Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Save Our Earth

Catyn Coburn


Students research current environmental problems in order to develop and deliver an oral presentation. This presentation will persuade the audience to act on the student's point of view on the issue.


The student locates, gathers, analyzes, and evaluates written information for a variety of purposes, including research projects, real-world tasks, and self-improvement.

The student selects and uses appropriate study and research skills and tools according to the type of information being gathered or organized, including almanacs, government publications, microfiche, news sources, and information services.

The student analyzes the validity and reliability of primary source information and uses the information appropriately.

The student synthesizes information from multiple sources to draw conclusions.

The student uses volume, stress, pacing, enunciation, eye contact, and gestures that meet the needs of the audience and topic.

The student uses details, illustrations, analogies, and visual aids to make oral presentations that inform, persuade, or entertain.

The student develops and sustains a line of argument and provides appropriate support.


-Computer access
-Research materials
-Internet use permission forms
-Poster board
-Student copies of Presentation Rubric


Arrange for Internet access.

Collect resource materials for student use.

Distribute and collect signed Internet use permission forms.


Authentic Context:
You are an employee of Green Peace, an environmental organization that actively educates the public about dangers to the Earth. Your team is scheduled to make a presentation to the United Nations to convince the members to take action and enact legislation to improve current environmental problems. Possible topics include, but should not be limited to: global warming, water pollution, air pollution, endangered species, rain forest conservation, hole in the ozone, recycling.

1. Brainstorm with students environmental problems facing the Earth.
2. Discuss how to use quantitative data to enhance an argument.
3. Divide the class into groups of four and randomly assign environmental issues to each group.
4. Review rubric criteria so students understand the project expectations. Discuss characteristics of a quality oral presentation: volume, pitch, eye contact, gestures, enunciation, posture, pacing.
5. Students research current environmental problems using available resources.
6. Students develop and deliver an oral presentation to the class or other appropriate audience.

Students video tape presentations to send to Green Peace or the United Nations.


See Associated File for Presentation Rubric.

See Associated File for Sample FCAT Questions.
and Sample FCAT Passage.

See Associated File for FCAT Passage map.

Sample FCAT Question Answers:
1. This multiple-choice item is FCAT Level 1-Knowledge

A. Incorrect -- The growth of algae had affected corals and sawgrasses.
B. Incorrect -- Nutrients are causing an increase in cattails, which replace the native sawgrass.
C. Correct -- Paragraph 3 states specifically that mercury contamination is suspected in the deaths of fish, birds, and the Florida panther.
D. Incorrect -- Saltwater is affecting drinking water.

2. This multiple-choice item is FCAT Level 1-Comprehension

A. Incorrect -- While the word existence may appear close in meaning, the sentence with its reference to diminishing life suggests movement.
B. Correct -- Encroachment refers to a gradual, almost stealthy, intrusion.
C. Incorrect -- Withdrawal is an antonym of the word encroachment.
D. Incorrect -- Support is completely wrong as all negative consequences suggest.

3. This short-response item is FCAT Level 1-Comprehension

Decreased water flow from the South Florida watershed into Florida Bay has resulted in an increase in the Bay's salt content. The increased salt content has caused an increase in algae growth and the subsequent dieoffs of corals and sawgrasses.

4. This short-response item is FCAT Level 2-Evaluation

The author has obtained information about the South Florida watershed from a reliable source, the U. S. Geological Survey. Data from the federal agency can be considered to be accurate. In addition, the author qualifies some statements by using phrases such as, -Scientists believe . . .,- and -further erosion . . . may be occuring due to . . .-

5. This short-response item is FCAT Level 2-Evaluation

The author uses statistics to indicate the serious need for protecting the watershed. The author points out that the Everglades once covered 2.9 million acres and that by 1990, 50 percent of the original Everglades had been drained. The author points out that two-thirds of the Florida peninsula had been covered by the Kissimme-Okeechobee-Everglades watershed and that now drainage of the watershed extends inland six miles. Because mercury levels have been affected, some bird populations have decreased up to 95 percent.


Students video tape presentations to send to Green Peace or the United Nations.
Return to the Beacon Lesson Plan Library.