Physical Science ()

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2012 Sustainability Institute for Educators
Course(s) Physical Science, grade 9
Topic Sustainability and the impact of Humans on our planet.
Class Period (minutes) 51 minutes
Purpose Statement &
rationale
Number of
days to
complete
10 Days
The purpose of the unit plan is to introduce students to the concept of
sustainability by illustrating the effects of population growth on natural
resources and the surface of our planet. The Earth Model Construction Project
is effective as it allows students to actually make changes that occur to the
Earth using a hands-on approach. In other words, the students can visualize
population increase, depletion of green space, and exhaustion of natural
resources.
The students will be introduced to the three dimensions of sustainability
through classroom discussion of real world problems where they can actually
experience multiple viewpoints, thereby understanding decisions made with
regards to natural resources must encompass each area and all views.
Furthermore, each class period will be left to work with the decisions made in
the previous period. This experience is designed to illustrate to students that
decisions made by our generation must be dealt with by future generations.
As the population of the Earth Model increases, more resources will be
required, which shows students that as the population of the Earth increases,
the demand for space and resources increases as well. It is not the goal of this
project to discourage the use of resources, but to instill proper resource
management as the mechanism of sustainability. In the seventh day of the unit
plan, students will begin to replant some of the trees that are removed, which
is an example of how proper management of resources can lengthen their
availability for future consumption. We will also point out that there are other
ways to conserve resources, such as our school’s very active and successful
recycling program.
The project will conclude with nonrenewable resources being completely
depleted. This will illustrate to students that nonrenewable resources can run
out if not properly managed and we will need alternative forms of energy in
the near future. A sister project, which will occur later in the year, is to
highlight alternative energy sources.
Sustainability
Concepts & Themes
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Sustainability
Population Dynamics
Biosphere/Ecosystems
Resources, both renewable and non-renewable.
Learning outcomes or
Learning indicators.

The student will understand the concept of sustainability, as it relates to the
social, environmental and economic impacts on our society.
TSW identify four land types including desert, plains, mountainous and
deciduous forest and recognize the materials that make them up.
TSW recognize as the human population increases, usage of natural resources
and land space increases as well.
TSW understand the effects of urbanization on land space.
TSW recognize that nonrenewable resources can be depleted.
TSW acknowledge that management of nonrenewable resources can extend
their viability.
TSW understand that the reduction of nonrenewable resources can have a
widespread impact on our lifestyle and global the economy.
TSW understand that as population increases, industry increases and the
result is an increase in the pollution of land, air and water resources.
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Ohio Standard Physical Science - Science Inquiry and Application
Addressed
 Identify questions and concepts that guide scientific investigations;





Conduct scientific investigations;
Use technology and mathematics to improve investigations and
communications;
Formulate and revise explanations and models using logic and
evidence;
Recognize and analyze explanations and models; and
Communicate and support scientific argument.
Environmental Science
Earth Systems: Interconnected Spheres of Earth
 Biospheres
o Adaptation in populations
o Ecosystems
o Population Dynamics
Biology
Diversity and Interdependence of Life
 Ecosystems
o Carrying capacity
National Standards
Addressed


Design and Conduct Scientific Investigations
Use Technology and Mathematics to Improve Investigations and
Communications
Formative Informal question and answer session.
assessments
Daily unit Day 1
Materials needed: Projector, PowerPoint slides, Day 1 Activity Sheet,
outline/schedule
(remove/add
additional rows as
needed depending on
length of unit)
paper and pencils.
Activities/assessments:
Teacher will give a PowerPoint presentation which defines
sustainability, focusing on the social, environmental and economic
aspects. (10 minutes)
Students will be required to define the following in their
sustainability notebook: sustainable development, economic
sustainability, environmental sustainability, societal sustainability
and sustainable paradigm. The sustainable paradigm Venn
diagram illustrating the overlap of these areas will be provided.
The teacher will present a local situation that represents the
social, environmental and economic implications that relate to
sustainability. The example will be the current usage of Shenango
Lake/Dam. (5 minutes)
The teacher will facilitate a class discussion with regards to each
facet of sustainability and the students will be permitted to ask
questions and make comments. (15 minutes)
Informally: students will be assessed through discussion during
the PowerPoint presentation and the Shenango Lake/Dam
example.
Formally: students will create a journal entry that compares the
local versus national impacts of the Shenango Lake/Dam situation,
focusing on the economy, limited social usage and the
environmental changes. Students will also be graded on
maintaining their presentation notes and vocabulary.
Day 2
Materials needed:
Earth Model Construction Project Assignment Sheet, paper and pencil.
Activities/assessments:
Teacher will provide students with an overview of the Earth
Model Construction Project. (10 minutes)
Teacher will provide the basic model format, which has four
quadrants representing each of the land types, as well as the
ocean and rivers. An assignment sheet will be provided which
summarizes the earth model activity, provides assignment
instructions and a rubric showing assessment technique. (10
minutes)
Question and answer time will be given so that the students have
the opportunity to ask questions to clarify what is expected of
them. (10 minutes)
The students will be asked to bring in household supplies to use
on their model; Sticks, small stones, game pieces or small figures
(army men) and small boxes.
Informal: the students will be assessed by the appropriateness of
the questions.
Formal: Student will provide a paragraph for each of the following
in their journal; desert, plains, mountainous, and temperate
deciduous forest.
Day 3
Materials needed:
Teacher: Earth Model Construction Project Worksheet land base,
sand, dirt, rocks, artificial grass, glue,
Styrofoam and tubing (rivers).
Students: Sticks, small stones, game pieces or small figures (army
men) and small boxes.
Activities/assessments:
Teacher will separate students into four groups, each being
assigned a different land type. (5 minutes)
Teacher will facilitate a discussion which outlines the
characteristics of each land type. (10 minutes)
Each group of students will use the gathered materials to create
the surface of the landscape for their given land type. (30minutes)
Teacher will provide representations of natural resources to be
placed in the landscape.
Informally: the students will be assessed on their group
cooperation.
Formally: adequate construction of the earth model with four land
types.
Day 4
Materials needed:
Teacher: Projector, PowerPoint slides, land base, sand, dirt, rocks,
artificial grass, glue, Styrofoam and tubing (rivers).
Students: Earth Model Construction Project Worksheet, paper,
pencil, sticks and small stones.
Teacher will present information on world population, natural
resources and the use of natural resources. (10 minutes)
Students will take notes and ask questions.
The students will continue to work in separate groups of four,
each being assigned a different land type.
Each group will add avatars to represent population increase.
Each group will decrease the natural resources, based on current
population growth patterns (see formula on assignment sheet).
(15 minutes)
Students will quantify changes made on project worksheet. (10
minutes)
Activities/assessments:
Informally: students will be assessed on their group cooperation.
Formally: the students will be required to make a journal entry
comparing population growth to usage of natural resources.
Students will also define population, population growth, carrying
capacity and research statistics on natural resource usage in the
United States.
Day 5
Materials needed:
Teacher: Land base, sand, dirt, rocks, artificial grass, glue,
Styrofoam and tubing (rivers).
Students: Earth Model Construction Project Worksheet, sticks and
small stones.
Activities/assessments:
Teacher will present information which outlines how increased
land usage affects the surface the landscape, plant and animal
populations, and the water supply. (10 minutes)
Students will take notes and ask questions.
Students will continue to work in separate groups four, each being
assigned a different land type.
Each group will add avatars to represent population increase.
Each group will represent urbanization by adding factories,
shopping centers, homes and cities.
Each group will decrease the natural resources, based on current
population growth patterns. (10 minutes)
Students will quantify changes made on project worksheet. (10
minutes)
Informally: students will be assessed on their group cooperation.
Formally: students will be required to make a journal entry
focusing on how urbanization decreases the habitat of plant and
animal populations, and the possible future implications. Students
will also research the following terms: ground water, tributaries,
groundwater recharging, runoff, and habitat loss.
Day 6
Materials needed:
Teacher: Land base, sand, dirt, rocks, artificial grass, glue,
Styrofoam and tubing (rivers).
Students: Earth Model Construction Project Worksheet, paper,
pencil, sticks and small stones.
Activities/assessments:
Teacher will present information on renewable resources,
specifically green space and water, and how they are affected by
population increase. (10 minutes) Students will take notes and ask
questions.
The students will work in separate groups four, each being
assigned a different land type.
Each group will add avatars to represent population increase.
Each group will represent urbanization by adding factories,
shopping centers, homes and cities.
Each group will decrease the natural resources, based on current
population growth patterns. (10 minutes)
Students will quantify changes made on project worksheet. (10
minutes)
Informally: the students will be assessed on their group
cooperation.
Formally: the students will be required to make a journal entry
focusing on how urbanization decreases green space, and the
effects of this situation on our atmosphere or the effects of
pollution on the water supply. Students will also research the
following terms: photosynthesis, deforestation, point-source
pollution and nonpoint-source pollution.
Day 7
Materials needed:
Teacher: Land base, sand, dirt, rocks, artificial grass, glue,
Styrofoam and tubing (rivers).
Students: Earth Model Construction Project Worksheet, paper,
pencil, sticks and small stones.
Activities/assessments:
Teacher will present information on nonrenewable resources,
specifically oil, coal and natural gas, and how they are affected by
population increase. (10 minutes) Students will take notes and
ask questions.
The students will continue to work separated in groups of four,
each being assigned a different land type.
Each group will add avatars to represent population increase.
Each group will represent urbanization by adding factories,
shopping centers, homes and cities.
Each group will decrease the natural resources, based on current
population growth patterns.
Students will quantify changes made on project worksheet. (10
minutes)
Informally: the students will be assessed on their group
cooperation.
Formally: the students will be required to make a journal entry
explaining how their lives would be different without coal, oil or
natural gas. Students will also research the following terms: fossil
fuels, oil reserves and alternative energy source.
Day 8
Materials needed:
Teacher: Land base, sand, dirt, rocks, artificial grass, glue,
Styrofoam and tubing (rivers).
Students: Earth Model Construction Project Worksheet, paper,
pencil, sticks and small stones.
Activities/assessments:
Teacher will present information on how industry pollutes our
planet focusing on green-house gases and waste production. (10
minutes) Students will take notes and ask questions.
The students will continue to work in separate groups of four,
each being assigned a different land type.
Each group will add avatars to represent population increase.
Each group will represent urbanization by adding factories,
shopping centers, homes and cities.
Each group will decrease the natural resources, based on current
population growth patterns.
Each group will show the effects of pollution by adding
representations of landfills, polluted water and air to their
models. (10 minutes)
Students will quantify changes made on project worksheet. (10
minutes)
Informally: the students will be assessed on their group
cooperation.
Formally: the students will be required to make a journal entry on
how an increase in recycling affects landfill usage.
Day 9
Materials needed:
Teacher: Land base, sand, dirt, rocks, artificial grass, glue,
Styrofoam and tubing (rivers).
Students: Earth Model Construction Project Worksheet, paper,
pencil, sticks and small stones.
Activities/assessments:
The students will continue to work in separate groups four, each
being assigned a different land type.
Each group will add avatars to represent population increase.
Each group will represent urbanization by adding factories,
shopping centers, homes and cities.
Each group will decrease the natural resources, based on current
population growth patterns.
Each group will show the effects of pollution by adding
representations of landfills, polluted water and air to their
models. (10 minutes)
Students will quantify changes made on project worksheet. (10
minutes)
The class will discuss the project as a whole. They will focus on the
overall changes to the Earth as the human population has
increased, as well as the effects of the decisions of specific groups
and other classes affected the overall outcome of our global
model. What ifs…will be discussed. (30 minutes)
Informally: the students will be assessed on the classroom
discussion.
Formally: the students will be required to make a journal entry
that details their overall feelings about the project, what they
would have done differently if they had total control of the
decision-making process and specifically what they learned.
Day 10
Materials needed:
Sustainability Test
Activities/assessments:
Summative The students will turn in their completed sustainability notebooks for
assessments assessment. (5 minutes)
The students will be tested on the vocabulary and concepts covered in the
Earth Model Construction Project. (30 minutes)
No. of Pages including worksheets, quizzes, etc. 18
References Arms, Karen. Environmental Science. Auston, Texas: Holt, Rinehart and
Winston, 2004. Print.
Benders-Hyde, E.. "World Biomes." Blue Planet Biomes. N.p., 05012001. Web.
6 Sep 2012.
<http://www.blueplanetbiomes.org/world_biomes.htm>.
Calabi, Pressede. Ecology: A Systems Approach. 1st ed. Dubuque, Iowa:
Kendall/Hunt
Publishing Company, 1998. 328-353. Print.
Ohio . Ohio Department of Education. Ohio Revisd Science Standards and
Model Curriculum
High School. 2011. Print.
Pittsburgh District. US Army Corp of Engineers. Shenango River Lake. 2012.
Web.
<http://www.lrp.usace.army.mil/rec/lakes/shenango.htm>.
Postlethwait, John H., and Janet L. Hopson. Modern Biology. Orland: Holt,
Rinehart and
Winston, 2006. 381-396. Print.
Sager, Robert J., William L. Ramsey, et al. Modern Earth Science. Austin: Holt,
Rinehart and
Winston, 1998. 194-206. Print.
Theis, Tom, and Jonathan Tomkin, ed. Sustainability: A Comprehensive
Foundation. 1st Edition.
Houston, Texas: Connexions, 2012. 5 - 7. Print.
<http://cnx.org/content/col11325/1.38/>.
Attachments: 2D Earth Model Construction Project WS.
This program will not copy my test (sent as attachments)
Supported by:
Here, include activities, resources, and the like in chronological order labeled by day. Grading criteria (rubrics)
should be included with the appropriate assignment/assessment.
Weekly Unit Schedule:
August 30
Day 1 – What Is Sustainability
September 6
Day 2 – Introduction to the Earth Model Construction Project
September 7
Day 3 – Basic Construction of Earth Model
September 14
Day 4 – Population and Resource Usage
September 21
Day 5 - Effects of Population Increase on Land
September 28
Day 6 - Effects of Population Increase on Renewable Resources
October 5
Day 7 - Effects of Population Increase on Nonrenewable Resources
October 12
Day 8 - Effects of Population Increase and Industry
October 19
Day 9 - Effects of Population Increase on Resource Depletion
October 26
Day 10 - Summation and Assessment of Earth Model Project
Day1-Activity
Shenango Lake/Dam Situation
The Shenango Dam is a flood control dam, and the lake is also used for recreational purposes. Currently, the
water is being released to provide additional water to the Mississippi River to keep the shipping lanes open, so
transport barges can continue to use the river to move goods. The decrease in the water level of Shenango
Lake has impacted the recreational use of the lake, because it is now too low to launch boats. This limits the
recreational use of the lake by the local population, as well as decreases the funds that fuel the local economy.
Assignment:
In your sustainability notebook, please discuss the effects of this situation with regards to the societal,
economic and environmental impacts. Please provide a comparison between the local and national situation.
Day1-Activity
Howland Township Park Assignment
News has just been released that a new automotive plant is being built in Howland that will provide unlimited
jobs and a major infusion of cash to the community. This factory will be built on land that is currently Howland
Township Park. The surrounding neighborhood will have to be modified to add the supporting infrastructure.
Assignment:
In your sustainability notebook, please discuss the effects of this situation with regards to the societal,
economic and environmental impacts. Try to imagine all the changes that will be made to the community, both
positive and negative, and the overall impact to Trumbull and Mahoning counties.
2D Earth Model Construction Project
Use the following instructions to assemble your Earth model. Refer to the last page for a graphic of the model and a key
to items used in assembly.
Day 3 – Earth Model Construction
Create 4 quadrants, roughly 2-1/2’ wide by 3’ long using the following colors to represent each land-type: Desert-tan,
temperate deciduous forest – green, grasslands – yellow, and mountains – purple. Label each land-type.
All Land-types:
 Add natural resources in the amounts given, per teacher instruction. Please distribute resources throughout your
biome. They can be distributed as a large group, in small groups or all throughout; however, the locations of
these resources must not be changed for the duration of the project.
 Adjust project worksheet to reflect changes in model.
Day 4 – Population and Resource Usage
All Land-types:
 Add 1 person for every 100,000 thousand people or 10 people to represent 1 million people.
 When adding 10 people, they should be placed in the biomes as follows: 1 – desert, 2 – mountains, 3- grasslands,
and 4 – forests. Remember that they should not be divided equally.
 Reduce all nonrenewable resources by 1 unit.
 Remove 15 trees.
 Adjust project worksheet to reflect changes in model.
Day 5 – Effects of Population Increase on Land
All Land-types:
 Add 10 additional people.
 Reduce all nonrenewable resources by 2 units.
 Remove 15 trees.
 Add 5 blocks to represent 50,000 businesses or urbanization.
 Adjust project worksheet to reflect changes in model.
Day 6 - Effects of Population Increase on Renewable Resources
All Land-types:
 Add 10 additional people.
 Reduce all nonrenewable resources by 3 units.
 Remove 15 trees.
 Add 5 blocks.
 Replant 5 of the trees that have been removed to represent conservation of resources.
 Adjust project worksheet to reflect changes in model.
Day 7 - Effects of Population Increase on Nonrenewable Resources
All Land-types:
 Add 10 additional people.
 Reduce all nonrenewable resources 4 units.
 Remove 15 trees.
 Add 5 blocks.
 Replant 5 trees.
 Adjust project worksheet to reflect changes in model.
Day 8 - Effects of Population Increase and Industry
All Land-types:
 Add 10 additional people.
 Reduce all nonrenewable resources by 5 units.
 Remove 15 trees.
 Add 5 blocks.
 Replant 5 trees.
 Add 5 Styrofoam cups to represent landfills.
 Adjust project worksheet to reflect changes in model.
Day 9 - Effects of Population Increase on Resource Depletion
All Land-types:
 Add 10 additional people.
 Reduce all nonrenewable resources 6 units.
 Remove 15 trees.
 Add 5 blocks.
 Replant 5 trees.
 Add 5 Styrofoam cups.
 Adjust project worksheet to reflect changes in model.
Key
1 person = 100,000 people, (10 = 1 million).
Population distribution for every 10 people = 1 – desert, 2 – mountains, 3- grasslands, and 4 – forests
5 Blocks = 50,000 businesses.
Non-renewable Resources: black = coal, blue = natural gas, and red = oil.
Name
Earth Model Construction Project WS
Track the daily changes in population growth (POP), trees and green space (GS), non-renewable
resources (NRR), urbanization (URB) and landfills (LF).
Day 3
Units (+/-)
% Change
Total
Units (+/-)
% Change
Total
Units (+/-)
% Change
Total
Units (+/-)
% Change
Total
POP
GS
NRR
Day 4
POP
GS
NRR
Day 5
POP
GS
NRR
URB
Day 6
POP
GS
NRR
URB
Day 7
Units (+/-)
% Change
Total
Units (+/-)
% Change
Total
Units (+/-)
% Change
Total
POP
GS
NRR
URB
Day 8
POP
GS
NRR
URB
LF
Day 9
POP
GS
NRR
URB
LF
Grading Criteria
Sustainability Journal Rubric
Classroom
Notes
Daily
Vocabulary
Questions
Total Points
Few
notes
1 point
Incomplete,
notes, some
errors.
2 points
All notes,
complete &
correct.
3 points
Few words,
incomplete
definitions.
Most words,
some definitions
incomplete
1 point
2 points
All words,
complete &
correct
definitions.
3 points
Some questions
answered, with
incomplete logic.
Most questions
answered, with
plausible logic.
4 points
8 points
/18 = Percentage
x 75 =
Construction Project Worksheet
Graded on correctness of answers
out of 25
=
Sustainability Test
Graded on correctness of answers
out of 70
=
Unit grade
out of 170
All questions
answered, with
plausible logic,
using appropriate
vocabulary.
12 points
=
=
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