This resource starts off by providing student handouts that provide basic information on minerals and mining. The handouts also discuss and compare surface and underground mining; who, what , where, when and why and their environmental implications. There is a set of review questions to complete with the handouts. There are links to a ton of great resources, videos, and diagrams included to supplement the lesson.
The second part of this resource is one of my favorite things to do with my class. It is a scenario role play.
"We are residents of a small town of just over 500 people. The economy of our town is faltering and there is a high rate of unemployment. Our town – Pleasant, has recently been the site of geological exploration and a deposit of mineral was discovered. The deposit is near the surface so the company that owns the land where the deposit was found wants to build a strip mine. The strip mine would be located where a popular hiking and picnicking area is located.
We understand that the project will provide jobs for residents so we welcome the development of the mine. However, there is some concern about the state of the land after the mine eventually closes. Many of the townspeople want the company to take accountability for the mines reclamation and land restoration.
The mineral deposit that is located near the town is not highly valuable right now. The mine will not be a profitable undertaking if the company has to pay for the reclamation, as such the company can’t agree to restore the land. However, like most resources, the world market may change and in the future the deposit could become much more profitable."
In our role play scenario each student gets a role; from the CEO or the Publics Relations officer of the Mining company, to a single stay at home mom, a local garage owner, geologist, politician running from re-election and so on. They each prepare a report using the brainstorming sheets and guidelines to present in character at the "Town Meeting". They must decide to support the opening and the subsidy, or to vote to wait and not support the opening at this time.
This is an opportunity to get your students thinking critically, applying knowledge and understanding in a real and relevant way, and to work on their persuasive writing and debating skills.
This is the one activity that all of my students look forward to and go all out preparing for. In total it takes about 10 days to prepare (1 45 minute class each day) and present. They come dressed in character and we invite other staff members to listen and even vote.
Thanks for checking out this resource. I use it to accompany my Earths Crust Unit --> http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/The-Earths-Crust-1044444.
You can also check out my Earth Science Bundle here --> http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Earth-Science-Unit-1414056