Exploring Environmental Change

Check for Understanding

Have students work together in their groups for a final project. Assign each group one of the local environmental changes brought on by human activity that you have already identified. The students' task is to conduct their own research on this environmental change and its implications for the future. Students should repeat the process they used when they analyzed their own local environment and the video environments. They can begin by observing and describing the environment, and then look at the connections that exist in this environment. Next, they should extend their research to look at the change in this environment brought on by human activity and determine what effect (positive or negative) the activity is having on the plants, animals, and physical elements.

To learn more about this environment and the change that it is experiencing, suggest that students conduct additional research by consulting the Web or local newspapers, and talking with local residents and environmental organizations familiar with the region. Students should summarize their findings in a letter to their school or local newspaper. The summary should include an explanation of the environmental changes that they have observed, what these changes imply for the future, and what, if anything, students recommend should be done about these changes.

If it is not possible for students to analyze an environmental change related to human activity in your local community, suggest another region that students can research.