Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Human Impact on the Everglades Environment

Cheryl Darbyshire
Lee County School District

Description

Students research changes the Army Corps made in Everglades, focus on the human impact on the environment, design graphic organizers, summary statements, develop a Florida map of the Everglades region and give a presentation about what they learned.

Objectives

The student organizes information before writing according to the type and purpose of writing.

The student knows the positive and negative consequences of human action on the Earth's systems.

The student uses various map forms (including thematic maps) and other geographic representations, tools, and technologies to acquire, process, and report geographic information including patterns of land use, connections between places, and patterns and processes of migration and diffusion.

Materials

-Florida maps (1 per table group)
-Internet (optional)
-Reference books about the Everglades (3 per table group)
-Books of Florida maps (1for class)
-Unlined paper (1 for each student)
-Colored pencils (1-2 sets per table group)

Preparations

1. Students locate and collect background information on the changes the Army Corps made to the Everglades.
2. In groups, students research these changes and each group gives a five minute presentation on the human impact to the environment and what they think should be done to help restore the Everglades Ecosystems.
3. Locate maps of the Everglades and the different areas that are listed in the task to place on the map.
4. Create a graphic organizer with five or more statements showing the changes and consequences of the impact of the Army Corps on the Everglades envrionment.
5. Write a summary statement that expresses these changes and consequences.
6. Draw a map of the Florida Everglades and place the areas in the proper place and label and color the map.

Procedures

Day 1:

1.) Have a discussion with the class about changes people make to the environment. Guide discussion to include housing developments, agriculture, factories and other factors.

2.) Allow some time for students to research on the Internet ( or print some information and distribute the copies to students for them to read and discuss in groups) about the Everglades and the fact that the Army Corps made changes to the Everglades and Lake Okeechobee over 50 years ago by dredging canals and rerouting water to irrigate the farming communities, divert water to the east coast populations and to help prevent flooding. Discuss what impact these changes have had on the Everglades environment, habitats, and wildlife. What is the Everglades Restoration Plan and how will this change the Everglades?

3.) In groups have students brainstorm a list of the things that have effected the Everglades environments that was a result of the changes made by the Army Corp over 50 years ago and what the restoration plan will try and improve. Then discuss as a whole class and add to the lists the new topics that were mentioned.

4.) Distribute maps and reference books and have the groups research the Everglades and Lake Okeechobee regions. Give each group a list of areas to find on the maps, such as, Lake Okeechobee, agricultural areas, dense population areas, and -River of Grass-. (At this point you might want to bring attention to the keys and legends on the maps for review, or if needed teach students how to use them.

Day 2:

1.) Review the discussions and lists from the last class meeting and then give the students a copy of the following performance task. (I did this as an individual student assignment, but it could be done in groups by assigning each member a certain part of the task to complete.)

Perfomance Task: You are an engineer for the U.S. Army Corps. You have been asked to speak at a local citizens meeting to explain what changes the Army Corps are initiating to help restore the Everglades environment. The citizens want to see a map of the Everglades showing these changes and a graphic organizer with a summary statement that explains at least five of the changes to be made and the consequences these actions will have on the Everglades Ecosystems. Your hand drawn map will include:
-Lake Okeechobee
-Agricultural areas
-Dense population areas
--River of Grass-
-Show direction of water flow with arrows
-Provide a map key and legend

3.) After presenting the performance task to the students, distribute the rubric (attached as a file to this lesson), and have students read over and ask any questions.

4.) Allow the rest of the class time for students to research on the Internet, use the reference books and maps, and prepare their graphic organizers and summary statements.

Day 3

Allow students this period to research on the Internet, use the reference books and maps to complete their maps, and their graphic organizers and summary statements.

Day 4

Student presentations-either group or individual presentations, sharing graphic organizers, maps, and summary statements.

Assessments

Rubric: Assessing the Standards
Graphic Organizer
Geographical Information
Human Impact on the Everglades
Levels on Rubric are Advanced, Proficient, Basic, and In Progress
The rubric is in the attached file.

Extensions

Extensions for Students:
--Students can write a research report after constructing the graphic organizer and summary statement.
--Students divide into groups of four and debate the restoration plan.
--Create a Powerpoint presentation about the Everglades Restoration Plans and the consequences on the Everglades Ecosystems.
--Write reports on the efffect of the endangered animals in the Everglades.


Modifications for Special Needs Students:
--Work with partner
--Give blank map of Everglades for them to fill in and color
--Resource material at their reading level

Web Links

Web supplement for Human Impact on the Everglades Environment
Everglades

Web supplement for Human Impact on the Everglades Environment
Everglades Construction Project

Web supplement for Human Impact on the Everglades Environment
Lake Okeechobee

Web supplement for Human Impact on the Everglades Environment
River of Grass

Web supplement for Human Impact on the Everglades Environment
Everglades

Web supplement for Human Impact on the Everglades Environment
Casey's Florida Map Page

Web supplement for Human Impact on the Everglades Environment
Everglades Ecosystem

Web supplement for Human Impact on the Everglades Environment
US Geological Survey

Attached Files

Performance Assessment Task Rubric on Human Impact on the Everglades.     File Extension: pdf

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