Author:
The genius group from Madison Wisconsin
Subject:
Character Education, Elementary Education, Environmental Science, Physics, Civics and Government
Material Type:
Lesson
Level:
Upper Primary
Tags:
  • Coal Pollution
  • Community Action
  • Culitvating Genius
  • Energy
  • Environment
  • Five Pursuits
  • License:
    Public Domain Dedication
    Language:
    English
    Media Formats:
    Downloadable docs, Interactive, Video

    Education Standards

    fourth grade lesson 3 Cultivating Genius Framework science: How does transferring energy affect our health?

    fourth grade lesson 3 Cultivating Genius Framework science: How does transferring energy affect our health?

    Overview

    This is lesson three for fourth grade on energy and  the community effects of coal power plants in Chicago and the community action that ensued.

    Pursuits addressed 

    Criticality: The capacity and ability to read, write, think, and speak in ways to understand power and equity in order to understand and promote anti-oppression.

     joy: This is important because as you are struggling with ending and easing oppression, there is joy in coming together and creating change as a community.

    fourth grade lesson 2 Cultivating Genius Framework science: How does transferring energy affect our health?

    Lesson 

    Overview

    (1 hour)

    note: project may take longer depending on the project and classroom investment 

    Lesson 3 . What can be done about the health effects from energy transfer? 

     

    Explain the pursuits: Last class we discussed the black literary societies and how they would meet in small groups to learn together with a common goal of helping themselves combat racism and oppression. We discussed the idea of pursuits, or goals to keep themselves working towards these goals as a community..We discussed the pursuit of identity, criticality and skills and intellect. In this lesson, we'll revisit criticality but from a slightly different angle. Criticality was defined in the last class as the capacity and ability to read, write, think, and speak in ways to understand power and equity in order to understand and promote anti-oppression. In this lesson, we'll look at criticality as what happens when you use this ability to make conditions better for yourself and your community. The last pursuit that we have not covered yet is joy. This is important because as you are struggling with ending and easing oppression, there is joy in coming together and creating change as a community. There is even joy if you are not successful. 

     

    Lesson Snapshot 

    Introduction: Ask students to take a moment to look at what they wrote in their notebooks during the reflection time during the last class. Ask if any student would like to say something right away that they felt like didn't get said. Introduce the DQ. Students turn and talk. Some share out. 

    Small Group Discussion: Show students the map of Chicago and point out Little Village.  Ask students in their small groups to imagine they live in Little Village and are wanting to do something about the air quality. Some students share out. 

    Introduce LVejo: Show a series of web sites and short videos of real people in the neighborhood of Little Village working together to get the word out and communicate to the city that they want the coal plants removed because it is hurting their health. Students give their impressions of the action taken and the effects the social action had on the city and their own community. 

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Wrap up Option 1: Criticality: Students brainstorm about things that they could do around their community that could support learning, health or other issues that they are seeing around them. Students choose a topic (or topics) from the brainstorm to pursue more deeply and come up with an action that they could do to work for a positive change. 

    Wrap Up:. Students choose an action and a date to share how the action went. This can be something that they do during the school day or something after school. Give students time to find out if there are any groups that are already doing this work in their community that can be contacted for a guest/online speaker or writing a letter for more information. Students reflect on the joys of community action. 

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Wrap up Option 2: Return to the idea of energy transfer and the model that was drawn in the first lesson of how coal works to transfer energy. Ask students to work in small groups to: 1. draw a model of an alternative type of energy transfer that uses wind, flowing water or physical labor. 2. Create a poster about the dangers of coal energy plants as if they were trying to close one that was in their community. 3. Write a biography or a report about the community in Little Village and how they worked to close down the coal power plants in their community and were successful in doing this. 

    Wrap up: Posters and reports are shared via a classroom website, displayed in the school halls or the library or some other method of communication. Students reflect on the joys in creating their project. 

    Learning Performances

    Students will gather data through texts, graphs and media to examine the effect social action has on the type of transfer of energy in an area based on the health effects it may cause. 

     

    Building towards PE(s): 4-ESS3-1. Obtain and combine information to describe that energy and fuels are derived from natural resources and their uses affect the environment.

    3-5 ETS1-2 Generate and compare multiple possible solutions to a problem based on how well each is likely to meet the criteria and constraints of the problem.

    Materials and Prep

     

    Materials

    materials for making signs, posters, pamphlets, and other materials (based on students' choices) 

    Preparation 

    • Run through the videos and slides. Make sure the slides are in slideshow mode 

    • Have the webpages ready for viewing (as a tab or a bookmark) 

    • Choose beforehand which option for the wrap up you will be using with your class, depending on material, interest, and time constraints 

    Lesson Component

    How to Implement 

    What are kids figuring out?

    Students figure out that the placement of transfer or energy systems can be altered through community and social action. 

    Look Fors

    1.  Look for students working cooperatively to generate social action that may have a real world effect on the community and its air or water quality 2. Look for students creatively constructing reusable energy transfer systems and communicating these to a larger audience  

    1

    Introduction

        (5  min)

    Engaging with Phenomenon and DQ, “What can be done about the health effects from energy transfer?” 

    1. Ask students to take a moment to look at what they wrote in their notebooks during the reflection time in the previous class. Ask if any student would like to say something right away that they felt like didn't get said. Introduce the DQ. Students turn and talk. Some share out.

    2

    Close Reading and discussion 

    (15  min)

    Collecting and communicating data from media and a map 

    1. Show students the map of Chicago and point out Little Village.  Read the personal account of a resident of Little Village and the excerpt of the study from Harvard.  

    2. Ask students in their small groups to imagine they live in Little Village and are wanting to do something about the air quality. Give students ten minutes to brainstorm different strategies.  Some students share out. 

     3.

    Introduce LVejo

    (25  min) 

    Students are introduced to real-world activism 

    1. Go to this website to show the portrait of Kim Wasserman. Read the second and third paragraphs of her biography out loud or with the class. Explain that they thought of creative ways to get the information out about how the coal plants were affecting their health. 

    2. Next, show portions of the videos of the Coal olympics (where they are trying to get a bus to go by their neighborhood to help air pollution)  and the toxic tour and a mural (this is not a video, but a webpage).  Last, show the first minute and 45 seconds of this video to show that they were successful in getting the plants closed. 

    3. Ask students what they noticed or found interesting. Share This link to an article about how asthma was reduced after the coal plant was shut down. 

    clarify.JPG

    Supporting Student Discourse: 

    1. Especially if the class is doing the social action wrap up, there may be a lot of discussions and disagreements. Helping students clarify what their main objective is before they go into details about how to achieve this may support students in working together towards a shared goal. One tool that can focus students is writing the shared goal on a piece of paper and putting it in the center of the table so that students can have a constant reminder of where they want to go may keep the group cohesive. Ask the group to assign an 'objective checker' to steer students towards that goal when the discussion gets contentious. 

    4. 

    Wrap ups option one and two 

    (15 min)  

    Students engage in creative projects to demonstrate understanding of the content 

    Wrap up Option 1: Criticality: Students brainstorm about things that they could do around their community that could support learning, health or other issues that they are seeing around them. Students choose a topic (or topics) from the brainstorm to pursue more deeply and come up with an action that they could do to work for a positive change. 

    Wrap Up:. Students choose an action and a date to share how the action went. This can be something that they do during the school day or something after school. Give students time to find out if there are any groups that are already doing this work in their community that can be contacted for a guest/online speaker or writing a letter for more information. Students reflect on the joys of community action. 

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Wrap up Option 2: Return to the idea of energy transfer and the model that was drawn in the first lesson of how coal works to transfer energy. Ask students to work in small groups to: 1. draw a model of an alternative type of energy transfer that uses wind, flowing water or physical labor. 2. Create a poster about the dangers of coal energy plants as if they were trying to close one that was in their community. 3. Write a biography or a report about the community in Little Village and how they worked to close down the coal power plants in their community and were successful in doing this. 

    Wrap up: Posters and reports are shared via a classroom website, displayed in the school halls or the library or some other method of communication. Students reflect on the joys in creating their project. 

    Formative Assessment

    Look Fors

    1. Look for students working cooperatively to generate social action that may have a real world effect on the community and its air or water quality 2. Look for students creatively constructing reusable energy transfer systems and communicating these to a larger audience  

     

    Evidence Statement 

    1. Student's writing, models or action reflects understandings of the environmental effects of burning nonrenewable fossil fuels. Some projects may demonstrate how the transfer of energy works and how this can be altered to have fewer damaging effects.