Kenneth P. Rogers
This curriculum should lend itself to be useful in multi-faceted activities both in the classroom and out. Each discipline has many activities that can be extremely useful and can facilitate ideas and objectives that are consistent with the curriculum. There are many different approaches that can be employed here.
There is an abundance of materials available for use in the classroom that directly deals with environment and ethics. Science news publications are available for use in the classroom. Newspaper and magazines that are at hand can keep the student current with environmental problems of the day. Each and every day new material is put on the internet and can be downloaded for examination on a daily basis and can even be used as a reading assignment if the facilitator wishes to expand the classes knowledge of environmental issues. In addition, materials can be downloaded daily to help supplement each group in the classroom to help them with any special assignments that they be assigned or decide to look into.
The development of lessons using math as a primary mode is exceptionally lucrative. Simple addition and subtraction can be used in calculating the number of losses due to environmental catastrophes that may have occurred recently. Lessons may include comparing numbers and place values, using multiplying concepts, estimating reasonable answers and using mathematical reasoning to do problem solving involving environmental problems. Another areas that can be especially helpful with the application of math problems could be making up budgets for the cost of cleaning up particular problem that may exist as a result of environmental neglect. When looking at items like the pH scale, it produces a great opportunity for using algorithms.
This curriculum is based on the premise that science will provide the impetus for examining the issues of making environmental decisions. The foundation of the curriculum cannot exist without this essential discipline. Lessons can provide the identification of pollutants and toxins that are harmful to the environment in several inappropriate ways. The student can enhance skills in scientific inquiry by using their observational powers, doing classification, using metric systems, predicting outcomes using trends in data and conducting scientific investigations. An excellent opportunity for the student to understand global patterns of water, soil and atmospheric movements and compare and contrast the variety of species and describe their interdependence as part of the ecosystem should be allowed here. One example here could be the acidity or alkalinity of water and what the pH balance of water is and how to measure it and how to read a pH scale and what it means. From this another whole new lesson on how the acidity of rain can affect the forest and the soil. A close examination on how sulfur and nitrogen oxides react with moisture in the atmosphere to form sulfuric and nitric acids and cause acid rain is an elementary lesson that should be used.
Lessons on using sentences and making paragraphs involving the reporting of scientific data as a result of investigation provide a vehicle for language arts lessons. Ideas on how to put together reports and findings and proposals should enhance the child's ability to use grammar and skills in writing. The student may also find it necessary to write letters to community representatives about environmental problems that their communities may be experiencing and what is being done to meet the challenges of solving those environmental problems. Other language arts experiences can deal with writing observations in a scientific journal and the sharing of the journal with classmates can be a beginning aide to help the child to be comfortable speaking in public situations or before large groups of peers and friends.
The curriculum will provide lessons on the democratic process and the achievements and failures of compromise and negotiation. It will investigate the process by which public monies are appropriated and used. There should be a forum where the pros and cons of economic policies for environmental issues can be identified and discussed.
Many other social study lessons are self-evident. The geography lessons available are abundant. The student will find it more meaningful to know state capitals because they may write to many of them to get information about the environmental problems or programs that may exist in a particular state. Where places are located will become of great import to the child that is involved with environmental studies.
Topography will be another area looked into throughout the curriculum. Oceans, rivers, lakes, springs and water cycles should be examined carefully. The climate is another area of intense concern and examination. Land forms and types are looked at carefully ranging from continents, regions, political landscapes including countries, states, cities, small towns and villages including clans and tribes.