Explore the interconnectedness of the global economy and its impact on our ever-growing ecological footprint consumption of natural resources with this eye-opening PBL mini unit.
By the end of this mini unit, your students will be able to:
- Track and reflect on the true global costs of making a single t-shirt
- Calculate exactly what their ecological footprint is and contrast it with the world’s
- Articulate the impact global consumption is having on precious natural resources
- Research and reflect on their ecological footprint by writing a letter to someone with a much smaller footprint
remaining humble and cognizant of being born privileged.
Few teenagers know the world beyond their own surroundings and many have no idea how their lifestyle, their choices, their hopes are part of a global story. Yet at the same time, how capable they are to be part of the solution to the urgent problems industrialization and globalization have created.
Guide your students through a variety of sources (from documentaries and maps to a simulation and photo book) as they grapple with the self-realizing question: “What is my ecological footprint and how does it compare?”
You will set each of your students up for success in this high interest, multi-faceted
project-based mini unit, regardless of ability, with highly scaffolded graphic organizers, and supplemental resources included at each step of the way.
Empower your students to become globally aware citizens in this 1-2 week unit!
Activities are completely interchangeable- mix and match depending on time constraints, student ability, or personal interests.
Included in this project-based mini unit:
- Unit overview and 2 pages of detailed daily lesson plans
- Step-by-step simulation script and directions for activities
- Answer keys and rubrics (both CCSS-aligned and generic)
- 18-slide editable PowerPoint slideshow with images, links, and student directions
Student Materials & Activities
- Concept Definition Sheet
to record growing understanding
- How Much Does That T-Shirt Cost?
to uncover the true impact of seemingly humble products
- Earth’s Resources
to analyze the environmental costs of industrialization by examining NOVA-produced data maps
- Popcorn Footprint
to hear and see the star difference of various nations’ footprints
- What’s Your Eco Footprint?
to calculate one’s personal impact and compare with the world’s
- Letter Project
to explain and reflect their ecological footprint to an impoverished peer in a developing country
Note: the unit uses resources that are easy to find at your local library and/or online; links are provided.
Want to make this into a larger unit?
Population Growth, Globalization, Natural Resources PBL Unit:
explore in-depth our growing population, interconnectedness, and eco footprints with multiple projects and a culminating DBQ essay
Population Growth, Globalization, Natural Resources PBL Mini Unit:
try this shorter unit that covers all the same topics in about half the time
Want something similar?
Competing in a Flat World PBL Mini Unit:
explore the topic of globalization and how the world has become hyper connected and thus hyper competitive in the last few decades
NOVA Earth in Peril & World in Balance 4-Pack:
explore the topic of global population and natural resource trends with 4 engaging PBS resources
Check out these other Global Issues PBL units!
World Population PBL Unit:
explore worldwide population numbers, extreme poverty, and demographics
--- World Poverty PBL Mini Unit:
explore what living on one dollar a day really looks like
Sustainability PBL Unit:
explores the ever increasing water, fossil fuel, and garbage footprints
--- Water PBL Unit:
explores the problems and solutions in maintaining this finite resource
--- Fossil Fuels PBL Unit:
explores the problems and solutions of our biggest addiction
--- Garbage PBL Unit:
explores the problems and solutions of our consumeristic, disposable lifestyles
Building a Global Issues or Geography curriculum from scratch?
Global Issues Course Bundle
get this complete semester-long course in one download and save big!