to a call for action concerning a community based health related issue that targets specifically their understanding of chemistry. Students will examine how non-formal public speaking can be persuasive and inspiring. They develop a motivational speech and will have opportunities to share this speech.
"Industrialization, Chemicals and Human Health"
4 Essential Questions for 4 Big Ideas
Project time to complete: 8 weeks
     
1
How did new inventions define business, the city landscape and the American worker’s role?
Big Idea
Industry defines America! The city physical landscape, the type of business, and the worker all factor into industry and & invention.
     
2
Can industry have adverse effects on health?
Big Idea

Pollutants, Contaminants and Industry play a significant role in how healthy life can be for humans in varied contexts but especially in cities.

     
3
 
Big Idea

Early Industry in America: The American Worker and the Workplace. The American worker has changed as a result of how industry defines what the worker ‘looks like.’

     
4
How has industry affected our surrounding air and water and therefore our health?
Big Idea
Early Industry in America: The American Public and the communities of the City. There is a connection between disease illness and location. Here the primary focus is on city communities and sanitation and sewage practices affected by business leading to business accountability through the creation of environmental regulations that take the form of vaccination policies, drug development, sanitation policies, disposal policies, and state and federal laws.
     

 

"Fertlizers, Pesticides and Human Health"
4 Essential Questions for 4 Big Ideas
Project time to complete: 8 weeks
     
1
Historically, why do people move to live elsewhere? Do they all have choices?
Big Idea
Migration defines America! Movement from place to place plays a strong role in the United States. American history is about the people who have been forced to move against their will as well as the people who voluntarily moved in their quest for survival or a better life.
     
2
Why are the Native American reservations?
Big Idea
Forced Migration of the Native populations! The government's need for land and resources led to government enforcements putting Native American communities in the U.S. into mandatory reserved lands, imposing how they should use that land, and forcing their children to attend government run boarding schools.
     
3
What are the environmental factors that led to the Dust Bowl?
Big Idea
Voluntary Migration in order to survive the Depression by looking for alternative jobs and lodging. Understanding the Depression, including the Dust Bowl, and how people migrated from job to job, to and from cities, and from their farms as they were pushed by economic and environmental factors to abandon their homes and farms in a quest for work, food and lodging.
     
4
How can exploitation of the migrant worker compromise their health?
Big Idea

Marginalized Laborers and the Migrant Field Workers. Workers fight for equal rights that address safer working and living conditions with a strong feature on Migrant field workers, the UFW movement, and pesticide awareness.

     

 

 

 

 

 

 


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: March 8, 2007
  Page Content: Rachel Hughes
Web Master: Travis Biazo