Environment by ajizai


									                 Delaware Model Unit Gallery Template

This unit has been created as an exemplary model for teachers in (re)design of
course curricula. An exemplary model unit has undergone a rigorous peer review
and jurying process to ensure alignment to selected Delaware Content Standards.

Unit Title: Environmental Interdependence

Designed by: Peter Rees, Jordan Silberman, Maggie Legates, Amanda

District: Delaware Geographic Alliance

Content Area: Geography
Grade Level(s): 9
Summary of Unit
As citizens and consumers in today’s society, students will be called on to make
countless personal and family decisions related to the environment. They will also be
in the position to influence public policy and evaluate public action. Well-informed
citizens need a basic working knowledge of the physical systems of our planet and
how they interconnect. Environmental awareness will lead students to an
appreciation of sustainability- the balance between the needs of people and the
requirements of environmental systems that is likely to last. Students will appreciate
that there is risk involved in upsetting the balance of earth’s systems. Making
decisions relative to the environment, a citizen evaluates the risk of personal danger
or economic loss. Policymakers make decisions about projects and programs basing
their positions on the perceptions they have developed and the input of their
constituents. The transfer task at the end of this unit provides experience for
students in evaluating a proposed project and in providing input to policymakers.

As a means of reviewing and summarizing basic knowledge of earth’s systems, the
first lesson of this unit reviews the circulation patterns or cycles of earth’s
atmosphere and water. These concepts were introduced at the middle school level in
social studies classes and in science instruction as well. In preparation for exercises
in lesson three, practice is provided in map reading and analysis. In the second
lesson, students look at the effects of increased population and development in
South Florida. This lesson introduces the idea that perceptions of the value and
importance of natural areas has changed over time. In lesson three, students use the
Cancer and the Environment activity from the Delaware Health Initiative to examine
possible health risks from disruptions of natural systems. Cancer and the
Environment models geographic methods of analysis using GIS maps built from real
local data. The fourth lesson extends the examination of human assessment of
environmental risk using several contexts, including development along the San
Andreas Fault in California.

                         Stage 1 – Desired Results
                        What students will know, do, and understand
Delaware Content Standards
Geography Standard Two: Students will develop a knowledge of the ways humans
modify and respond to the natural environment .

9-12 Benchmark: Students will understand the Earth’s physical environment as a set
of interconnected systems (ecosystems) and the ways humans have perceived,
reacted to, and changed environments at local to global scales.

Big Idea(s)
Environmental Systems, Systems Balance, Interdependence, Sustainability,

Unit Enduring Understanding
The human response to the characteristics of a physical environment comes with
consequences for both the human culture and the physical environment.

Unit Essential Questions
      In what ways are earth’s physical systems interrelated?
      How can the actions of humans impact the balance of physical systems?
      To what extent can people predict the consequences from human alterations
       to the physical environment?

      Why might focusing on how people perceive the risks and resources of the
       natural environment help to explain human behavior in different parts of the

Knowledge and Skills

Students will know…
Basic processes of earth’s physical systems: hydrological cycles; mountain building
and erosion; air circulation systems.
Natural systems are sustainable and efficient when in balance.
Natural systems are interdependent.
Human perception of environmental conditions influences actions and decision-

Students will be able to…

Identify points of interdependence of physical systems.
Recognize causes and consequences of alterations to physical systems.
Evaluate perceptions and attitudes of people who face environmental hazards.

Interpret maps and geo-graphics to gather information for analysis.
Use geographic terms and methodology to evaluate environmental interdependence
and stress.

Stage 2 – Assessment Evidence
       Evidence that will be collected to determine whether or not Desired Results are achieved
Suggested Performance/Transfer Task(s)

Essential Question Measured by the Transfer Task
    To what extent can people predict the consequences from human alterations
      to the physical environment?

Prior Knowledge         Now that you have reviewed basic systems of earth’s
                        environment and ways they are interconnected, you are ready
                        to apply your knowledge and skills to analysis of a proposed
                        energy project.

Problem/Role            Two energy-related projects have been proposed for
                        construction off the Mid-Atlantic Coast. Both require approval
                        by state and federal agencies.
                             Oil companies have applied for permits for off-shore
                               drilling, hoping to locate deposits of oil and natural gas.
                             Wind energy groups propose the construction of a
                               “farm” of large turbines off the coast, with a connecting
                               cable to bring the electricity they generate to the beach
                        Before they vote, policymakers are asking the public to
                        comment on these proposals. Public hearings will be held, and
                        special websites have been set up to accept statements by
                        individual citizens or concerned citizen groups.

Perspective             .As a concerned citizen of Delaware, you may choose to
                        comment on one of the proposed projects. You should use
                        your knowledge of environmental systems and how they
                        interconnect, the need for environmental balance and
                        sustainability,   and    how  perceptions    can   influence
                        environmental decisions to make a persuasive argument for or
                        against the selected project.

Product                 Only comments by individual citizens or concerned citizen
                        groups will be accepted at this hearing. (A separate hearing
                        will be held for members of the energy industry and their
                        advocates.) To be accepted by the committee, your comment
                        must be submitted in one of these forms:
                             Oral testimony. Your comments, limited to three
                               minutes, may be delivered in person. A written
                               transcript or outline of your comments must be
                               submitted at the time of the testimony. Copies of

                             charts or visuals used must be submitted at the time of
                             testimony. Please remember to credit sources of
                             information or visual exhibits.
                            Web posting: A written statement of your position may
                             be submitted. Please limit written comments to 500
                             words. Up to five photos or other visuals may be
                             included. Please remember to credit sources of
                             information or visual exhibits.

  Criteria for   an Exemplary comments submitted to the committee should
  Exemplary         include:
  Response               Evidence that the citizen has researched and
                           understands one of the proposed projects. Testimony
                           that is not factually accurate will not be considered.
                         Evidence that the citizen understands environmental
                           systems that might be impacted by the project, and
                           how the project might affect environmental processes.
                         Evidence that the citizen appreciates the needs of
                           society and the interest we all have in finding a
                           sustainable solution to energy problems.
                         Evidence that the citizen appreciates the role of public
                           perception and opinion in making energy decisions.
                           Comments might be on the individual or societal level.
                         Testimony, whether oral or written, should be clear,
                           concise, and free from editing errors. Use of
                           appropriate geographic terms is expected. Sources of
                           information and graphics must be provided.


Scoring Category
The submitted
includes…            Score Point 3          Score Point 2          Score Point 1
Evidence that the    The testimony          The testimony          The testimony
citizen has          includes evidence of   includes evidence of   includes evidence of
researched and       adequate balanced      adequate balanced      research on one
understands one of   research on one        research on one        proposed project.
the proposed         proposed project.      proposed project.      Summary includes
projects             Summary includes       Summary includes       some relevant facts,
                     main relevant facts,   main relevant facts,   but may be
                     with references to     but may lack           incomplete or
                     similar projects in    context. Cites or      include information
                     other locations.       refers to a minimum    on both projects.
                     Cites or refers to a   of two different       Cites or refers to
                     minimum of three       information            only one
                     different              sources.               information
                     information                                   source.

Scoring Category
The submitted
includes…               Score Point 3            Score Point 2            Score Point 1

Evidence that the       The testimony            The testimony            The testimony
citizen understands     clearly identifies one   clearly identifies one   clearly identifies one
environmental           or more                  or more                  or more
systems that might      environmental            environmental            environmental
be impacted by the      systems that might       systems that might       systems that might
project, and how the    be impacted by the       be impacted by the       be impacted by the
project might affect    project. Likely          project. Likely          project. Likely
environmental           impacts on natural       impacts on natural       impacts on natural
processes.              processes are            processes are            processes are
                        explained in enough      explained in enough      mentioned, but not
                        detail to show           detail to show           explained, or
                        thorough                 minimal                  explanation is
                        understanding.           understanding.           inadequate or

Evidence that the       Balanced testimony       Balanced testimony       Testimony lacks
citizen appreciates     clearly identifies       identifies needs of      balance; focuses on
the needs of society    specific needs of        society and the          needs of society and
and the interest we     society and the          public interest in       the public interest
all have in finding a   public interest in       sustainable solutions    or environmental
sustainable solution    sustainable solutions    to energy problems,      interests.
to energy problems.     to energy problems.      but does not include
Evidence that the       Testimony clearly        Testimony                Testimony
citizen appreciates     demonstrates a           demonstrates some        demonstrates an
the role of public      deep appreciation of     awareness of the         incomplete
perception and          the role of              role of perception on    appreciation of the
opinion in making       perception on the        the part of              role of perception.
energy decisions.       part of individuals,     individuals, groups      May refer only to
Comments might be       groups and               and policymakers as      concerns of
on the individual or    policymakers as          they make decisions      individuals or one
societal level.         they make decisions      about                    particular group
                        about                    environmentally
                        environmentally          sensitive projects
                        sensitive projects
Testimony, whether      Communication is         Communication is         Mechanical errors
oral or written,        clear and effective,     clear and effective,     may interfere with
should be clear,        free from                free from                communication
concise, and free       mechanical errors.       mechanical errors.       effectiveness.
from editing errors.    Content-appropriate      Use of content-          Content-appropriate
Use of appropriate      vocabulary is well       appropriate              vocabulary is
geographic terms is     developed and            vocabulary is            missing or used
expected. Sources       evident. Sources are     limited. Sources are     incorrectly.
of information and      properly credited.       properly credited,       Sources are not
graphics must be                                 but may have some        properly credited.
provided                                         omissions.

                                                                                   Total Score: _____

                                                                    Above the Standard: 13 to 15
                                                                     Meets the Standard: 8 to 12
                                                                      Below the Standard: 5 to 7

Student Self-Assessment and Reflection
   Opportunities for self-monitoring learning ( e.g., reflection journals, learning logs, pre- and post-tests,
    self-editing – based on ongoing formative assessments)

                                  Stage 3 – Learning Plan
                (Design learning activities to align with Stage 1 and Stage 2 expectations)
Key learning events needed to achieve unit goals
Lesson One: Natural Systems of Water and Air
Background: Geography Standard 2 requires that students build a basic knowledge
of natural processes and systems. In the Delaware curriculum, students are exposed
to environmental processes in elementary, middle and high school. Science
instruction is designed to complement social studies lessons and units relating to
humans and their interactions with the environment. Diagrams and background
information on some physical processes are included on the Teacher version of
Health Initiative CD. (Click on the standard and also the benchmark sections marked
“Teachers Read This.” A review for students , Standard Geography II by Allen
Sylvester,    is   available on     the Delaware      Geographic  Alliance website
www.ngsednet.org/dga under resources.

Lesson Essential Question: In what ways are earth’s physical systems interrelated?

Activate Prior Knowledge: Think, Pair Square To illustrate the interconnected
nature of earth’s systems, use the analogy of the human body. Ask each student to
brainstorm a list of systems of the human body. (Examples: respiratory system,
circulatory system, etc.) Next, have students pair up to select one system from their
list and write down all the diseases or conditions they can think of that would affect
that system. (If they do not know the formal name of a condition, they may describe
the problem.) Lastly, have the students join another pair of students to review their
lists of possible problems with body systems. How might each ailment or problem
affect other body systems? (As an alternative, students might use the systems of an
automobile, or a city.) In a de-briefing discussion, students should conclude that
each system must work well and that problems with one system will lead to
problems with other systems.

Gather Information on Water Cycles: Use sections one and two of the student
reading and activity packet Learning About Water Cycles through Geo-graphics.

Information about the movement of water is presented in diagram and text formats.
Questions to guide student research are provided.

Extend and Refine: Use the Sections of the above exercises marked “Think About
It” to extend student thinking. The sections of the packet on groundwater levels and
demand for groundwater across the US will serve to further extend and refine
student understanding of the content and also allow students to practice geographic
skills related to reading and interpreting GIS maps.

Gather Information on Wind and Water Currents: Ask students if they have
ever heard of the Jet Stream or the Gulf Stream. These are two currents that often
affect our weather in Delaware. Use the student reading Circulating Air and Water to
help students understand how the Jet Stream and the Gulf Stream fit into the global
redistribution of heat in the air and water.

Check for Understanding
Near the equator, ocean temperatures are very warm, and in polar regions ocean
water is cold. Currents of warm water move through the oceans from the equator
toward the poles, and colder currents move through the oceans from the poles to the
1. Construct a geo-graphic to show how heat from the sun is distributed in earth’s
   oceans. How does the pattern of heat distribution in the oceans compare to
   patterns in the atmosphere?

2. How do you think ocean currents probably affect the overall temperature of
   Earth’s oceans?
Question 1:
2- Student constructed graphic shows flow of heat from equator toward poles.
   Answer gives evidence of connection between patterns in ocean and atmosphere.
1- Student either represents the relationship correctly in graphics or gives a co
   verbal or written answer showing understanding of the distribution of heat away
   from the poles.
Question 2
2-Student answer gives evidence of clear understanding of the modifying effects of
1- Student response gives evidence of incomplete understanding.

Application: Investigating Acid Rain
Use student reading Acid Rain to provide background knowledge of the effects of
pollution carried on air currents. Provide the students with an atlas or world map
and remind them of the diagrams on air currents to help them complete the
worksheet Long Distance Pollution. A teacher version is provided.

Check for Understanding

   The political cartoon above appeared in 1983. What opinion do you think the
    cartoonist had about the cause of acid rain? What details of the cartoon make
    you think this?

   Based on what you have learned, do you agree that American industries could
    have caused this problem? Use what you have learned and the map provided to
    help you support your position. (A map showing land use and vegetation is
    included in the Acid rain student reading packet.)

Question 1
2- Student response articulates artist viewpoint and supports statement with specific details
1- Student response interprets cartoon but does not support with details from cartoon

Question 2
2- Student takes and supports a position with knowledge of physical systems
1- Student takes a position but support is incomplete or weak.

Lesson Two: Everglades
Background: The topic of this lesson is the consequences of human activities on the
environment. The context is a great swamp, the Everglades. Because few people in
our culture feel at home in such an environment, perceptions of this ecosystem are
often ambivalent. The lesson will illustrate for students the tensions between
protection of fragile environmental systems and economic development. The role of
perceptions, priorities and values among citizens and policymakers will also be

Lesson Essential Question: How can the actions of humans impact the balance of
physical systems?

Activating Prior Knowledge: Survivor Experience
Ask students to close their eyes and imagine that they are alone at night in a great
swamp. What would they see? What would they hear? What smells and tastes would
they perceive? How might the air and surroundings feel to the touch? After students
have identified the tangible attributes of the place, ask them how they would feel
emotionally if they were to be stranded in such a place at night. Few students will
claim to feel “right at home”. What changes would they make if they were to be left
to live, even temporarily, in the swamp environment? Tell the students that in South
Florida today, millions of people have made the Everglades their home- after they
made a few changes, that is!

Gather Information- Reading Geo-graphics and Text
Distribute to students the Hand-out Humans Alter the Environment: Draining the
Everglades. Have the students read the first four pages outlining the process and the
effects of the draining of the Everglades . Use the Thinking Like a Geographer
questions as discussion guides or informal Checks for Understanding.

Extend and Refine-. Show the National Geographic video clip “Everglades
Restoration       Plan”      at      www.nationlgeographic.com/.../conservation-in-
action/everglades.html. To reinforce and extend, have students read the final pages
of the Draining of the Everglades packet entitled “Efforts to Reverse the Damage”. In
a follow-up discussion, ask students if they think restoration efforts will be
Introduce the idea of Sustainability- a balance between the needs of people and
environmental systems that is likely to last. Through discussion of the Everglades
example, students should see that continuing to drain the Everglades will eventually
undermine continued population growth by decreasing available drinking water
supplies. They should also see the pitfalls of flooding the natural landscape with
polluted water from agricultural area. The third option of returning agricultural land
to nature may seem easily viable to students. Teachers should encourage students
to explore the viewpoints of various stakeholders.
Application- Research : The landscape of the United States as been transformed
by an endless number of projects intended to “improve” or “develop” land. Examples
include the Tennessee Valley Authority’s construction of dams for flood control and
power generation, the “tiling” of prairie tracts in Illinois to make them suitable for
farming, and the construction of levees along the Mississippi River. Local examples
include the construction of the C&D Canal, the draining of the Great Cypress Swamp
in Sussex County, and the damming of local streams to provide water power for

mills. As a transfer exercise, have students work     in small groups to research one
such project. Each group should produce a chart       reporting Who built the project,
what they built, when it was built, where, and why    it was constructed. The results of
the project should then be evaluated. Was this         project successful? Did it have
unintended consequences?

Checks for Understanding- Thinking Like a Geographer
(These questions are included in the Everglades Student Hand-out.)

   How can understanding the natural systems of the region of South Florida help in
    planning for the future? Who should work on the plan?

   How might the use of maps, aerial photos, and satellite images help policymakers
    as they plan for future growth?

   A group of concerned Florida citizens hopes to reach sustainability in this region.
    What recommendations can you make for meeting the needs of the environment,
    the demands of the agricultural industry, and the expansion of the developed
    communities of South Florida?

2-Student response shows evidence of skillful application of geographic principles
and methods to a local problem
1-Student response shows evidence of incomplete or minimal application of
geographic principles to a local problem.

Lesson Three: Cancer and the Environment Unit from Delaware Health

Overview of the unit: Cancer is a major problem in Delaware. Between 1971-
2000, women and African-Americans died from the disease at the highest rates in
the nation. Some argue the problem is the result of a late diagnosis and insufficient
surgical treatment. Others claim Delaware’s high levels of environmental pollution
are a significant cause. In this unit, students explore this controversy by examining
cancer morbidity rates by zip code areas in Delaware, using a geographic analysis
(GIS) to evaluate which cancers might be associated with air pollution. The unit
emphasis is on the role of perception in human-environment relationships.

   Lesson Essential Question: To what extent can people predict the consequences
    from human alterations to the physical environment?

Activating Prior Knowledge- Think, Pair, Share Ask pairs of students to “brain
dump” everything they know, or think they know, about cancer. Responses might
range from carcinogens they have heard about, progress in cancer research, types of
cancer, etc. Ask pairs to form a “square’ of four students to compare their responses
and consider the question, “Who gets cancer?”. When groups are ready, ask them to
report out and facilitate a discussion about the relative risk of getting cancer. Tell the
students that this lesson will look at the question geographically. “Does where you
live and work affect your risk of getting cancer?”

Gather Information about Cancer: Use the Student Reading from the Delaware
Health Initiative unit Cancer and the Environment. This reading will provide or
reinforce student prior knowledge about the nature and effects of cancer itself. A
reading comprehension quiz is included in this section as a Check for Understanding.

Extend and Refine Information about Cancer Risk: For information on possible
causes of cancer, have students read the first section under Teacher Guide to
Student Research. This reviews possible risk factors such as diet, and introduces the
environmental factors people have suspected over the years. Next the guide explains
how geographic methods can be put to work in investigating possible causes for
disease. The unit presents local cancer data for several types of cancer in the form of
GIS-generated maps.

Application: Using a simulation format, Cancer and the Environment challenges
students to use geographic analysis to speculate about possible cancer-causing
factors in the Delaware landscape. The step-by-step guide to student research helps
students use a scientific approach and deductive reasoning to evaluate this real-life
situation. Additional information on the Delaware environment is provided to
facilitate the exercise. While additional research might be used to extend the
learning, resources within the CD are sufficient for student success.

Check for Understanding: Report

(This performance task is included in the Delaware Health Initiative CD. )

You have now collected enough information to provide your findings to the Division
of Public Health. Your answers represent your best judgment – and reasonable
people – other students – may come to different conclusions. The most important
point to remember is to back up your recommendation with the best possible

Which cancers and in which zip code areas, if any, might be caused at least in part
by environmental factors? Back up your conclusions with carefully assembled
evidence in a formal report.

2-Student response shows evidence of geographic analysis and supports position
with specific evidence.
1-Student response is incompletely supported by evidence.

Lesson Four: Perception of Risk and the San Andreas Fault
Background: Risk is a part of every landscape. When people select a site for a home,
a factory, a fort, or a shopping center, they take many factors into consideration.
One of those factors involves environmental hazards. Perception of the amount of
danger may be wildly inaccurate. At times, the reason is lack of information. But
other considerations may sometimes out-weigh the risk involved. In such cases
people tend to underestimate the danger and over-estimate their ability to mange
the risk. This lesson explores the role of perception in decision-making relative to

the environment. The context is the risk of earthquakes along the San Andreas Fault
in southern California.

Lesson Essential Question: Why might focusing on how people perceive the risks
and resources of the natural environment help to explain human behavior in different
parts of the world?

Activating Prior Knowledge:
Ask students to rank the following activities from highest to lowest level of risk or
      Building a new residence on the coast north of San Francisco
      Driving along the California Coastal Highway
      Vacationing in southern California for two weeks
      Flying to Oakland for a ballgame
      Changing planes at LAX on the way to Hawaii
      Building a new nuclear power plant near Santa Rosa
When students are finished, ask how many have rated each of the options most risky
or hazardous. Record the number of votes for each option. Then ask students what
criteria they used for evaluating the level of risk. Amount of time exposed to the
hazard is likely to emerge, but other factors may figure in. Use this a segue into the
topic of risk perception.

Gather Information About Earthquake Risk: First provide background on the
overall risks related to movements of tectonic plates with the hand-out Ring of Fire
from Standard Geography II. Additional information about the risks in California are
provided from the reading Humans Adapt to the Environment: San Andreas Fault.
Use the questions in “Thinking like a Geographer” to guide the follow-up discussion.

Extend and Refine Information about Earthquake Risk in California: Show a
video clip including expert opinion on the danger of earthquake activity along the
San Andreas Fault. A clip from Fox News http://video.foxnews.com/v3935333/the-
big-one is a good example. Ask students if they detected any uncertainty or hedging
on the part of the expert geologist. What effect might this information have on
people who are assessing risk?

Extend and Refine Information about Perceptions of Risk: Have students read
pages 1 and 2 of What Were They Thinking?- Perception of Risk and Decision-Making
About Natural Hazards. The reading discusses risk from river valley flooding. Ask
students if they believe the same sort of reasoning explains the decision of
Californians to live around the San Andreas Fault, and even rebuild after

Application: The last page of the What Were They Thinking? Packet challenges
students to evaluate an impending natural hazard and the options available to a local

Check for Understanding:
Use the Student Assessment from the Cancer and Society CD. This item evaluates
student knowledge of observed responses to environmental risk in a slightly different
format and context.

Resources and Teaching Tips
         A variety of resources are included (texts, print, media, web links)
         Help in identifying and correcting student misunderstandings and weaknesses

         Stage 2 and 3 allow students to demonstrate understanding with choices, options, and/or variety
          in the products and performances without compromising the expectations of the Content
         Instruction is varied to address differences in readiness, interest, and/or learning profiles.
         Accommodations and differentiation strategies are incorporated in the design of Stage 2 and 3.

                      Design Principles for Unit Development
                   At least one of the design principles below is embedded within unit design.

   International Education - the ability to appreciate the richness of our own
    cultural heritage and that of other cultures in to provide cross-cultural
    communicative competence.
   Universal Design for Learning - the ability to provide multiple means of
    representation, expression and engagement to give learners various ways to
    acquire and demonstrate knowledge.
   21st Century Learning – the ability of to use skills, resources, & tools to meet
    the demands of the global community and tomorrow’s workplace. (1) Inquire,
    think critically, and gain knowledge, (2) Draw conclusions make informed
    decisions, apply knowledge to new situations, and create new knowledge, (3)
    Share knowledge and participate ethically and productively as members of our
    democratic society, (4) Pursue personal and aesthetic growth.(AASL,2007)

(Briefly explain how design principle(s) are embedded within the unit design.)

                                    Technology Integration
        The ability to responsibly use appropriate technology to communicate, solve
        problems, and access, manage, integrate, evaluate, and create information

   8th Grade Technology Literacy - the ability to responsibly use appropriate technology to
    communicate, solve problems, and access, manage, integrate, evaluate, and create information to
    improve learning in all subject areas and to acquire lifelong knowledge and skills in the 21st
    Century(SETDA, 2003).

            Content Connections
Content Standards integrated within instructional strategies


To top