My lesson is called “Rachel Carson: Scientist and Writer Who Sparked the Environmental Movement.” It describes the life and career of Rachel Carson who lived in the last century and watched as more and more chemicals were developed to kill insects. It didn’t seem to her that anyone was thinking of the consequences. Useful insects as well as harmful ones were being destroyed. Meanwhile harmful chemicals accumulated in the soil and water. They also accumulated in the bodies of animals. Rachel Carson saw the danger and then issued a warning. The warning came in her book Silent Spring. In my lesson I explain the significance of the book’s title. I also tell how Rachel came to love nature, her schooling, her science-related jobs, and the impact of her writing.
After two pages of informational text, there are twenty questions divided into three sets. With the first five sentences, students put X's on the ones that match Miss Carson’s beliefs and life events. In the next set of five questions, they sequence events. The final set of questions are ten multiple choice ones. Together all the questions promote vocabulary building and various reading comprehension skills. Vocabulary taught and tested: natural resources, conservation, ecology, biology, marine biology, zoology, scripting, pesticides, consequences, issued, posthumously, and I present the multiple meanings of the word spring. Reading comprehension skills include: making inferences, identifying correct sequences, relating causes to effects, determining main ideas, recognizing character traits, and locating details. You also get two pictures of Rachel Carson. One is of her on a U.S. Postage Stamp. The sixth page is the answer key.
This product will work well for a reading or science lesson. It can also be used for a quiz or a test, in a literacy center or as a great resource for either Women’s History Month or for Earth Day.