In this lesson, students explore various impacts of landfills, learn about the environmental justice movement, and apply their learning to community action.
Step 1 - Inquire: Students learn about the decomposition rates of items commonly found in landfills and begin to discern issues landfills may cause.
Step 2 - Investigate: Students explore their local landfills, watch a video on the beginning of the environmental justice movement, and learn about environmental racism.
Step 3 - Inspire: Students learn about the federal environmental justice office and create a community awareness plan about landfills.
Students are made aware of environmental injustice.
Students work collaboratively in groups and in pairs to share diverse ideas and perspectives.
Students are given voice and choice in this lesson.
Students engage in meaningful community action.
Students are given various optional extensions to create the most meaningful change in their communities.
Both the Investigate and Inspire sections can be extended into one class period each.
Teacher should review the resources prior to teaching the lesson and be familiar with the concept of environmental racism.
Teacher will need to make the four signs for the Four Corners game in the Inquire section before teaching the lesson.
Students can explore or research three different categories of landfills to learn about rules, policies, containment, and other related issues.
Students can research what has become of the roughly 10,000 closed landfills in the United States and present their findings to the class.
Students can explore composting as an option to reduce landfill waste. Potential resources include:
Students learn about their local environmental justice office of the EPA through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website. Students can select their region and explore news related to environmental justice in their region. Students can write a report or use initial news articles to develop further research.
Students will learn about environmental justice movements, the reasons landfills are located in disproportionately poor areas, the harm that landfills do to the environment and nearby communities, and steps they can take to address the problems. We fact-checked the sources used to create this lesson, and it passed our evaluation of the science.
This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.
This lesson is aligned to SubjectToClimate standards. Review the aligned standards directly in the lesson plan document and teacher slideshow.Discover more on SubjectToClimate.