This is a lesson adapted from "Engineers Speak For the Trees" project available on teachengineering.org. The lesson plan is available on the link, however, I have adapted it to be more easily implemented for teachers and engaging for students. For example, I included facilitation and behavior management strategies as well as some other information that I felt was missing, but necessary, for better student understanding.
NOTE: The worksheets for this ppt are available for FREE on another link in this store. Sorry for the inconvenience, but TpT only allows us to upload one file per listing (as you already know)!
In this project, students are asked to design a green city. They learn about the issues with over consumption of natural resources by reading and watching The Lorax. They understand the severity of over consumption of natural resources by calculating how long it takes to grow a forest from one seed. They also act as city planners by planning their own sustainable city.
RL.3.1. Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.
RL.3.2. Recount stories, including fables,folktales, and myths from diverse cultures; determine the central message, lesson, or moral and explain how it is conveyed through key details in the text.
RL.3.3. Describe characters in a story (e.g., their traits,motivations, or feelings) and explain how their actions contribute to the sequence of events.
RL.3.4. Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, distinguishing literal from nonliteral language.
RL.3.5. Refer to parts of stories, dramas, and poems when writing or speaking about a text, using terms such as chapter, scene, and stanza; describe how each successive part builds on earlier sections.
RL.3.6. Distinguish their own point of view from that of the narrator or those of the characters.
RL.3.7. Explain how specific aspects of a text’s illustrations contribute to what is conveyed by the words in a story (e.g., create mood, emphasize aspects of a character or setting).
Common Core State Standards (Math)
- Solve multistep word problems posed with whole numbers and having whole-number answers using the four operations, including problems in which remainders must be interpreted. Represent these problems using equations with a letter standing for the unknown quantity. Assess the reasonableness of answers using mental computation and estimation strategies including rounding. (Grade 4)
Next Gen Science Standards:
- Define a simple design problem reflecting a need or a want that includes specified criteria for success and constraints on materials, time, or cost. (Grades 3 - 5)
- Obtain and combine information about ways individual communities use science ideas to protect the Earth's resources and environment. (Grade 5)
International Technology and engineering Educators:
- Waste must be appropriately recycled or disposed of to prevent unnecessary harm to the environment. (Grades 3 - 5)
- Individual, family, community, and economic concerns may expand or limit the development of technologies. (Grades 3 - 5
Character Strengths: throughout all the activities in the project, students will practice their Grit in areas such as: Tuning out distractions, Ignoring discouraging thoughts, Finishing what we began, Overcoming setbacks, Never giving up, Failing fast, Communicating needs, Learning how to live up to high expectations, Learning from mistakes, learning how to “bounce back”, taking risks
* Students will learn vocabulary related to sustainable city planning.
* Students will read and discuss a story (Dr. Seuss's The Lorax) about overdevelopment and environmental destruction.
* Students will do a group math calculation to decide how long it takes to replenish a forest from deforestation with only one seed.
* Students will learn about green engineering concepts, and design a city using these concepts.
- Teachers with minimal understanding about sustainability and "green cities" can teach this lesson with ease.
- Detailed lesson plans in the notes.
- Reflections on student responses to the curriculum for a more vivid understanding of how the project unfolds in class.
- Clearly detailed lesson objectives
- Step-by-step lesson plan
- "Dual purpose" lesson plans - academic and character strengths lesson plans
- STEM and Language Arts all represented in this lesson plan