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Sample Preparation Activities

About This Daily Classroom Special
Saving the Environment through Service Learning
was written by Robert O. Black, teacher at Harbour City Service Learning Program and a former Teachers Network web mentor.

Service Learning Outcomes

Internet Resources/Contacts

Sample Preparation Activities

Checklist to Help Select & Plan Your Environmental Project

Sample Action Activities

Sample Reflection Activities

Sample Celebration & Reflection Activities

Sample Lesson: 
Trees for Service

How to plant a tree
How to construct a time capsule
Tree pledge

Sample Preparation Activities

One to get ready! Pick and choose the best preparation activities for your students.

Keep track of what kinds of trash your family produces each week. Estimate what percent is recyclable (paper, glass, metal); what percent is biodegradable (organic); what percent is toxic (phosphates, poisons, cleaning products, car oil, fertilizers).

Invite speakers to your class who can provide insight into environmental issues. Have students prepare questions in advance. Some speaker ideas: sanitation commission representative, city/county planner, environmentalist, local extension agents to talk about impact of farming on the bay.

Differentiate between man-made environments and natural environments. Are there any environments not touched or changed by humans? Determine how your community defines "environment."

Determine how many cans (or bags) of trash your family produces each week, how often is it collected, and where it goes.

Discuss what a clean environment is and why it is or isn't important.

Have speakers who are concerned with the environment talk with the class about suggestions for how to help. Have students prepare questions in advance. If enough experts are available, hold a roundtable presentation. Resources: politicians, department of parks and recreation, sanitation commission representative, environmental education teachers, local conservation organizations.

Write a letter to a child of a future generation. Explain the kind of world they want to build for this child, including possibilities for development. Have students read their letters to the group. Try to determine how many wanted more in material goods for the children than they now have themselves. Discuss the possibilities for the future of increased growth of the kind they propose.

Debate any environmental issue: efficiency and convenience in our lives watermen are endangered species do modern farm techniques pollute the environment should energy sources continue to be owned by private companies should an international body be established to control and distribute natural resources should the U.S. aggressively pursue research and development of renewable energy sources

Identify local groups which advocate protecting the environment. How do they want to protect the environment? Do they want to protect the whole thing or a certain part of it?

Learn about:

The Green Party, http://utopia.knoware.nl/users/oterhaar/greens/intlhome.htm, active in many European countries. What do they stand for? How are they changing politics?

The Environmental Protection Agency. How effective do you think it is? How long does it take the agency to make regulations? Clean up toxic waste? What about Superfund?

Tour the community and identify environmental concerns. Invite an environmental specialist as a tour guide (i.e. a sanitation worker).


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