Lesson Plans in Pollution Prevention
Funding and Writing
Grades 6–8 (ages 10–14)
Language Arts, Social Studies
After completing the exercises in this lesson, student will
- Be aware of community projects that strive to improve natural environments across Canada
- Develop an idea for an environmental improvement project in their own neighbourhood
- Learn how to write a proposal or request for sponsorship for a particular project
- Communicate effectively with classmates through peer-evaluation
- Computer with internet access for every 2–3 students
- Pens or pencils
- natural environment
- Creative thinking
- 20 minutes for discussion and project review
- 30 minutes for activity
- home time (as needed)
- 20 minutes for student evaluation
- Ask students about their views on the environment, including the air and water around them, not just the land. Have them describe why the state of their surroundings matters to them or why it does not.
- Read some community success stories to the class, outlining how some communities have undertaken projects to improve the quality of their local environment.
- Have students brainstorm about local projects that they could undertake to improve their local environments. Make a list of all the suggestions on the board to help stimulate further ideas and discussion.
- Direct students to this site for instructions on how to apply for funding. The teacher could explain to students all the application requirements, but students only need to focus on Part B of Step 2, the project description. Clarify any details about the requirements of each section.
- Tell students that they are going to design an environmental project that would improve a natural environment in their community. They could choose one of the community project ideas from the list, combine a couple of the ideas into one project, or come up with a new idea. Make sure they document the purpose and goals of the project, how the project would work, who would be involved, what materials would be needed, and an estimate of how much time and money would be needed to see the project to completion.
- Once students have the details of their project finalized, have them complete part of the formal application for money to help carry out their project. Explain that they should follow the instructions laid out in Part B of the application form. Their writing style should be descriptive, clear, and concise. Students may want more than the allotted class time to complete their descriptions.
- Ask students to exchange their project descriptions amongst themselves and have them evaluate two other submissions prepared by their classmates. The comments of the evaluators should address the following questions: "Do you understand what the project is about?", "Do you understand how the project works?", "Do you understand how the project improves the environment?", and "Do you think this project deserves to be funded? Why?" The projects can then be shared with the rest of the class, if students are willing.
Have students create public awareness of a community issue by creating informative posters or brochures. Help them to present their environmental concern in a way that encourages positive action by members of the community. For example, students may be concerned about the amount of litter found in or near a stream in their neighbourhood. Their poster might contain some information about how the garbage degrades the quality of the water and affects the wildlife living there, and then remind people to dispose of their litter properly.
Students could practice other forms of writing by preparing a business letter to send to a government official about an environmental concern in their community. Letters could be addressed to municipal, provincial, or federal representatives, and could either ask for information on the environmental issue or contain a request for action to help remediate or eliminate the concern.
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