Environmental Problems and Solutions Lesson Plan: A Webquest

Submitted by: Maggie

Grade Levels: 6-8

In this lesson plan, which is adaptable for grades 6 through 8, students use BrainPOP resources, a WebQuest, and a graphic organizer to investigate different environmental problems. Students will also share and discuss other environmental solutions associated with the problems they have just researched. Afterward, students will work with a group to choose a final project on a tic-tac-toe board and create an informative product to share with the rest of the class.

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

Students will:

  1. Investigate different environmental problems using a WebQuest and organize ideas using a graphic organizer.
  2. Share and discuss other environmental problems using a graphic organizer to record ideas.
  3. Research and share environmental solutions associated with the problems they have just researched using a WebQuest and a graphic organizer.

Materials:

  • Computers with internet access for BrainPOP and the WebQuest
  • Graphic organizers (downloadable from the WebQuest)
  • Final project tic-tac-toe board and Rubric (downloadable from the WebQuest)
  • Writing utensils
  • Additional materials for final projects (including paper, markers, magazines, internet access)

Vocabulary:

Pollution, overpopulation, renewable resource, biodiversity, nonrenewable resource, conservation, recycling

Preparation:

Make photocopies of 4 graphic organizers provided on the webquest page: Environmental Problems, Group Environmental Problems, Environmental Solutions, and Group Environmental Solutions. To conserve paper, copy the graphic organizers back-to-back on one piece of paper so that students will have a total of 2 pieces of paper, one with their personal graphic organizers and one with their groups' graphic organizers. Confirm computer and internet access: one computer per-student, and linked websites.

Lesson Procedure:

  1. Introduce the WebQuest to students. Tell them, "You will be completing a 'research' project, but the WebQuest gives you the information you will need to find the appropriate websites to locate all the information. While researching, you will complete your graphic organizer that corresponds to the questions you will need to answer."
  2. Students will be working in groups of four, with each person researching a different part; they will then convene and discuss what they have learned. Their first task is to choose one of the following Environmental Problems (Pollution, Resources Depletion, Human Population Growth, or Habitat Destruction). Have students choose in their groups who will research each Environmental Problem.
  3. Have students locate the WebQuest and read the Introduction and Part I of the process. Then have students locate their Environmental Problem, click on the 'Resources' link for their questions and websites, and have them begin answering their questions and filling out their Environmental Problems Graphic Organizer.
  4. Once students have finished with the initial research of their problem, they should fill out their section of the Group Graphic Organizer. They will summarize each question's answer into one concise sentence, which they will write in the appropriate numbered section, and eventually share with the other group members (once all have finished.) Additionally, as a group, students will answer the three questions posed on the WebQuest associated with all of their Environment Problems. Please note: students may work at their own pace, and may not convene until the end of Part II on the WebQuest.
  5. Students should read Part II of the WebQuest, and decide as a group who will research the following Environmental Solutions: Conservation, Reduce/Reuse/Recycle, Maintaining Biodiversity, and Environmental Strategies. Students will then navigate to the 'Resources' page and begin answering the questions associated with their topic on their Graphic Organizer. Have students complete step 3 for Environmental Solutions.
  6. Once all students have finished their research and convened with their groups to share their information, have them read Part III on the WebQuest. As a group, they should choose which final product they would like to create. Students will work on their final product (either at school or at home) with their group for a given amount of time. A rubric for the final product is attached to the Evaluation portion of the WebQuest.
  7. Students will present their groups' final product to the class. Students will be graded based on the rubric (attached to the evaluation portion of the WebQuest.)
  8. Students will go back onto the WebQuest to read the conclusion and complete the WebQuest survey.