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Author

Our Changing Climate

Grades

6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th

Subjects

Science, Social Studies, Climate Action

Regional Focus

North America, United States, Europe

Format

YouTube Video

Why Lawns Must Die

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  • This video provides historical context about lawns, the many ways that lawns are destructive to our planet, and the ways that lawns and lawn maintenance are now regulated and enforced. 
  • Topics covered in the video include colonialism, conformity, classism, insecticides, herbicides, fertilizers, gas-powered lawn mowers, non-native grasses, monocultures, and water waste. 

Positives

  • This video brings up valuable content that is typically overlooked, especially given that there are more acres of grass than corn grown in the United States.
  • Students may also be surprised to learn how much water, fertilizer, and pesticides are sprayed onto lawns each year.

Additional Prerequisites

  • The video content ends at 9 minutes, 26 seconds. The last segment is an advertisement.
  • You may have to sit through commercials to view the video.

Differentiation

  • Science classes could use this video as a hook to discuss the nitrogen cycle, water ecosystems, eutrophication, biodiversity loss, and land use changes.
  • Social studies and civics classes could discuss new regulations that could prevent HOAs and cities from mandating lawns and lawn maintenance.
  • Economics classes could discuss the financial impacts of regulations that require residents to maintain lawns with chemicals, equipment, and water.
This resource highlights the need to reduce lawn ownership and convert lawn spaces to agricultural purposes to drive food security. This is recommended for teaching.

This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

  • English Language Arts
    • Speaking & Listening (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.11-12.3 Evaluate a speaker's point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric, assessing the stance, premises, links among ideas, word choice, points of emphasis, and tone used.
  • Science
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • MS-ESS3-4. Construct an argument supported by evidence for how increases in human population and per-capita consumption of natural resources impact Earth’s systems.
      • HS-ESS3-4. Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.
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