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Teacher Guide

Environmental Concerns in the Community

By Mary Howland, Beth Fensterwald, Steven Caringella
Meet the Authors

"How do we become aware of local environmental concerns and what can we do to make a difference?"

and Standards



 Student Guide

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Research Into Environmental Concerns in Our Community

Instructional Time: 45 minutes a day for 4 days each week for 8 weeks.

Before conducting research into the environmental concerns facing their community, the students will complete an activity that will simply help them become aware of what concerns and issues are facing their community. To do this, they will take home a worksheet that they will work on with their parents or primary caregiver. The adult or adults can help each student list what they think are the most important environmental concerns in the community. The students will bring these worksheets back to class, and share their particular findings. The teacher will compile this information in a graph that will show the most frequently reoccuring concerns. The concerns that emerge will become the list from which groups will choose topics for their research.

The teacher will have divided the students into groups of five or six for the collaborative research. These groups will also be the same groups that will produce the public service announcements at the end of the project.

Each group will decide which issue or concern they would like to choose for research. Once each group has chosen a topic, the teacher will provide research resources: internet websites, encyclopedia articles, books, newspaper articles, and discussion with experts through email contact. The teacher will provide the students with research questions that will guide them through the research process.

The students can share the research on their aspects with the rest of the students in their group, in order to get a well-rounded understanding of the concern. Students can also share their research findings with the other classes participating in this project by posting their research findings on their think.com websites.

Throughout the research process, the teacher will guide students through the appropriate citation of electronic and other resources, so that upon completion of the research, students will also have a bibliography of the cited research.

California Content Standards
English and Language Arts
Grade Five
ELA.5.1.0. Writing Strategies
Research and Technology
ELA.5.1.3. Use organizational features of printed text (e.g., citations, end notes, bibliographic references) to locate relevant information.
ELA.5.1.4. Create simple documents by using electronic media and employing organizational features (e.g., passwords, entry and pull-down menus, word searches, the thesaurus, spell checks).
ELA.5.1.5. Use a thesaurus to identify alternative word choices and meanings.

Method of Checking for Understanding:
Observations, Student Work, Evidence of Learning