!. This lesson can be as long or as short as you wish it to be, and can involve only one class (e.g., history) or many classes (e.g., social studies, economics, art, English or language arts, math, science, etc.).
2. Introduce the lesson by briefly describing the tension between those who wish to exploit the natural resources of this country, both for profit and for "easier living" of its citizens, and those who believe that our natural resources (including living things as well as air, land, and water) must be both conserved and preserved (discuss with students the difference between "conservation" and "preservation").
3. Depending upon how how you wish the lesson to continue, and using the websites listed below, individual students or small groups of students can investigate any or all of the following:
- the story of the formation of the first national parks
- the story of the formation of the National Park Service
- the responsibilities of the National Park Service
- Theodore Roosevelt's emphasis on the need for conservation
- the formation and work of the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Depression
- the story of the formation of the Environmental Protection Agency
- the work of the National Parks Conservation Association
- the work of the Sierra Club, and the National Wildlife Federation
- the nature of environmental issues today
4. Each of the above topics could be a lesson of its own; or, some of all of them can be woven into an integrated lesson that cuts across disciplines. If an interdisciplinary approach is chosen, it would be a good idea to have some planning time with all teachers involved in the project.
5. Students should make contact with representatives of the local EPA office, inviting someone to come to school to discuss current environmental issues with the students.
6. Students can share their research findings in a number of ways:
- With poster sessions mounted in the cafeteria or other central school location
- With written papers presented in various venues--perhaps at an in-school conference on the environment
- With PowerPoint presentations on aspects of the above topics
- At a school science fair
- At local environmental meetings, symposia, or conferences
- By creating an environmental newspaper for distribution around the school
7. The websites listed below are basic informational ones; many more can be found with a little time and effort.