Lesson Plan Template: General Lesson Plan
Learning Objectives: What should students know and be able to do as a result of this lesson?
- Students will be able to describe ways in which economist and ecologist can balance human needs against the health of the environment.
- Students will be able to explain the difficulties in the implementation of policies that restrict human activities but benefit the environmental sustainability.
- Students will be able to identify ethical issues involving environmental law and policies.
- Students will be able to analyze the primary argument and supporting details in written texts.
Prior Knowledge: What prior knowledge should students have for this lesson?
- Students should have a basic understanding of the differences between theories and laws.
- Students should have a basic understanding of sustainability and economics.
- Students should know what environmental science is and how the environment can be affected by human decisions and living practices.
- Students should know how to SLAM an article. (For more information, see "Slamming in the Content Areas" by Lori Wickham and Beth Jensen, a presentation from the 17th Annual UCF College of Education and Human Performance Literacy Symposium.
Guiding Questions: What are the guiding questions for this lesson?
How do environmental policies protect the environment? Student responses will vary but should include that environmental policies maintain a balance between environmental sustainability and human needs.
How can governments work with each other and citizens to form sound environmental policy? Students responses should vary, however, they should include methods of governmental and international decision-making.
What are some goals of international environmental policy? Student responses should include international organizations, laws, and treaties working together to reach common goals.
What are some strategies used to support concepts that contribute to decision making? Responses should include environmental concerns, sustainability, economics, and ethics.
Teaching Phase: How will the teacher present the concept or skill to students?
As students enter the classroom, hand each one a standard-sized sticky note or a similar scrap of paper similar in size. Instruct students to only use one side for now; they will use the other side later.
Have the following question posted on the board:
Should countries be allowed to impose their laws on other countries? State your claim on your sticky note and support it (explain why or why not).
First allow students 2-3 minutes to answer the question individually on their notes. Then allow students 1 minute to turn to an elbow/shoulder partner and state their claim and rationale.
Poll students to see who agrees with the statement and who disagrees.
Guided Practice: What activities or exercises will the students complete with teacher guidance?
Based on the poll, select 7-9 students with mixed views to serve on the discussion panel. The remaining students will be the outside spectators group.
- Line the argument panel along the front of the classroom and the spectator group along the back (you may also use left/right).
- Select a spot in the middle of both groups to place an individual chair or desk to represent the "hot seat."
- Begin by asking the opening guiding argument question again. Explain that the panel group has 5 minutes to debate their claim with each other while the spectator group silently observes. After 5 minutes of debate, allow the opportunity for a volunteer from the spectator group to enter the "hot seat."
- Students are only allowed in the "hot seat" for 30 seconds but may respond freely without any input or conversation. Hot seat individuals must rotate out and can choose to either go back to the spectator group or join the debate panel.
- The debate groups will be allowed two minutes to give a rebuttal.
After finishing the debate, have students return to their usual seats for the Independent Practice.
Independent Practice: What activities or exercises will students complete to reinforce the concepts and skills developed in the lesson?
Distribute copies of the article "State Acts Quickly to Clean Up Tijuana River Before Winter Rains" from the Surfrider Foundation, as well as copies of of the the SLAM graphic organizer by Lori Wickham and Beth Jensen and a SLAM rubric (see p. 15 of "Slamming in the Content Areas" by Lori Wickham and Beth Jensen, a presentation from the 17th Annual UCF College of Education and Human Performance Literacy Symposium).
Present the SLAM Question to the students: "How do humans in different geographical areas affect one another? Describe what can be done to ensure the health, safety, and success of both nations."
Students write this question in the space at the top of the organizer. Then they will read the article and then fill out the rest of the graphic organizer. The teacher will collect the handouts for evaluation.
Closure: How will the teacher assist students in organizing the knowledge gained in the lesson?
After finishing the SLAM activity, students use the other side of the sticky note to complete the following writing prompt:
In the beginning I thought ____________________.
Now I think ____________________ because ____________________.
The SLAM activity will serve as the Summative Assessment. The activity will be graded according to the SLAM rubric.
- As students are writing their responses, teacher should observe students' individual responses.
- As students are discussing their claim with shoulder partners, the teacher should listen to conversations and observe student responses.
- The teacher should observe and listen to the argumentation debate sessions while allowing students to discuss their views. (You may want to have a clip board for taking notes, recording any misconceptions that you hear or other points to stress during a wrap-up discussion.)
Feedback to Students
During the wrap-up discussion, students will be given feedback on their responses and their method of completing the actual argument circle strategies.
Students will be given individual feedback during SLAM activity. After the graded worksheets are returned, review each SLAM response question as a class. Students will have the opportunity to share aloud and review individual feedback on their SLAM activity handout.