Resources and Human Impact: Grades 5-8

SciGuide

SciGuides are a collection of thematically aligned lesson plans, simulations, and web-based resources for teachers to use with their students centered on standards-aligned science concepts.

In today’s global society, it has become increasingly important to educate our students about the human impact upon the Earth’s resources. It is also our duty as teachers to teach our students responsible decision-making so that they may make better choices about how their actions affect Earth’s complex system. Land, atmosphere, oceans, and all forms of life interact continually in our ever-changing planet that may not be noticeable on a day-to-day basis; for example, some of these interactions over time drive the course of climate change. The websites in this guide will help you bring real-world data into the classroom, engage students in collaborative studies using real-time data, and help your students to understand that humans have the power to create new technologies and methods that will reverse this negative impact. As students work through the simulations, interactive data charts, educational games, and more, they will learn core content, apply scientific and mathematical skills, and become knowledgeable “keepers of the Earth.”

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Reviews (17)
  • on Thu Sep 18, 2014 4:17 AM

SciGuides are really fantastic. When it's time to teach about humans and the environment, I can be confident knowing I'll have the Resources and Human Impact: Grades 5-8 SciGuide to go to for lesson plans, simulations, and web-based resources. I'll be able to create outstanding lessons in a shorter amount of time since many resources are easily accessible in this SciGuide.

Naomi Beverly  (Marietta, GA)
Naomi Beverly (Marietta, GA)

  • on Mon Nov 26, 2012 12:23 AM

The Resources and Human Impact: Grades 5-8 SciGuide makes it easy to incorporate environmental science into your curriculum. The information provided is very easy to understand and the lesson plans are fantastic and teacher friendly. It's definitely a CAN DO. The SciGuide includes a two sections, 1) Environment as a System and 2) Environmental Degradation. In each section there is a lesson plan, a case study, an audio clip and a sample of student work. Also included are media clips and links to other resources. The media clips are interactive and engaging. The clips are excellent for the visual learners who need to "see" the lesson. I highly recommend this SciGuide as an excellent start to teaching Environmental Science in your classroom.

Rochelle  (Mililani, HI)
Rochelle (Mililani, HI)

  • on Mon Nov 26, 2012 12:23 AM

The Resources and Human Impact: Grades 5-8 SciGuide makes it easy to incorporate environmental science into your curriculum. The information provided is very easy to understand and the lesson plans are fantastic and teacher friendly. It's definitely a CAN DO. The SciGuide includes a two sections, 1) Environment as a System and 2) Environmental Degradation. In each section there is a lesson plan, a case study, an audio clip and a sample of student work. Also included are media clips and links to other resources. The media clips are interactive and engaging. The clips are excellent for the visual learners who need to "see" the lesson. I highly recommend this SciGuide as an excellent start to teaching Environmental Science in your classroom.

Rochelle  (Mililani, HI)
Rochelle (Mililani, HI)

  • on Mon Nov 12, 2012 5:11 PM

This SciGuide is full of creative ideas and resources to possible lesson plan ideas. I do teach 3rd grade so was hesitant about he title, however, there was tons of stuff I could use at my level, as well as things I could alter a little to fit. I was able to find a rich source of lesson plans in areas such as environment, resources, and human impact. I found an idea I had forgotten about that I am surely going to use in regards to ecosystems and the information helped me to organize and develop my unit for environmental science. There is so many useful lesson plans, links to websites with even more information that I was not able to go through it all. Will use this resource as long as I am able to.

Kellee Kelly  (Ewa Beach, HI)
Kellee Kelly (Ewa Beach, HI)

  • on Mon Sep 10, 2012 4:25 AM

This SciGuide is very informative. It is both grade and age appropriate for students in Grades 5-8 who are often encouraged to recycle, but may not fully understand its importance. This SciGuide focuses on three themes: 1) Addressing Resource Use. 2) Environment as a System. 3) Environmental Degradation. Each theme has a lesson plan that you can download along with samples of students’ work. Each theme has also keywords with valuable resources including interactive and informative websites. This SciGuide focuses on educating students about the human impact on the Earth’s resources. It includes websites that will help bring real-world data into the classroom, engage students in collaborative studies using real-time data. It also provides ideas on how to incorporate human impact into other studies such as ecosystems, math, and social studies.

Shahinaz Nassar  (Wailuku, HI)
Shahinaz Nassar (Wailuku, HI)

  • on Tue Jan 17, 2012 10:27 AM

This is the science that is most socially relevant. It touches the economy aspect of natural and man-made resources that can become scarse with the rapid use or growth of populations of the consumers. The impact of management and education is highlighted.

Ronaldo Relador  (Bowie, MD)
Ronaldo Relador (Bowie, MD)

  • on Mon May 16, 2011 8:17 PM

The map that identifies the themes and resoruces available for web interaction is clear and models how one could design a unit on the human impact of Earth's resources. The keywords take you to the content areas and the sites are identified appropriately for teachers and for students. Items are current and certainly will excite learning. The content is current and the sites have been peer evaluated and correlated to science standards. You may find many uses for this SciGuide even if you teach beyond the middle school level.

Patricia  (Arlington, VA)
Patricia (Arlington, VA)

  • on Mon Apr 30, 2012 3:51 PM

This was a very good SciGuide. It was easy to get carried away in the content and find many good resources. So many times there are not enough lower elementary resources. However, this SciGuide is split into three themes: Addressing Resource Use, Environment as a system, and Environment Degradation. In each of these themes is a K-4 resources link. These links had great journal articles that gave good ideas on texts to use and even a board game. It was also easy to step back and see that is the bigger picture is to save the Earth and make better habits then when students are young is the best time to explain the concept of natural resources and how we can make a difference everyday. This is perfect as it is seen as trendy to be green. Sooner than later we will all understand the urgency of being green and not see it as something that is just trendy. Living in Hawaii there were also connections to NOAA. It is sometimes hard for us islanders to really understand the vastness of our Earth. Having a resource like NOAA can really show our students that being here in Hawaii on a small island does not mean we can't make an impact. Lots of the information collected by NOAA effects the world. This is great connection to the world and a great start for our students to think globally. What we do here and now can make a difference.

DonnaLynn Samuelu
DonnaLynn Samuelu

  • on Sat Apr 28, 2012 12:00 AM

This site holds a collection of resources on teaching environmental science. It is geared toward students in grades 5-8. This site is a little advanced for the students I teach (third grade) but does hold some valuable gems. There are links for teachers and students on the health and effects of pollution. My favorite link I found under this source was the link to Bridge: Ocean Science Education Teacher Center. This site contains many ideas on how to teach environmental ocean science. There are also links on population growth. This is for older students, as younger students will not understand all the variables involved. Also there is a page on ecosystems with links for students and teachers. It was quite an extensive collection. Two links were not working on my computer that I was interested in: the watershed game and build-a-prairie game. This SciGuide was a great source for resources on the environment. If you teach grades younger than fifth grade, you may have to spend more time sorting through relevant links.

Shawna F
Shawna F

  • on Thu Apr 19, 2012 10:41 PM

The importance behind this SciGuide is for students to stop and think about how Earth is being affected in everything we do. They need to be aware of what steps they can take to help preserve and take care of this planet. If they don't take care of it, then they will be the ones suffering in the future. Making good decisions about what we do in our everyday lives in critical to every organisms future. This sciguide looks at 3 key components; Addressing Resource Use, Environment as a System and Environmental Degredation. They break these sections down and focus on the key components/main ideas of what we can do to make a difference. If we don't focus on making positive changes now, then we will all suffer in the end. This SciGuide can help to change our thinking about this topic.

Eve N
Eve N

  • on Wed Mar 28, 2012 7:15 PM

Resources and Human Impact This SciGuide looks at how our actions affect Earth’s complex systems. The websites provided in this SciGuide provide your students with real-world data. Teachers and students can get information on alternate energy sources, reducing human impact, ecosystems, population growth, depletion of resources, and waste and pollution. I think it’s about time we take responsibility for the welfare of our planet. What better way then to educate our students so they can make responsible decisions in the way they impact the planet. I will tie in some of these lesson ideas and activities on human impact in a unit I will be teaching on ecosystems.

Dawn Nishimoto
Dawn Nishimoto

  • on Sun Nov 20, 2011 3:59 PM

This Sci Guide had terrific interactive student games. I particularly likes Analyzing an Ecosystem where students would click on biotic and biotic factors. The students articles also provided great printable sources of information geared towards middle school readers. The lesson plan that takes students outside of the classroom to examine a small patch of land is easy to conduct and refreshing for students. The PBS lesson on how long it takes to double the world's population came with great pdf files. It was overwhelming; I would jigsaw the lesson so that each group shares their information with the class to be combined to a grand total. The PBS site had other great links!

Erin
Erin

  • on Wed Nov 16, 2011 1:58 AM

This SciGuide had a good variety of resources including articles, interactive websites, and general information. It was divided into 3 main themes: Addressing Resource Use, Environment as a System, and Environmental Degradation. It is definitely more suited to upper elementary or middle school as some of the resources require higher level reading skills. Some of the more interesting links did not work, such as the Build-a-Prairie and Watershed games from the Bell Museum. These looked interesting and would have even been useful to students of younger ages. Overall, I think that you could find a lot of information and ideas to get started on a unit on environmental issues or maybe even to develop a service learning project.

Jason O
Jason O

  • on Mon Nov 07, 2011 2:41 PM

This was an interesting scuide to review. I really liked the section that talked about ecosystems. Ecosystems are definitely Kindergarten friendly content and something that I can talk about with my students. I really like the interactive game that allowed my and my students to match up the clues to the ecosystems. This section also gave a lot of helpful mini lessons that I could adapt to use in a Kindergarten classroom. I also liked the section on petroleum. It was interesting to see what and how the world would be like if we ran out of these resources.

Deanna Spain
Deanna Spain

  • on Wed Nov 09, 2011 2:56 AM

The Resources and Human Impact SciGuide is organized in themes: Addressing Resource Use, Environment as a System, and Environmental Degredation. Each theme has websites, activities, and lesson plan ideas to help teachers show the day to day impact their students decisions make on the environment. Teachers have the responsibility to share information about the Earth’s resources and the preservation of our planet with their students. Many young children think of recycling as the way they help the environment. This SciGuide has so many different ways to connect responsible use of water, land, air, resources to a student’s daily living. I will use many of the suggested links as interactive tools and hands on learning to enhance my lessons.

Andrea G
Andrea G

  • on Wed Sep 14, 2011 10:17 AM

I generally find many of the claims of the whole climate change crowd as suspect. After the whole wiki leak revelation, I don't know why the whole thing is not dismissed. The credibility of those who would remain proponents is questionable. The blatant manipulation of the public with hysteria is unfortunate, since there are real issues that should be addressed globally by those who would be good stewards of this our only home. This SciGuide frames sustainability with the viewpoint of the Iraquois, “In every deliberation, we must consider the impact on the seventh generation... even if it requires having skin as thick as the bark of a pine.” I looked up in Wikipedia and in the original it is rendered as follows, “In all of your deliberations in the Confederate Council, in your efforts at law making, in all your official acts, self interest shall be cast into oblivion. Cast not over your shoulder behind you the warnings of the nephews and nieces should they chide you for any error or wrong you may do, but return to the way of the Great Law which is just and right. Look and listen for the welfare of the whole people and have always in view not only the present but also the coming generations, even those whose faces are yet beneath the surface of the ground – the unborn of the future Nation.” I tend to be pro development, pro drilling, pro business, and that remains true, but after looking at the information in this SciGuide and accompanying links, I see more than ever the need to have a longer view of decisions and their impact. A very informative link that provides vast amounts of information is http://www.sage.wisc.edu/atlas/maps.php?catnum=1 “Here you will find maps of an ever-growing number of environmental variables, and this one shows the human impacts on our planet”

Floyd  (Honolulu, HI)
Floyd (Honolulu, HI)

  • on Wed Sep 14, 2011 3:31 AM

I generally find many of the claims of the whole climate change crowd as suspect. After the whole wiki leak revelation, I don't know why the whole thing is not dismissed. The credibility of those who would remain proponents is questionable. The blatant manipulation of the public with hysteria is unfortunate, since there are real issues that should be addressed globally by those who would be good stewards of this our only home. This SciGuide frames sustainability with the viewpoint of the Iraquois, “In every deliberation, we must consider the impact on the seventh generation... even if it requires having skin as thick as the bark of a pine.” I looked up in Wikipedia and in the original it is rendered as follows, “In all of your deliberations in the Confederate Council, in your efforts at law making, in all your official acts, self interest shall be cast into oblivion. Cast not over your shoulder behind you the warnings of the nephews and nieces should they chide you for any error or wrong you may do, but return to the way of the Great Law which is just and right. Look and listen for the welfare of the whole people and have always in view not only the present but also the coming generations, even those whose faces are yet beneath the surface of the ground – the unborn of the future Nation.” I tend to be pro development, pro drilling, pro business, and that remains true, but after looking at the information in this SciGuide and accompanying links, I see more than ever the need to have a longer view of decisions and their impact. A very informative link that provides vast amounts of information is http://www.sage.wisc.edu/atlas/maps.php?catnum=1 “Here you will find maps of an ever-growing number of environmental variables, and this one shows the human impacts on our planet”

Floyd  (Honolulu, HI)
Floyd (Honolulu, HI)


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