SCoPE Site Lesson Plan by YrqZ6C


									Middle School Science                                           Human Activity and the Earth
Earth and Space Science

                              SCoPE Site Lesson Plan
Title: Lesson 5—Can We Dig It? (SC080605)

Students examine the long-term effects of mining, integrating their understanding of acid
deposition and the effects of pH on land and water.

Subject Area: Science

Grade Level and Course Title: Eighth Grade/Earth and Space Science

Unit of Study: Human Activity and the Earth

    Describe how human activities affect the quality of water in the hydrosphere (V.2.HS.2).
    Explain the impact of human activities on the atmosphere and explain ways that
     individuals and society can reduce atmospheric pollution (V.3.HS.4).
    Present a proposal of ways to reduce pollution in the local community and discuss the
     proposal in a small group (I.1.HS.5).

Key Concepts

Instructional Materials
Computer/projector access
Maps of Michigan

Student Resource
Mining History of Michigan. Michigan           Technological    University.   15   April   2004

Muskingum Mines, Ohio. Earthshots.            U.S.   Geologic    Survey.      15   April   2004

Texley, Juliana. Unit 6 Lesson 5 Student Pages. Teacher-made material. Lansing, MI: Michigan
   Department of Treasury, 2004.

Teacher Resource
Brower, Michael, and Warren Leon. The Consumer's Guide to Effective Environmental Choices:
   Practical Advice from the Union of Concerned Scientists. New York: Three Rivers Press,

August 2, 2004                                                   SCoPE SC080605 Page 1 of 3
Middle School Science                                            Human Activity and the Earth
Earth and Space Science
Texley, Juliana. Grade 8 Unit 6 Teacher Background. Teacher-made material. Lansing, MI:
   Michigan Department of Treasury, 2004.

Sequence of Activities
Advance Preparation: This exercise should be integrated with Grade 8 Unit 6 Lesson 3 (Acid
Rain) and Grade 9 Unit 7 Lessons 2 and 3 (acid rain on living things).

1. Ask students to describe a mine. Then ask them to examine the examples of mines on their
   Student Pages. As they do so, use questions to help them understand that mines are not all
   underground. They can include pits, quarries, and strip mining. For each picture on their
   Student Pages, ask students to identify what is mined, what the material is used for, and what
   environmental hazards are created by the mines.

2. Review with students the history of mining in Michigan. Michigan has four major ranges
   where metals are mined: the "Copper Country" Mining District of Keweenaw, Houghton,
   Ontonagon counties, the Marquette Iron Range of Marquette and Baraga counties, the
   Menominee Iron Range of Dickinson and Iron counties, and the Gogebic Iron Range of
   Gogebic county (extending into Wisconsin). Over a billion tons of iron and several billion
   pounds of copper have been removed from these mines over time. Once there were gold
   mines (and copper and other metallic explorations) in Marquette county and gold exploring
   in Gogebic county. Silver explorations also operated in Ontonagon and Baraga counties, but
   there were never profitable operations there. Michigan also mines limestone and shale,
   primarily in the Devonian strata which cross northern Michigan from Traverse City to
   Alpena, gypsum in Tawas City and near Cadillac, salt (previously) under Detroit, and gravel
   throughout the state in the eskers that were left by the glaciers. Ask students to identify the
   areas where Michigan mines exist on the map on the Student Pages. [Square is the only
   existing iron mine in Michigan, south of Marquette, Michigan. Black dots are limestone,
   gypsum, and salt; grey dots are gravel.]

3. Help students integrate prior knowledge as they supplement their answers on how mines can
   harm the environment. Question #1: “What are the environmental effects of mining metals
   underground?” [The most obvious answer is holes—erosion and collapsed areas, such as in
   the Pewabic pit. There are many areas in the Keewenaw peninsula where people cannot walk
   because of fear of collapsing pits underground.] Question #2: “What is left behind…”[The
   tailings are left behind when rock is purified after being removed. Many areas of the Upper
   Peninsula including Torch Lake are permanently polluted due to the asbestos in taconite (iron
   ore) tailings. In Alpena, metals and asbestos pollute soil downwind of the 100-year-old
   limestone quarry. Third, some mining operations use acids and other solvents.] Question #3:
   “How can this harm the environment?” [See effects of acid in Lessons 2 and 3 in this unit.]

4. Share with students the time series satellite photos of the Muskingum coalmines in Ohio on
   USGS’s Earthshots website. These images show coal mining in eastern Ohio. In these images
   vegetation is red, water is black to dark blue, and the mines are bright gray. The Ohio River
   flows south through the images, and several reservoirs lie in the center of the images. Akron,
   Ohio is in the northwest corner, just north of Canton. Early mining was almost totally
   underground. In later years more surface mining is evident. But the company responsible for

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Middle School Science                                           Human Activity and the Earth
Earth and Space Science
   the mining, in compliance with federal law, is replacing the land it removes with native
   grasses. Follow the hyperlinks to show students how land can be restored after mining,
   avoiding the collapse, erosion and pollution of some sites.

5. Students may wish to explore the status of Michigan mines further. Links and addresses can
   be found in the Michigan Technological University website above.

Ask students to match materials to Michigan mining locations.

Applications Beyond School
Students can relate their use and (possible) recycling of materials to the potential damage of

Social Studies
Students can write to mining companies asking them how they affect the environment.

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