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Stop Soil Pollution

See with clear vision the forces that cloud our air, water, and Earth’s soil.

  • Grade 2
    Grade 3
    Grade 4
  • 60 to 90 Minutes
  • Directions

    1. What pollutes? We only have one Earth with its soil, rivers, oceans, and air. Invite students to look around their neighborhoods for pollution culprits. Are there factories that spew chemicals into water? Do people drive when they could walk or take public transportation? Is soil eroding at mines or around construction sites? As a whole class, students generate a list of pollution examples that they see (or smell) during one week. Then make a diorama to show the ways that soil and rivers are being harmed. This can be done individually or in small groups.
    2. Encourage students to show the environment in their dioramas. Inside a recycled box (lined with white paper), students draw the backdrop for their scenes with Crayola Washable Markers.
    3. On recycled file folders, draw various causes of pollution. Students might show vehicles in traffic with dripping oil, chemicals being sprayed on lawns or fields, or garbage being dumped in landfills. Leave a tab on the bottom of each figure. Cut out pictures with Crayola Scissors. Fold tabs. Glue pictures to scenes with Crayola School Glue. Air-dry.
    4. Take action! Students/groups share and compare findings with classmates. Identify ways that pollution could be cut in the community. How can you get the message out to kids and grown-ups?
  • Standards

    LA: Read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, at the high end of the grade level text complexity band independently and proficiently.

    LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 3 topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.

    LA: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.

    LA: Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking clearly at an understandable pace.

    SCI: Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information about the types of habitats in which organisms live, and ask questions based on that information.

    SCI: Use evidence to argue that some changes in an organism’s habitat can be beneficial or harmful to the organism.

    SS: Explore and describe similarities and differences in the ways groups, societies, and cultures address similar human needs and concerns.

    SS: Explore causes, consequences, and possible solutions to persistent, contemporary, and emerging global issues, such as pollution and endangered species.

    SS: Identify and use various sources for reconstructing the past, such as documents, letters, diaries, maps, textbooks, photos, and others.

    SS: Demonstrate an understanding that people in different times and places view the world differently.

    VA: Use different media, techniques, and processes to communicate ideas, experiences, and stories.

    VA: Use visual structures of art to communicate ideas.

  • Adaptations

    Possible classroom resources include: The Lorax by Dr. Seuss; 365 Ways to Live Green for Kids: Saving the Environment at Home, School, or at Play--Every Day! by Sheri Amsel; Air Pollution (True Books: Environment) by Rhonda Lucas Donald

    Encourage students to organize a "Clean Up You Act" program where students commit to making changes at home as well as at school regarding pollution. Students generate a list of focal points for changes while at school. Individually, students create a list of items to focus on while at home.

    Working in small groups, students generate a list of goals to improve the overall physical fitness of the class. Display the final list of goals in the classroom for quick reference.

    What was the world like 50 years ago? What type of pollution issues were people concerned with at that time? Compare and contrast issues from 50 years ago to pollution issues today. Predict what you think will be the pollution issues 50 years from now. What are your predictions based on?


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