Hands-on Activity: Cool Views
Educational Standards :
Learning Objectives (Return to Contents)
After this activity, students should be able to:
Materials List (Return to Contents)
Introduction/Motivation (Return to Contents)
Are you an environmentalist? An environmentalist is a person who cares about the earth and our environment. If so, you may be able to call yourself a preservationist or a conservationist. Have you ever heard the words preserve or conserve? What do they mean?
Well, to preserve something is to keep it protected in its original form or as close as you can to its original form. For instance, say you collect stamps, coins or comic books; you want preserve them—to keep them as new, clean and in as good a shape as you possibly can. A preservationist is an environmentalist who wants to preserve the plants, animals and land as close to their original, natural state as possible.
To conserve something means to use it wisely. Perhaps you have a canteen of water while on a hike with your family. You may conserve the water and only drink a little bit at a time to make sure you have enough for the entire hike. Or, maybe you have only a certain amount of money to use at a game arcade. You may conserve the money to allow you to play games for the entire time you are there, leaving enough money for the bus ride home! A conservationist is an environmentalist who wants to protect the land, plants, water and animals, but also thinks people should be able to use these resources and use them wisely.
Now, do you know which one you are—a preservationist or a conservationist? Today, we are going to read about two famous environmentalists, John Muir and Gifford Pinchot. They both had different views on the environment but often worked together on environmental projects. Maybe their story will help you figure out where you fit in.
Engineers often have to team together with both conservationists and preservationists when trying to design a solution for an environmental problem. Engineers also fall into these two categories, and their view may very likely affect how they approach the solution to an engineering problem.
Procedure (Return to Contents)
Before the Lesson
With the Students
Attachments (Return to Contents)
Troubleshooting Tips (Return to Contents)
In order for all students to participate in the activity, some may need assistance filling in a Venn diagram.
Assessment (Return to Contents)
Discussion Question: Solicit, integrate and summarize student responses.
Research: Investigate lesson topic and summarize findings.
Activity Embedded Assessment
Venn Diagram: Use the attached Venn Diagram Template to investigate similarities and differences between two views of famous environmentalists.
Analyzing Articles: Gather pertinent articles, analyze and review as a class.
Venn Diagram 2: Use the attached Venn Diagram Template to investigate similarities and differences between other environmental issues or terms. You can also set up the outer circles as "preservationist" and "conservationist" and compare and contrast their different views towards a single environmental issue
Activity Extensions (Return to Contents)
Invite students to attend a school board meeting or other civic meeting. Ask them to identify the members as either conservationists or preservationists.
Have students contact local government officials and survey them about their positions (conservationist or preservationist) regarding different environmental issues.
Visit the following website for some interesting articles about different environmental perspectives and philosophies: http://library.thinkquest.org/26026/Philosophy/philosophy.html. Also included is a personal philosophy quiz.
Activity Scaling (Return to Contents)
For lower grades, a t-chart may work better for talking about similarities and differences of opinions if your students are not accustomed to Venn diagrams.
For upper grades, visit environmental websites such as Greenpeace (http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/en/), the Environmental Defense Fund (http://www.edf.org), etc., for different articles. Have students do their compare/contrast of the online articles. Challenge them to find two articles on the same topic that present opposing views.
References (Return to Contents)
Chandler, Pauline. Environmental Issues (Hand-On Minds-On Science Series): Intermediate, Westminster, California: Teacher Created Materials, Inc., 1994.
Sakamoto Steidl, Kim. Environmental Portraits – People Making a Difference for the Environment, Boulder, CO: Good Apple, Inc., 1993.
ContributorsAmy Kolenbrander, Jessica Todd, Malinda Schaefer Zarske, Janet Yowell
Copyright© 2005 by Regents of the University of Colorado.
Supporting Program (Return to Contents)Integrated Teaching and Learning Program, College of Engineering, University of Colorado Boulder
Acknowledgements (Return to Contents)
The contents of this digital library curriculum were developed under a grant from the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE), U.S. Department of Education and National Science Foundation GK-12 grant no. 0338326. However, these contents do not necessarily represent the policies of the Department of Education or National Science Foundation, and you should not assume endorsement by the federal government.