Science Resource: To Mine or Not to Mine…That is the Question!

The following case study is designed for grade 6-8 students who are learning about natural resources, the Earth’s crust, the human impact on our environment, land use, and industries.  Students will be deciding whether a copper deposit should be mined in a fictional town based on the information provided to them. I provided my students with a map of the town, a brief history of the town and its economy, and its present situation. Students were then provided with six characters that are affected by a possible mine and there are three “pro” characters and three “con” characters. Students have to read the information and determine whether they agree or disagree with the potential mine; once they have formed an opinion, they are to choose a character that matches their opinion and write a persuasive paper in that character’s voice. The main purpose of the report is to explore issues surrounding the use of natural resources and have students develop critical thinking skills. Students will also learn that the knowledge they gain in school plays an essential role in their everyday lives.

This is a cross-curricular activity that can be used for science, geography/social studies, and Language Arts.  Teachers can extend this activity one step further by holding a debate with students taking on the persona of various stakeholders.

Brief Teaching Notes:

Teachers should give students the case study and rubric at the same time; this way, students will understand what is expected of them and how their reports will be marked. Teachers must also explain to students that there is no right or wrong answer to describe what the residents of Drew’s Falls should decide but there are consequences to all choices. It must be clearly explained to students that they are able to choose any of the six characters and their report will be correct as long as they use information and logic to support their reasoning. I also gave my students some time to work on their reports during class, so that they could approach me with any questions they came across while organizing their ideas and writing their actual report. I suggest that teachers make sure that students understand the components of the assignment: the report must be written in the voice of one of the six characters, the report must be persuasive, students must express an opinion and use facts to support their thoughts, and various formats may be used (essay, letter, newspaper article etc).

Here are the student handout and rubric!  I hope your class enjoys it!

 

 

Checking Our Pulse!

Title:Checking our Pulse!

Subject/Grade: Phys.Ed/ Grade 5

Time Duration: Approx. 45-60 min.

Overview: Teaching students to understand the importance of checking our pulse regularly, beginning with knowing how to locate our pulse and how to check/record our pulse both before and after completing exercises.

Objectives:

Overall Expectations

By the end of Grade 5, students will:

· Identify the components of physical fitness and describe physical activities that improve these components

Physical Activity

– participate vigorously in all aspects of the program (e.g. gymnastic stations or fitness circuit)

Physical Fitness

– describe the components of physical fitness and relate each component to an appropriate physical activity (e.g. cardiorespiratory – skipping; muscle endurance-abdominal crunches; muscle strength- push-ups; flexibility-sit and reach);

– assess their progress in fitness – enhancing activities at regular intervals (e.g. weekly monitoring of their pulses before and after running or completing exercise circuits)

Materials/Equipment:

For each student: Other:

– jump rope – stop watches

– chart to record pulse/ pencil – warm-up task sheet- ‘Mission Possible’ (1 for each group)

– station numbers w/ corresponding exercise

Activities and Procedures:

Warm-up exercise: We will begin with a group warm-up activity called ‘Mission Possible’.

Lesson- Checking our Pulse: We will introduce a short lesson about locating our pulse and checking/recording our pulse both before and after completing exercises.

(http://www.wikihow.com/Check-Your-Pulse)

Follow-up Exercises: We will engage in 5 short follow-up exercises supporting our lesson about ‘checking our pulse’ both before and after completing exercises. Students will begin to recognize and understand the difference between our regular pulse and our pulse after engaging in physical activity.

Activities:

(1) Crunches (2) Jumping jacks (3) Push-ups (4) Skipping rope (5) Laps of the gym

Model/demonstrate each exercise; Check/record pulse before and after completing each exercise; walk once around the gym in between each exercise, and lay down for 1 minute, so to slow down our pulse for next exercise.

Cool-down: Join together at the rest station. Reflect on what we learned and share personal observations. This will give students an opportunity to get their pulses back to normal (can check it one last time to conclude, so to understand and notice the changes in our pulse at all levels).

Science Resource: That’s the Way the Cookie Crumbles!


Brief Teaching Notes:

The following activity is a simple lab that teachers can use when teaching about mining, the Earth’s crust, rocks and minerals, or human land use issues. Depending on the position of this strand within the annual science curriculum, it could potentially be the first lab students experience that year. Reviewing (or even teaching for the first time) the scientific method is useful, even though students are not required to produce a formal lab report upon completion. Using this as one of the first labs of the year helps students practice their skills at following simple procedures, collecting data, analyzing data, and making inferences based on their observations and the data obtained. Students really enjoy this activity as it is one of the few science labs where they are allowed to eat the results! Prior to beginning, however, check for food allergies. If food allergies are present, different cookies can be substituted. Teachers should use their discretion whenever they are dealing with food in the classroom.

In this lab, students must mine as much chocolate from the chocolate chip cookies as possible. In the first attempt, students can break apart and crumble the cookie to extract the “ore,” but in the second case, students must attempt to keep as much of the cookie intact and damage-free. Students will learn the consequences of mining on the environment and how mines must disturb the environment as little as possible.

Materials Required and Instructions:

Each student will need to receive two chocolate chip cookies, 2 paper towels, and 2 toothpicks. Two digital scales will be used to weigh the chocolate.

Explain to students how the chocolate will be mined (draw a diagram of a cookie on the board to demonstrate):

With the first cookie:

1. Look at the first cookie and fill in the first three parts of the chart.

2. Extract as much chocolate from the cookie as possible using toothpicks. You may break the cookie up if you want. Crumbling the cookie is allowed!

3. Weigh the amount of chocolate and the amount of leftover cookie separately. Fill in the next three parts of the chart.

4. Fill in the remainder of the chart. Eat the cookie.

Repeat steps 1 to 4 with the second cookie, but make sure there is as little damage to the cookie part as little as possible. The goal is to leave as much of the cookie intact as possible, while extracting the chocolate.

Feel free to use the following worksheets during this simple and fun lab!

Think Aloud Strategy

A lesson put together for the Primary Division

(Questioning, Predicting, Connecting, Inferring)

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Book: Puddleman

by Ted Staunton, Illustrated by Brenda Clark

Cover

I’m looking at the cover of this book and I wonder what it will be about? Maybe Puddleman is the child’s last name. Or maybe, the story is about playing in a sandbox. (Strategy: Prediction) When I look at the picture I think about the park that is close to my home and where all the children play. (Strategy: Connection) I wonder if this story takes place in a park. (Strategy: Prediction)

On the first 2 pages, the main character (Michael) is depicted in a yard of some sort with other children(including his younger brother) around him and he jumps into the sandbox which is wet and muddy.

A sandbox, I remember playing in those when I was young. (Connection) There was one in the park and I played with all of my friends. I wonder if Michael will get as dirty? (Question) Will he land in the sandbox or outside the sandbox? (Question) Everyone has surprised looks on their faces, where is his mom? (Question) I wonder if his brother will jump in with him. (Prediction)

Page 5&6 Michael got so deep into the sandbox, which is muddy, that he buried himself in it. The children cannot see him any longer, when something in the sandbox starts moving. The neighbor girls run, the neighbor lady faints and the little brother starts to cry.

Why are they so scared? (Question) What happened to Michael? (Question)

Maybe they can’t find Michael. (Inference) What does this Puddleman look like? (Question) Is he really that scary? (Question) Fainted? What does it mean to faint? Well the picture shows the neighbor on the ground, maybe it’s when you fall. (Visualize, Infer)

Pg 11 & 12 Puddleman (Michael) gets hungry but when he goes to his mom, he is told that Peanut Butter sandwiches are for boys and girls. Puddleman looks like a muddy monster and they do not eat anything but mud pies. Michael’s mom shuts the door and tells Puddleman to tell Michael that his sandwich is ready.

What does this Puddleman look like? (Question) Well from the pictures, there is a lot of mud on him. (Visualize, Connection) Who do I think Puddleman is? (Question) Why isn’t Michael’s mom looking for Michael? (Question) Its lunchtime, I think Michael will be very hungry. (Infer) I wonder where he has been, and what he will think of Puddleman. (Connection) I wonder if he will be scared like the others. (Prediction)

After reading the story and doing the Think Aloud with my students. I will make the following comments:

The Puddleman got caught in the rain, and after I looked at the picture Puddleman started losing his mud, and it sort of looks like a boy underneath. From looking at the clothes in the picture, I recall that those were Michael’s clothes.(Evaluation) I think that the Puddleman got his peanut butter sandwich. I think he really was Michael with a lot of mud on him. (Evaluation)

 

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