What BIZARRE situation do Johannesburg (South Africa), Pitcher (USA), and Wittenoom (Australia) all have in common? And you’ve probably never even heard of Wittenoom or of Pitcher (in Oklahoma, by the way).
All three are highly toxic sites, thanks to decades of mining which was never properly managed. The two smaller cities have been abandoned. Obviously, that’s not a good option for Johannesburg.
In this lesson, students work in groups to figure out how these three cities became health hazards to their citizens. They do this by analyzing articles and by watching video clips (easily accessible on YouTube). By the way, don’t skip the video clips. They really make the situations real to the students. These are weird stories!
PROVIDED FOR YOU:
- an illustrated PowerPoint to introduce specific terms prior to reading: heavy metals, tailings, toxic, toxin, and aquifer
- articles on each of the three sites, each heavily illustrated
- color AND black and white copies of each article (color for loading onto tablets/web site and b&w for photocopying)
- a chart students fill in to guide them as they go through the articles
- two optional assessment suggestions, either of which will take an additional 1-2 class days, but which will draw on important student skills
- and, of course, a detailed lesson plan.