Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Scientists Have Major Impacts on Our Lives

Mark Howell


Students are expected to read a [National Geographic] article and complete a reading tool as a group. They then share their answers orally with their classmates.


The student selects and uses prereading strategies that are appropriate to the text (such as discussion, making predictions, brainstorming, generating questions, and previewing) to anticipate content, purpose, and organization of a reading selection.

The student knows that scientists can bring information, insights, and analytical skills to matters of public concern and help people understand the possible causes and effects of events.


-Magazine article: Marden, Luis. “Master of the Deep.” [National Geographic], Volume 193. February 1998: 73-79.
-Theme Frame: An 8.5” x 11” piece of paper for every three students (See Preparations)


1. Show students how to construct the Theme Frame. Have students fold the 8.5” x 11” piece of paper into fourths and label each corner (or frame) with a different theme: economic, social, political, and biological.
2. Obtain the article “Master of the Deep.” (See Materials)
3. Distribute articles that have been previously copied.
4. Be prepared to give examples of things from the article that fit into each category of the Theme Frame.


1. Ask students what they think Jacques Cousteau accomplished during his lifetime. Record responses on the board. Ask students what type of information a biography usually contains. At this time share the text and ask students to read “Master of the Deep” by Luis Marden. (See Materials) If you cannot find this magazine, use the Websites listed below. (See Weblinks) Articles can be printed or students may read them online if enough computers are available. Students should document which sites they use for recording the information so that accuracy can be checked if needed.

2. As they read, students analyze the text for Cousteau's contributions to the world economically, socially, politically, and biologically. They will then fill out the Theme Frame in groups of three, recording their findings under the appropriate categories. While reading the text, the students decide upon Jacques Cousteau's contributions to society in regards to each category on the Theme Frame. For example, while reading, students may record under the category labeled “economic” that Jacques Cousteau invented the aqua lung, which is still sold today and accounts for millions of dollars for the diving industry each year. An example for a “biological” contribution Cousteau made during his life was the discovery of many underwater species, not known before his observations while diving. These are the types of things students look for as they use the Theme Frame.

3. Students share their ideas from the completed Theme Frame with the entire class.


Observe the students during the initial discussion and while they are reading to ensure that each student is participating with the reading. Look to see that the students are writing answers on their Theme Frame while discussing the reading with each other. As students share their Theme Frame entries with their classmates, listen to the students' presentations, checking to see that they explain Cousteau's contributions to the world economically, socially, politically, and biologically.


Students can use a graphic organizer to display all the contributions to science that Jacques-Yves Cousteau has made.

Web Links

Web supplement for Scientists Have Major Impacts on Our Lives

Web supplement for Scientists Have Major Impacts on Our Lives

Return to the Beacon Lesson Plan Library.