All Lesson Plans

Sustainability: Reduce Your Environmental Impact!

Grade Range
6th-8th
Group Size
1 student
Active Time
4 hours
Total Time
2 weeks
Area of Science
Environmental Science
Key Concepts
Sustainability, environmental impact, ecological footprint
Learning Objectives
  • Identify causal relationships between a specific human activity and its negative environmental impact
  • Generate ideas on how to mitigate negative impacts of human behaviors on the environment
  • Evaluate possible actions by quantifying their effectiveness after implementation
Sustainability: Reduce Your Environmental Impact!

Overview

Global warming, pollution, and deforestation are just a few examples of how human actions affect our planet. How can we reduce our impact on the environment? In this lesson, students will find out by using an online tool called Your Plan, Your Planet. Based on their findings, students will come up with their own action plans aimed at reducing their personal ecological footprint and assess its effectiveness after implementation.

NGSS Alignment

This lesson helps students prepare for these Next Generation Science Standards Performance Expectations:
  • MS-ESS3-1. Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.
This lesson focuses on these aspects of NGSS Three Dimensional Learning:

Science & Engineering Practices Disciplinary Core Ideas Crosscutting Concepts
Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information. Obtain and combine information from books and/or other reliable media to explain phenomena or solutions to a design problem.

Engaging in Argument from Evidence. Construct and/or support an argument with evidence, data, and/or a model.

Use data to evaluate claims about cause and effect.

Make a claim about the merit of a solution to a problem by citing relevant evidence about how it meets the criteria and constraints of the problem.

Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions. Use evidence (e.g., measurements, observations, patterns) to construct or support an explanation or design a solution to a problem.
ESS3.C: Human Impacts on Earth Systems. Human activities have significantly altered the biosphere, sometimes damaging or destroying natural habitats and causing the extinction of other species. But changes to Earth's environments can have different impacts (negative and positive) for different living things. (MS-ESS3-3)

Typically as human populations and per-capita consumption of natural resources increase, so do the negative impacts on Earth unless the activities and technologies involved are engineered otherwise. (MS-ESS3-3), (MS-ESS3-4)
Cause and Effect: Mechanisms and Prediction. Cause and effect relationships are routinely identified, tested, and used to explain change.

Stability and Change. Change is measured in terms of differences over time and may occur at different rates.

Credits

Svenja Lohner, PhD, Science Buddies

Materials

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Grade Range
6th-8th
Group Size
1 student
Active Time
4 hours
Total Time
2 weeks
Area of Science
Environmental Science
Key Concepts
Sustainability, environmental impact, ecological footprint
Learning Objectives
  • Identify causal relationships between a specific human activity and its negative environmental impact
  • Generate ideas on how to mitigate negative impacts of human behaviors on the environment
  • Evaluate possible actions by quantifying their effectiveness after implementation