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ENVIRONMENTAL

NEWSCASTERS
Students develop a newscast that addresses an
environmental issue in the world and convinces
others to take action.
DRIVING QUESTIONS
GRADE LEVEL 3 – 5 • What environmental issues exist today and what effects will
they have on the future?
TIME NEEDED 4+ periods, 45 min each • Why should we examine our past, present, and future for
guidance?
SUBJECTS SCIENCE, SOCIAL STUDIES
OVERVIEW
STANDARDS Our environment has many issues locally and around the world.
Social Studies: CA 3.1.2, These issues effect the weather, food, animals, and humans in a
CA 4.1.3 variety of ways. It is important for us to understand these issues so
Science: 3-LS4-4, 4-ESS3-2, that we can recognize their causes and ways to help fix them.
5-ESS3-1 In this activity, students research a specific environmental issue
and then create a newscast to teach others about that issue.
MATERIALS
q Pictures of animals affected by OBJECTIVES
environmental issues
q If I were this animal… worksheet • Students define an environmental issue.
q Internet-capable device for each • Students obtain and combine information about an
group (or print-outs of research environmental issue.
resources) • Students use evidence to convince others to take action
q Optional: Research Sources against the environmental issue.
q Environmental Issue graphic
organizer
q Environmental Issue Newscast Script WARM-UP
q Video recording device
q Optional: Video-editing software
Prior to the warm-up, determine the number of groups you will
PRIOR KNOWLEDGE / SKILLS have in the classroom and the students that will be in each group.
The number of groups is the number of different pictures you will
Habitats & Ecosystems need. For example, if there will be 5 groups, print copies of 5
Weather vs. Climate
different pictures.
Reading informational text
Video recording device Distribute the pictures to the students. The picture they receive will
Video-editing software assign their groups so distribute accordingly.

VOCABULARY/TERMS Students look at the picture they receive and imagine what it
would be like to be that animal in that situation. Students paste
Environment their picture at the top of the If I were this animal… worksheet and
Pollution write down how they would feel as that animal.
Deforestation
Global warming After this is complete, students can share their thoughts. Explain
Climate change which environmental issue is depicted in each photograph.
Oil Spill
ACTIVITY

1. Grouping: Students get into groups according to the photograph


they received in the warm-up.
2. Research & Graphic Organizer: Each group researches the WARM UP NOTES
environmental issue in accordance with the photograph and Students may need support when
completes the Environmental Issue graphic organizer. completing this writing activity.
Students can research as a group or individually. Students who may • Queue responses by reminding
students of prior lessons about
need help writing can work with a partner.
habitats
With their internet-capable devices, students can research using the • Point out key features of the
kid-friendly search engines www.kiddle.co or photograph.
www.alarms.org/kidrex. Alternatively, they can use the Research • Provide sentence starters where
needed using the five senses and
Sources provided through their devices or printed out copies.
emotions. Examples:
3. Sample newscast: Students watch sample newscasts to prepare o I would smell…
them to write their own newscasts. o I would feel sad because…
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aO8Lk05NY8k • Provide emojis of different emotions
and allow students to communicate
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-axtGu4qBAc
what an animal might be feeling by
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gxBYgpmqtFU circling different emojis.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lrWP4xVrNTw
Note: Some of these examples use advanced graphics that may RESEARCH NOTE
not be possible with your video-editing software. Students may need instruction or
4. Prepare script: Students write their own newscast that addresses all assistance with the search engines and
the information in their graphic organizers. Students can fill out the looking for information.
Environmental Issue Newscast Script or use it as a guide for their own
scripts. GROUP WORK NOTE
Suggestion: Put time constraints on the students’ newscast. Circulate around the classroom to help
facilitate group work and to make sure that
Optional: Students can draw or print out images to accompany all students are participating in the
their newscast. research and preparation of the script.

5. Rehearse: After the students have written their scripts, the students ACTIVITY NOTES
practice their lines and any movements they may do within their
newscast. The students do not need to memorize their lines, but they Students may need instruction on using the
should practice holding their scripts properly (e.g. not holding the video recording devices and video-editing
script in front of their face). software.

6. Record: With a video-recording device, students record their There are environmental concerns other
newscast. Students can choose to record their newscast in one take than those in this curriculum. If students are
or in clips to be edited together later. particularly interested in a different issue,
students may research it instead. However,
7. Edit: If the students have access to video-editing software, such as information regarding local issues may be
iMovie, students can edit their clips together, add images or lacking.
graphics, and add sound effects.
ACTIVITY ALTERNATIVE
8. Presentation: Play each group’s video one or two times. Other
students should take notes on the videos. After each video, students Instead of creating a newscast, students
can ask each group questions about the information within their create an infographic or an informational
video. poster that contains the information within
the graphic organizer as well as supporting
9. Discuss: After all the videos have been played, have a discussion on pictures and images. The goal of the poster
the driving questions. should be to inform others about an
environmental issue and convince them to
EVALUATE LEARNING take action against the issue.

Students create an art piece that communicates an environmental issue that a


different group researched and presented.
The students can use their notes and re-watch their classmates’ videos to help
them create this art piece. Allow students to choose they type of art they want
to create. Choices may include drawing/painting, sculpture, dance, poetry,
song, or collage.
IMAGES FOR WARM-UP ACTIVITY

Oil Spill
https://i.ytimg.com/vi/MhwE4aKA_fA/maxresdefault.jpg

Deforestation
https://i.ytimg.com/vi/rSzas9byIR8/maxresdefault.jpg
Land Pollution
https://i.ytimg.com/vi/bopMQvBqlxc/maxresdefault.jpg

Global Warming
https://images.ctfassets.net/81iqaqpfd8fy/20eHSGcrFmyKsKQ4yeis6Y/1566b0bf956db40814966be5017e5312/Global_Warming_2.jpg
?w=1440&h=620
Water Pollution
https://www.sportdiver.com/project-aware-volunteer-uses-photo-skills-to-give-back

Air Pollution
http://www.sixthtone.com/news/2050/british-snout-masks-protect-chinese-dogs-air-pollution
RESEARCH SOURCES

Water Pollution:
• https://www.ducksters.com/science/environment/water_pollution.php
• http://filterbutler.com/blog/water-pollution-facts-to-share-with-kids/
• https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Om42Lppkd9w
• http://eschooltoday.com/pollution/water-pollution/what-is-water-pollution.html
• https://parenting.firstcry.com/articles/water-pollution-information-and-facts-for-kids/
• https://kids.kiddle.co/Water_pollution
• https://www.seametrics.com/blog/water-pollution-facts/
• http://science4fun.info/water-pollution/

Land Pollution:
• https://www.ducksters.com/science/environment/land_pollution.php
• http://eschooltoday.com/pollution/land-pollution/what-is-land-pollution.html
• http://science4fun.info/land-pollution/
• http://poopy.org/land-pollution/land-pollution-facts/
• https://helpsavenature.com/facts-about-land-pollution
• https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mhzmggzYfM8

Air Pollution
• http://eschooltoday.com/pollution/air-pollution/what-is-air-pollution.html
• https://kids.kiddle.co/Air_pollution
• https://climatekids.nasa.gov/air-pollution/
• https://www.ducksters.com/science/environment/air_pollution.php
• https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t7Q7y_xjR5E
• https://wiki.kidzsearch.com/wiki/Air_pollution

Oil Spills:
• https://sciencing.com/oil-spill-information-kids-5444185.html
• http://www.softschools.com/facts/environmental_science/oil_spill_facts/2268/
• https://www.conserve-energy-future.com/interesting-oil-spill-facts.php
• https://www.kidzworld.com/article/24170-oil-spills-sad-but-true
• https://easyscienceforkids.com/cleaning-an-oil-spill-video-for-kids/
• https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SakDOUlDWDs

Deforestation:
• http://eschooltoday.com/forests/what-is-deforestation.html
• https://kids.kiddle.co/Deforestation
• https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/global-warming/deforestation/
• http://www.theworldcounts.com/stories/Deforestation-Facts-for-Kids
• https://onetreeplanted.org/blogs/news/14247749-a-short-list-of-deforestation-facts-for-kids
• https://www.conserve-energy-future.com/various-deforestation-facts.php
• https://www.activewild.com/what-is-deforestation-for-kids-information-and-facts/
• http://factsforkids.net/deforestation-facts-for-kids/
Global Warming / Climate Change:
• http://www.eschooltoday.com/climate-change/Introduction-to-climate-change-for-
children.html
• https://www.dosomething.org/us/facts/11-facts-about-global-warming
• https://www.coolkidfacts.com/global-warming-facts/
• https://www.natgeokids.com/au/discover/geography/general-geography/what-is-climate-
change/
• https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vh8XVkzsn1Y
• https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y3gqoDUtmt4

Waste:
• http://www.eschooltoday.com/waste-recycling/waste-management-tips-for-kids.html
• https://kids.kiddle.co/Waste
• http://www.32trash.org/legacypages/did_you_know.htm
• https://your.caerphilly.gov.uk/kidsgogreen/fact-zone/landfill-waste-facts
• https://www.ovoenergy.com/blog/green/10-shocking-facts-about-waste.html
• https://www.dosomething.org/us/facts/11-facts-about-recycling
Name: __________________________________________

If I were this animal… ________________________________________________________________________________


_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Name: __________________________________________

Environmental Issue:

Definition/Description: Locations where this issue is biggest:

Causes of this issue: Interesting Facts:

Ways people are helping or trying to fix the issue / Ways you can help:
Environmental Issue Newscast Script
Good morning/afternoon!
My name is _____________________ , my name is
_____________________ , my name is _____________________ , and
my name is _____________________ , Thank you for tuning
into _____________________________________________ News Network.
Today, we will be talking about a serious issue
happening in the world today called
_________________________________________ . What exactly is _________________________________________,
_____________________ ?
Well, _____________________________________ is:

(Definition/Description of issue)

____________________ has more information about recent events related to _______________________________ .


Thank you ________________________!

If these events have not convinced you that _____________________________ is an important issue, then
these facts will.

(Description of locations where the issue is biggest)


(At least 3 facts related to the issue)
There are incredible people out there that know these facts and have decided to take action to
help the issue. There are ways you can help too!

(Ways you can help)


Wow that is amazing! Is there anything else you want to add about fixing this issue?

(Convince others to take action)

All of this information about ____________________________ is so important for people to know. That’s all
the time we have for now. We’ll be back after these messages!
SAMPLE Name: __________________________________________
Environmental Issue: Water Pollution

Definition/Description: Locations where this issue is biggest:


• Great Pacific Garbage Patch
Water pollution is when waste goes • Developing countries
into bodies of water which causes the
water to become harmful to animals
that use that water.

Causes of this issue: Interesting Facts:


• Sewage • 40% of America’s rivers and 46% of America’s
• Mining lakes are too polluted for swimming, fishing, or
• Chemical fertilizers animals to live.
and pesticides • Every year, more people die from unsafe water
• Landfill leakage than from war.
• Waste from • 3 trillion gallons of wastewater is dumped into
factories oceans every year.
• Oil spills

Ways people are helping or trying to fix the issue / Ways you can help:
• Buy more environmentally safe cleaning liquids.
• Don’t waste clean water.
• Throw away trash in the correct place.
• Tell others about water pollution and the ways they can help too.
Environmental Issue Newscast Script
Good morning/afternoon!
SAMPLE
Sasha
My name is _____________________ , my name is
Cole
_____________________ Edith
, my name is _____________________ , and
David
my name is _____________________ , Thank you for tuning
Environmental
into _____________________________________________ News Network.
Today, we will be talking about a serious issue
happening in the world today called
water pollution
_________________________________________ water pollution
. What exactly is _________________________________________,
Cole
_____________________ ?
water pollution
Well, _____________________________________ is:

when waste goes into bodies of water which causes the water to become harmful to
animals that use that water.
(Definition/Description of issue)
Edith water pollution
____________________ has more information about recent events related to _______________________________ .
Cole
Thank you ________________________!

Right now, there is a giant island of trash floating in the Pacific Ocean called the Great
Pacific Garbage patch. It is made up of plastic and other garbage that has been
dumped into the ocean around the world. The currents of the ocean have caused all of
it to come together to create a garbage patch that is about three times the size of
France!
Also, there are many developing countries that are unable to clean their water and the
people and animals living there have to use the polluted water. This causes many people
If these events have not convinced you that _____________________________ is an important issue, then
and animals to get really sick or even die. In fact, every year, more people die from
these
unsafefacts will. than from war!
water
(Description of locations where the issue is biggest)
There are many causes of water pollution. This includes waster from factories, sewage
water from houses like yours, and fertilizers from farms.
40% of America’s rivers and 46% of America’s lakes are too polluted for swimming,
fishing, or animals to live.
3 trillion gallons of wastewater is dumped into oceans every year.

(At least 3 facts related to the issue)

There are incredible people out there that know these facts and have decided to take action to
help the issue. There are ways you can help too!
Buy more environmentally safe cleaning liquids.
Don’t waste clean water.
Throw away trash in the correct place.
Tell others about water pollution and the ways they can help too.
(Ways you can help)

Wow that is amazing! Is there anything else you want to add about fixing this issue?

Water pollution is a very serious issue and hurts our planet every single day. Imagine if
your home looked like the water that this turtle lives in (show picture of turtle caught
in net). That would not be good. So go out there and take the simple steps we just told
you about and you’ll be making a big difference!

(Convince others to take action)

All of this information about ____________________________ is so important for people to know. That’s all
the time we have for now. We’ll be back after these messages!