Lessons

Lessons and other resources for learning to care about, understand and act for the environment

LESSON LIBRARY

  1. Environmental Principles
  2. Systems and Processes of Nature
  3. Systems and Processes of Society
  4. Environments and Resources
  5. Environmental Problems
  6. Recognising, Investigating and Finding Solutions to Environmental Problems
  7. Acting on Environmental Problems

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Header Picture Captions: Left to Right: Friends of Rock Bridge Memorial S.P. Nature Detectives, Summer 2010; Academie Lafayette, Kansas City, Stream Class; Sustain Mizzou Green Team recycling at an MU home football game, Columbia. If you have pictures of your students learning aout or working in the environment (with permissions) send them to weaverjc@missouri.edu and we will post them.

Lessons about Matter

Age/Grade Levels

Lessons - Curriculum - Books - Games - Videos - Movies - Stewardship - Links

Lessons - stand alone activities with specific learning objectives

Ocean Acidification - High School. This lesson focuses on Ocean Acidification and the impact on Earth’s oceans. Students will learn about the chemistry changes associated with increased Carbon Dioxide dissolving in the sea. This lesson invites students to use shells (or any item(s) made of calcium carbonate) in three different treatments with a range of pH. They will observe, describe, measure and weigh the specimens before and after the experiment. Scripps Classroom Connection

Earth Science Outdoors - High School. This activity is meant to accompany lessons on biogeochemical cycles, not replace them. Students should already have been introduced to the carbon, nitrogen, and water cycles. The chaparral and riparian ecosystems of Rose Canyon in the midst of urban San Diego serves as an example in this activity. Rose Canyon’s geology and biology, as well as the threats facing its inhabitants, serve as a microcosm for concepts such as biogeochemical cycling. By participating directly in data collection and analysis, students will gain an appreciation of the scientific process. Students will also be able to connect key concepts in earth science to their direct experience and local environment. Scripps Classroom Connection

Heavy Metal Toxicity and Phytoremediation - High School. In this lesson students will understand basic water quality issues focusing on heavy metal pollution. Through a series of background activities and case studies, students will explore what it means for water to be polluted and what the human health impacts are. Students will observe metal toxicity by completing a 50% lethal dose lab (LD-50 lab), and remediating the contaminated solutions using phytoremediation. They will repeat the LD-50 lab to observe differences in the remediated solution. This activity is designed to increase students’ awareness of water quality issues related to heavy metal contamination, and to explore environmentally friendly ways to remediate polluted environments. Scripps Classroom Connection

Carbon Cycle, Greenhouse Effect and Ocean Acidification - High School.This is a 4-5 day unit on the carbon cycle and the effects of human perturbations to it. The unit consists of four lessons each of which has an associated homework assignment. Topics covered include the carbon cycle, the greenhouse effect, and ocean acidification. Scripps Classroom Connection

Biomass Energy and Algae Biofuels - High School.This lesson plan was designed for a high school AP Environmental Science class in San Diego CA. The unit is focused on biomass energy with a particular emphasis on algae biofuels and is intended to teach students what biomass energy is, what the trade-off are for using biomass energy and what the current state of the art is for using biomass for energy. Our society is facing a number of serious challenges involving energy and today’s students should expect to see important decisions being made about energy in their lifetime. With a deeper understanding of the opportunities and challenges involved with biofuel and biomass energy students will be better equipped to make informed decisions about how they use energy in their personal and professional lives. Scripps Classroom Connection

Dead Zone - High School. Students will explain how nutrient enrichment in aquatic habitats can result in hypoxic or anoxic (no oxygen) conditions.Students will develop a plausible hypothesis that explains the existence of the “Dead Zone” in the northeastern Gulf of Mexico.Students will design an experiment to test their hypothesis. NOAA

Dead Zone - High School. Students will define dissolved oxygen and its units of measurement, how human activities affect the amount of nitrogen in the ocean, and why excess nitrogen reduces dissolved oxygen and contributes to "dead zone" formation NOAA

Lessons - Curriculum - Books - Games - Videos - Movies - Stewardship - Links

Curriculum - multiple, connected and sequenced activities

Inquiry in Action - Upper Elementary. American Chemical Society Lessons. With Inquiry in Action, you can teach physical science and chemistry concepts using an inquiry-based approach that supports national content standards. Review chemistry fundamentals: water, physical change in solids, physical change in liquids, dissolving, chemical change, states of matter, density. Download the lessons for free or purchase a spiral bound book from the website.

Matter - Solids, Liquids, and Gases - Middle School. American Chemical Society Lessons. Students are introduced to the idea that matter is composed of atoms and molecules that are attracted to each other and in constant motion. Students explore the attractions and motion of atoms and molecules as they experiment with and observe the heating and cooling of a solid, liquid, and gas.

Changes of State - Middle School. American Chemical Society Lessons. Students help design experiments to test whether the temperature of water affects the rate of evaporation and whether the temperature of water vapor affects the rate of condensation. Students also look in more detail at the water molecule to help explain the state changes of water.

Density - Middle School. American Chemical Society Lessons. Students experiment with objects that have the same volume but different mass and other objects that have the same mass but different volume to develop a meaning of density. Students also experiment with density in the context of sinking and floating and look at substances on the molecular level to discover why one substance is more or less dense than another.

The Periodic Table and Bonding - Middle School. American Chemical Society Lessons. Students look more deeply into the structure of the atom and play a game to better understand the relationship between protons, neutrons, electrons, and energy levels in atoms and their location in the periodic table. Students will also explore covalent and ionic bonding.

The Water Molecule and Dissolving - Middle School. American Chemical Scociety Lessons. Students investigate the polarity of the water molecule and design tests to compare water to less polar liquids for evaporation rate, surface tension, and ability to dissolve certain substances. Students also discover that dissolving applies to solids, liquids, and gases.

Chemical Change - Middle School. American Chemical Society Lessons.Students explore the concept that chemical reactions involve the breaking of certain bonds between atoms in the reactants, and the rearrangement and rebonding of these atoms to make the products. Students also design tests to investigate how the amount of products and the rate of the reaction can be changed. Students will also explore endothermic and exothermic reactions.

Understanding Ocean Acidification - High School. This currciulum guide contains five activities designed for grades 10-12 that incorporate real data from NOAA. The activities are organized as a pathway with five levels of increasing sophistication. The 5 activity levels are Entry, Adoption, Adaptation, Interactivity, Invention.

Seawater Acid-Base Chemistry and Ocean Acidification - High School. This curriculum of five lessons teaches students acid-base chemistry through ocean acidification, an environmental issue that is threatening marine ecosystems. Each lesson includes a combination of teacher lectures and demonstrations and student activities. Students will first learn about pH and buffering capacity of solutions such as the oceans. Then they will investigate the influence of humans and marine animals and plants on the acidity of the oceans. The curriculum ends by having students research the effect of ocean acidification on marine life; creating an information brochure about ocean acidification serves as the final project of the curriculum. Scripps Classroom Connection

Lessons - Curriculum - Books - Games - Videos - Movies - Stewardship - Links

Books - books, content websites, articles

ChemMattters OnLine - High School. American Chemistry Society Magazine."Demystifying Everyday Chemistry". Includes Teacher's Guide and some articles are in Spanish.

NOAA/NSTA Coral Resources for Educators Links to coral resources created through the NOAA/NSTA partnership are provided below for the convenience of educators. Available resources include SciGuides, SciPacks, Science Objects, SciLinks, archives of symposia presented at NSTA national conferences, and archives of Web Seminars presented in conjunction with those symposia. With the exception of the SciGuides and SciPacks, the resources linked below are available to educators for free from the NSTA Web site. The CRCP is not a vendor for these resources.

 

Lessons - Curriculum - Books - Games - Videos - Movies - Stewardship - Links

Games - outdoor, on-line, board, etc.

Control a Haber-Bosch Ammonia Plant - Learn about the economics of operating a chemical factory as you try to optimize the process of a simulated Haber-Bosch process ammonia fertilizer plant. Annenberg Learner other interactives at http://www.learner.org/courses/chemistry/interactives/unit9interactive.html

Lessons - Curriculum - Books - Games - Videos - Movies - Stewardship - Links

Videos - short, topical on-line videos

TED-Ed: The Carbon Cycle - High School to Adult. Animated explanation of the carbon cycle. About 4 minutes

TED-Ed: What Really Happens to the Plastic You Throw Away - Middle School to Adult. Animated explanation of the production and fate of 3 plastic bottles, one that is landfilled, one that ends up in the ocean and one that is recycled. About 4 minutes

TED-Ed: The Law of Conservation of Mass - Middle School to Adult. Animated explanation of the law of conservation of mass covering photosynthesis, oxidation of fuels, the big bang and Einstein's equation. About 4 minutes

TED-Ed: What Triggers a Chemical Reaction? - Middles School to Adult. Animated explanation of chemical reaction. Uses crazy golf and campfires to illustrate enthalpy, entropy, exothermy and endothermy. About 4 minutes

TED-Ed: The Quest for Cleaner Coal - Middle School to Adult. Animated explanation of the pollutants released by burning coal and how to remove carbon dioxide from coal emissions - carbon capture and sequestration.While discussing the technologies, the animation also points out how their costs affect implementation and the need for regulations and personal conservation. About 6 minutes.

TED-Ed: The 2,400 Year Search for the Atom - Middle School to Adult. Animated explanation of the history of the idea of atoms. Democritus, Dalton, Thomson, Rutherford, Bohr, and Heisenberg. About 5 minutes.

TED-Ed: Under the Hood: The Chemistry of Cars - Middle School to Adult. Animated explanation of howa car radiator works to dissipate heat. Solutions, Coligative Properies, Kinetic Energy, Boiling Point and Freezing Point. About 4 minutes

TED-ED: How Quantum Mechanics Explains Global Warming - High School to Adult. Animated explanation of how global warming works. Rainbows, Photon Energy and Wavelengths, Electromagnetic Radiaition, Quantum Physics. About 5 minutes

TED-Ed: How Heavy is Air? - Middle School to Adult. Animated description ofair pressure.

TED-Ed: Dead Stuff: The Secret Ingredient in Our Food Chain - Upper Elementary to Adult. Animated description of the green food chain and the brown food web. About 4 minutes.

TED-Ed: What the Universe is Made Of - Middle School to Adult. Animated explanation of where the heavier atoms came from - helium carbon, oxyen and so on up to iron, and how Super Novas create heavier elements. Nuclear Fusion, Super Novas, Formation of the Sun and Earth, Why Earth has mainly heavier elements. Why we are brothers of the boulders and cousins of the clouds. About 4 minutes.

TED-Ed: Why Glass is Transparent - Middle School to Adult. Animated explanation of why glass is transparent. Silicon dioxide, Quartz, Sand (main ingredient of glass), Amorphous Solid (has chaotic structure of liquid),Quantum Mechanics and Silicon's electron levels (only absorbs in UV). About 4 minutes

TED-Ed: Biodiesel, the After-Life of Oil - Middle School to Adult. Animated explanation of turning used cooking oil into biodiesel. Triglyceride, Esters of Glycerol, Long Chain Esters. About 4 minutes

TED-Ed: From DNA to Silly Putty, the Diverse World of Polymers - Middle School to Adult. Animated explanation of polymer structure. Proteins, Sugars, Amino Acids, Cellulose, Keratin, Chitin, Synthetic Polymers,Styrofoam, seAddition Reactions, Condensation Reactions,Leo Bakeland, Bakelight. The Durabiilty Problem. About 4 minutes.

TED-Ed: The Chemistry of Cookies - Upper Elementary to Adult. Animated explanation of the chemistry of cooking. Emulsions, Steam, Proteins, Evaporation of Water, Baking Soda, Carbon Dioxide, Maillard Reactions, Carmelization. About 4 1/2 minutes

TED-Ed: The Haber Process- The Chemical Reaction that Feeds the World - Middle School to Adult. Animated explanation of the reaction that created ammonia from N2, turning air into fertilizer. Different forms of Nitrogen, Chemical Equilibrium, Haber, LeChatelier, Machine to add N and H, while keeping pressure up. Over Fertilization. About 5 minutes.

TED-Ed: The Strengths and Weaknesses of Acids and Bases - High School. Animated explanation using the behavior of subatomic particles. Behavior of acids and Bases. Exchange of protons. Molecules of strong acids give up most or all of their protons to water, strong bases do the reverse. Weak don't change very much. Water can be acid or base.Neutralization.About 4 minutes

TED-Ed: Why Does Ice Float in Water? - Middle School to Adult. Animated explanation relying on thermodynamic properties of water and the effect of hydrogen bonds on density. The effect of ice that was denser than water - no liquid water. About 4 minutes

TED-Ed: What is the Shape of a Molecule? - Middle School to Adult. Animation of factors affection shape. Maximize attraction between opposite charges. Volta and Methane. Going from chemical formulas to 2-d structures to 3-d structures. About 4 minutes.

TED-Ed: The Science of Macaroni Salad: What's in a Molecule? - Middle School to Adult. Animation of how everything is made of atoms - starch to amylose to glucose to cellulose. Atoms are bulidng blocks of buliding blocks - CHONPS - Carbon, Hydrogen, Oxygen, Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Sulfur. How macaroni salad will turn into oil. About 4 minutes.

Lessons - Curriculum - Books - Games - Videos - Movies - Stewardship - Links

Movies - feature length movies and documentaries

 

Lessons - Curriculum - Books - Games - Videos - Movies - Stewardship - Links

Stewardship Activities

 

Lessons - Curriculum - Books - Games - Videos - Movies - Stewardship - Links

Links to regional, state, national and international organizations

Mapping Nuclear Fallout - What would happen if a nuclear power plant failed in your area? The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) has mapped the plume of radioactive fallout that could be expected if US Nuclear Reactors had failed on March 11, 2011, the date of the Fukishima event. NOTICE: ACTIVIST SITE.

Lessons - Curriculum - Books - Games - Videos - Movies - Stewardship - Links

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