Item Number: INT-EARTH
ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVITIES FOR MIDDLE SCHOOL: A curriculum unit with a series of environmental education lessons that guide students through designing an interactive infographic. The step-by-step instructions support learners as they explain the causes, harmful effects, stakeholder interests, location data, and solutions to an important issue.
CONNECT HUMAN ACTIVITY TO THE ENVIRONMENT: Activities provide an excellent way to inspire environmental stewardship. Incorporate the lessons as part of a digital literacy class, science or geography unit, or Earth Day event. Encourage sustainability and conservation efforts.
MAKE LEARNING RELEVANT: Transform a traditional research assignment into a meaningful public awareness campaign. An infographic is a powerful way to communicate using short but impactful text and simple, symbolic images. Combine the use of Google Docs, Sites, Slides, Sheets, My Maps, and Drawings to produce the publication.
HASSLE-FREE LESSONS: TechnoEarth includes a PDF curriculum guide with teaching strategies and helpful tips, PDF student workbook to promote independence, and resource files to reinforce learning. Minimize classroom preparation using the provided reproducible worksheets, clear example files, templates, environmental fact sheets, slide decks, quizzes, checklists, and rubrics.
Technology Integration: Geography, Language Arts, Science, Social Studies
Technology Skill: Publishing, Digital Citizenship, Graphics, Internet, Presentation, Web Design, Word Processing
Program: Docs, Drawings, Sheets, Sites, Slides, My Maps
Session 1: Become an Earth Keeper
Students become environmental stewards. They prepare to create an infographic that informs the public about an important issue. To start, they study example publications to gain an understanding of the content and design elements. Next, they research a topic including cause, effects, interesting facts, location, stakeholders, and solutions. A reference list tracks sources of information. By the end of the session, students complete a checklist to verify they are ready to design their infographic.
Session 2: Warn Others of the Issue
Students begin to build their infographic using Google Sites. They introduce the environmental issue, describe the cause, and illustrate harmful effects. An emphasis is placed upon conveying information concisely using catchy headings and simple clip art. Instructions direct students to chunk their data into sections using color and dividers.
Session 3: Highlight the Facts
Students create a rotating slide deck using Google Slides. It will emphasize interesting facts and outline stakeholders. To start, students use a big number to highlight the scale of the problem. Next, they point out an important detail using colorful word art. Afterwards, they construct a diagram that summarizes who has a stake. Upon completion, the slide deck is inserted into the infographic and set to automatically play. Instantly the viewer should be able to grasp the scope of the environmental issue.
Session 4: Pinpoint the Problem
Students produce a thematic map using Google My Maps. It will pinpoint locations where the environmental issue is happening. The places could be worst offenders, best stewards, disaster sites, at-risk regions, successful conservation projects, or legally protected areas. Each marker will display an interesting fact and a photo. The map will be inserted into the infographic allowing viewers to explore and learn about the topic.
Session 5: Tackle the Challenge
Students illustrate solutions to the environmental issues by designing their own icons using Google Drawings. Each image will be a simple representation made by combining shapes, word art, and cropped images. The original artwork will be inserted into the infographic with an explanation. A link to an advocacy group will invite viewers to get involved.
Session 6: Let's Get Involved
Students raise awareness about an environmental issue. They publish their infographic using Google Sites. Afterwards, they share their infographic at an Earth Keeper’s Conference.
Optional Environmental Education Lessons
- Boost Search Strategies
- Recognize Bias
- Assess Trustworthiness of a Site
- Practice Paraphrasing Strategies
- Inform with a Pictograph