Lesson Plan

Environmental Issues

HUMAN-ENVIRONMENT INTERACTION: The student will understand that humans, their society, and the environment affect each other.
Marla L.
Classroom teacher
World Language Academy
Flowery Branch, United States
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My Grades 6
My Subjects Social Studies

Students will be able to...

discuss environmental issues in Europe. 
a. Explain the major concerns of Europeans regarding the issues such as acid rain in 
Germany, air pollution in the United Kingdom, and the nuclear disaster in 
Chernobyl, Ukraine. 

Social Studies
Grades 6
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook

A World With Humans- Watch this 6 min video


......thoughts to consider

Why in the USSR?

How did this catastrophe change the environment?

What other environmental issues/concerns exists right n now?

2 Direct Instruction

Activity: Reading

On April 26, 1986 an accident in one of the reactors at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in the Soviet Union caused a meltdown. The resulting fire sent a billowing cloud of radioactive smoke over an area of 100,000 square kilometers of the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.

The reactor fire was eventually contained by the valiant self-sacrifice of the plant’s firefighters, many of whom died shortly thereafter from acute radiation sickness. 600,000 workers, known as “liquidators,” were then brought in to clean up the contaminated site. Their main task was the construction of a containment structure—known as the “sarcophagus”—over the damaged reactor to prevent further meltdown and seal off radiation leaks. Even though they wore heavy protective gear, liquidators working in the areas of greatest radioactivity around the reactor had to be rotated out every 40 seconds. By the time the sarcophagus had been completed in December 1986, the liquidators had, on average, sustained the official lifetime limit of radiation exposure.

Chernobyl was the single greatest nuclear accident in history, releasing 400 times more radioactivity into the atmosphere than the Hiroshima bomb and tripling the world’s “background” radiation level. It is one of only two nuclear disasters classified as a “Level 7”—the highest severity—the other being the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi disaster in Japan. The Soviet Union only officially announced the disaster three days after the explosion, after scientists in Sweden noticed radiation on their shoes before entering a nuclear facility. Soviet authorities eventually evacuated approximately 400,000 people from Ukraine, Belarus, and Russia—the areas of most concentrated contamination.

Today, an area extending 19 miles in all directions from the plant is known as the "exclusion zone,” uninhabited by humans except for several hundred elderly residents of the area who have chosen to live out their lives in their contaminated homes. The area has largely reverted to its original forest and swamp environment, and many animal species are thriving in the restored habitat, but radiation levels remain so high that the workers who are in the process of building a new sarcophagus around the damaged reactor are only allowed to work five hours a day for one month before taking 15 days of rest. Ukrainian officials estimate the area will not be completely safe for human life again for another 20,000 years.

A United Nations report directly attributed 64 deaths to fallout radiation from Chernobyl, but the long-term health consequences for the millions exposed to radioactivity are difficult to ascertain. The UN estimates that upwards of 4,000 people may eventually die of disease—mostly cancer and leukemia—linked to their exposure, and other sources estimate over 200,000 premature deaths linked to the disaster.

3 Guided Practice


Teaching Environmental Public Health: Human Impacts on the Earth System

1.click on this link

2.follow steps

3.answer questions

4 Independent Practice

After viewing powerpoint of images 

1. Choose one environmental issue  .....acid rain, air pollution (SMOG) or Chernobyl disaster

2. Create a story on STORIFY that includes...images, and/or video AND a narrative (2 paragraphs) explaining your enviornmental issue and how can you or humans improve the environment. 

3. use my account Storify-WLA6th

user: my school email

password: wla2014

5 Wrap-Up

Activity: Broadcasting

Student will wrap up with a blog