Consumerism Lesson Plan by ylo13183

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									consumerism unit
Lesson I Purpose: Students will learn about the five steps of the consumerism cycle and discuss the
advantages and disadvantages of consumerism as it pertains to the environmental, societal, and
economic aspects of our communities.
Lesson II Purpose: To provide students with information on what actions can be taken to reduce
the impact their shopping habits have on the environment.
Lesson III Purpose: For students to demonstrate their knowledge of key vocabulary and ideas in
regard to consumerism and reflect on their learning. Also to leave the students with concrete facts
and advice they can use when they inevitable have to shop in the future.

Essential Question(s) and Core Concepts for Lesson I:
    • What is the impact of our consumer driven economy on the environment?
    • How can we recognize necessities from superfluous things?
    • What are some changes we can make to reduce the impact buying has on the
        environment?
Essential Question(s) and Core Concepts for Lesson II:
    • Is doing nothing actually the greenest thing?
    • Is conservationism the enemy of consumerism?
    • How can we find a balance between conservationism and consumerism?
Essential Question(s) and Core Concepts for Lesson III:
    • As students, how have your thinking, attitude, and behavior been affected by learning
        about this topic?
    • What are things to be conscious of when shopping in the future?

Learning Targets and Unit Objectives:
Primary Content Area: Science
Component 3.2 Understands human interaction with the environment.
1.2.1 Analyze how the parts of a system interconnect and influence each other.
2.2.5 Understand that increased comprehension of systems leads to new inquiry.
3.2.4 Analyze how human societies’ use of natural resources affects the quality of life and the
health of ecosystems.
Integrated Content Area: Social Studies, Language Arts
Social Studies:
2.1.1 Analyzes examples of how groups and individuals have considered profit and personal
values in making economic choices in the past or present.
2.2.1 Analyzes how the forces of supply and demand have affected the production, distribution,
and consumption of goods, services, and resources in the United States in the past or present.

Lesson Objectives
Students will (Lesson I):
    • Watch the short video about the consumerism cycle, The Story of Stuff by Annie Leonard
    • Discuss facts and statements made in the video in small groups
    • Identify environmental or social issues about consumerism in the video
Students will (Lesson II):
    • Read Finding Balance Between Consumerism and Conservationism, an article written by
       Joel Bittle.
    • Break into small groups, one group for each instructor, and discuss the following questions
       raised in the article: Is doing nothing actually the greenest thing? Is conservationism the
   • enemy of consumerism?
   • Review the key terms taught from the Story of Stuff the previous week.
Students will (Lesson III):
   • Take a short quiz on key vocabulary and ideas from the unit on consumerism.
   • Meet in small groups to brainstorm ways that they can shop consciously in the present and
       future.

Key Unit Vocabulary:
   • extraction
   • production
   • distribution
   • consumption
   • disposal
   • planned obsolescence
   • perceived obsolescence
   • externalized costs
   • frugality
   • conservationism
   • reuse
     
Assessments (Lesson I):    
   • Students will be graded on two areas: 25% class participation in group discussion and 75%
       on homework completion and thoroughness.
Assessments (Lesson II):    
   • Students will be graded on their participation in the in-class discussion.
Assessments (Lesson III):    
   • Students will take a quiz on consumerism to measure their knowledge of consumerism.

Instructional Materials (Lesson I):
    • The internet documentary, The Story of Stuff by Annie Leonard.
Instructional Materials (Lesson II):
    • Finding Balance Between Consumerism and Conservationism, an article written by Joel
        Bittle.
Instructional Materials (Lesson III):
    • Quiz on consumerism.

Lesson Steps (Lesson I):
1. Students are given a brief introduction to the unit on consumerism and are shown the video
    The Story of Stuff.
2. Students break into small groups, one group for each instructor, and discuss the following facts
    presented in the video: more than 50% of our U.S. federal tax money is now going to the
    military; of the 100 largest economies on earth now, 51 are corporations; the U.S. has 5% of
    the world’s population but are consuming 30% of the world’s resources; and 80% of the
    planet’s original forest are gone.
3. Students are assigned homework at the end of the period: Write a response to the prompt on
    the appropriate discussion blogs on our website: Name a problem identified in the film that is
    often overlooked. What are ways our society—individuals and the community—can change?
Lesson Steps (Lesson II):
1. Students are given an article written by Joel Bittle, Finding Balance Between Consumerism and
    Conservationism.
2. After all students have completed silently reading the article they break into small groups, one
    group for each instructor, and discuss the article. Use the following questions as guiding
    questions but do not rely solely upon them: Is doing nothing actually the greenest thing? Is
    conservationism the enemy of consumerism?
3. Do a review of the key terms from The Story of Stuff as an entire class or in small groups. They
    will be tested upon those the following week along with some key ideas present throughout
    the unit.
Lesson Steps (Lesson III):
1. Students are given the quiz on consumerism to complete individually and hand in for a grade.
2. Students break into small groups, one group for each instructor, and discuss the following
    questions: As students, how have your thinking, attitude, and behavior been affected by
    learning about this topic? What are things to be conscious of when shopping in the future?
Instructional Strategies (Lesson I):
This lesson engaged students by providing an easy to understand, yet informational video that
contains the subject matter we are teaching. Small discussion groups are also used to keep
students connected with the instructors on a more personal level and give each student more
opportunity to share their ideas and thoughts.
Instructional Strategies (Lesson II):
Students obtain information by reading an opinion article written by columnist Joel Bittle. This
allows an opportunity to again get another side of the subject matter that they are learning. Small
group along with independent study are used to vary the class structure. It is necessary for the
students to formulate their opinions separately before they come together to discuss and debate
them.
Instructional Strategies (Lesson III):
The quiz is an important tool for measuring their knowledge of the concepts and vocabulary we
taught them pertaining to consumerism. Also to wrap up the unit, small groups are used to discuss
how the students thinking, behavior, and attitude have changed throughout this lesson. These
groups should also discuss what students can continue to do to shop consciously in the present
and especially in the future.

Lesson Reflection (Lesson I):
     
We found that the video provoked a wide array of emotions and opinions among the students. This
reaction is exactly what we wanted. It is necessary for students to discuss information with each
other and their instructors to ensure that they use their critical thinking skills to detect bias and
false information. This results in a richer, more holistic approach to education.
It is also necessary that it is absolute clear to students how to get to our website, as much of our
homework will be turned in there. An alternative to students who do not have internet access is to
answer the discussion prompt on paper and turn it in.
Lesson Reflection (Lesson II):
It is important to encourage the children to lead the discussions as much as possible. If they are in
charge of the conversation they will be much more engaged and actually have discussions instead
of just answer the questions. Encourage debate but make sure to moderate it closely, some of these
topics are controversial and can lead to some heated discussion. If someone’s feelings get hurt
then they might not enjoy the class as much and won’t want to partake in discussions or activities.
Lesson Reflection (Lesson III):
The quiz is an important tool for measuring their knowledge of the concepts and vocabulary we
taught them pertaining to consumerism. Also to wrap up the unit, small groups are used to discuss
how the students thinking, behavior, and attitude have changed throughout this lesson. These
groups should also discuss what students can continue to do to shop consciously in the present
and especially in the future.

								
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