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Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
 

Climate Change and Human Impact on the Environment

What will the future reveal about the choices we are making and our attitudes toward the natural world? How might future generations judge these choices and attitudes? This collection uses the painting ‘Manifest Destiny’ by Alexis Rockman and two Project Zero routines, ‘See/Think/Wonder’ and ‘Unveiling Stories,’ to start or continue a dialogue about the impact of humans on the environment. 

“Alexis Rockman is a contemporary American painter known for his fantastical paintings of dystopian natural environments”. (http://www.artnet.com/artists/alexis-rockman/) He depicts the future where creatures struggle to survive toxic conditions and invasive species. In Rockman’s paintings we see an absence of human beings, only the altered landscapes they have left behind. (https://www.artworksforchange.org/portfolio/alexis-rockman/)

Climate change is expected to cause larger migrations both within and across borders - displacing individuals from their homes. This movement is the result of many complex factors such as: sea level rise, desertification, extreme weather events, etc. There is a direct impact on availability of resources such as food and clean water as well as a crisis of public health. 

This collection can be used in several classroom settings: Biology (ecology unit or any units that address human impact on the environment), IBDP Environmental Systems and Societies (many connections with content throughout the course), AP Environmental Science (many connections with content throughout the course), Theory of Knowledge (when exploring the Natural Sciences Area of Knowledge or exploring knowledge claims about evidence), or Geography.

This collection could be used at the start, middle or end of a unit as there are valuable connections possible at any point. An interesting interdisciplinary exploration that I have seen in the middle school Science setting is for students to visit local waterways affected by human impacts and take samples back to their lab to test for pH, phosphorus, etc. Then, students read about the importance of water ways in the spread of humans in their humanities or language class before writing poetry about the human impact on the environment in their second language class (half of the students took French while the other half took Spanish). 

Manifest Destiny could be integrated at any point during the interdisciplinary unit. For example, in the beginning to encourage questions or determine previous knowledge, the middle to spark curiosity, or at the end after students have more information about human impacts on the environment.

In addition to or in place of visiting a local waterway, a link to an interactive map can be found in the additional resources section of this collection. Students can research what communities will be impacted by rising water levels. A scale bar allows users to shift the water levels and observe changes to the area. A possible extension could be to consider how vulnerable communities tend to be the most impacted by water level rise. Two articles included within the additional resource collection provide perspectives from the United States and Australia.

Annotations attached to the painting provide information on how to guide student exploration with each of the thinking routines. Annotations attached to each website include possible questions to consider when using each additional resource. 

Emily Veres
9
 

Student Activity: Investigating Human Impact on Water Resources

In this activity, students will investigate human impact on our most essential resource, water and discover what they can do to make a positive difference.

Ashley Naranjo
10
 

Migration - Lesson Plans and Information

How was migration affected by the use of canoes/boats?

The earliest human migrations and expansions of archaic and modern humans across continents began 2 million years ago with the migration out of Africa of Homo erectus. This was followed by the migrations of other pre-modern humans including Homo heidelbergensis, the likely ancestor of both modern humans and Neanderthals.

Michele Hubert
6
 

Benefits of Soil

Soils are living, breathing, changing natural systems that form the basis for all land ecosystems—forests, deserts, wetland, tundra, etc.—and that enter into our daily lives in amazing ways.  This multi-step activity explores what is in our soils. You’ll have a chance to get your hands dirty through environmental awareness.
Cindy Long
9
 

Water-Related Hazards: Tsunamis

This topical collection includes resources about water-related hazards and natural disasters, namely tsunamis. It includes videos and images of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami and the 2011 Japanese tsunami, as well as the 1755 Portugese tsunami that coincided with an earthquake and firestorm all at once.
Ashley Naranjo
6
 

Water-Related Hazards: Flooding

This topical collection includes resources about a water-related hazard, namely flooding. Includes global examples in images and video, including Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; Al Uqsur, Egypt; Herkimer, NY; Manila; and Venice, Italy. The effects of the Great Flood of 1927 and the US Army Corps of Engineers' response with the Mississippi River are also included.
Ashley Naranjo
11
 

Water-Related Hazards: Hurricanes

This topical collection includes resources about water-related hazards and natural disasters, namely hurricanes. Includes examples from around the world and over time, including Hurricane Ike in Texas and the Greater Antilles, Hurricane Katrina in the Gulf Coast, and Hurricane Sandy in the Northeastern region of the United States. Finally, a lesson plan asking students to design a post-hurricane revitalization plan is included.
Ashley Naranjo
11