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Lesson Descriptions

The EnviroChallengers have lessons available for grades K-8, as well as homeschool and community youth groups. Explore the grade level drop-downs below for a list of lessons, resources, and suggestions.

 

Explore the Art EnviroChallenger lessons available for grades K-8.


Elementary School Lessons (Grades 2-5)

25 Tree Lesson

2-5-Tree: Why plant a tree? (60 minutes)


What do trees do for our environment and urban spaces? What happens when trees are not around? Students learn trees clean our air, impact climate issues, filter and help manage our rain/storm water as well as provide food and habitats for many living things. Also, they are fun and beautiful to have in our yards and play places.

 

Pre-Lesson Activity - Use this activity to better prepare your students before the lesson.

Post-Lesson Activity - Use this activity as a lesson follow-up to test student knowledge.

 

 

Clean Go Bingo

Clean-Go-Bingo: Can you clean without chemicals? (60 minutes)


Through an interactive game of Clean-Go-Bingo, students learn about the caution, warning, and danger labels on hazardous household products as well as greener, more natural alternatives. As students play, the EnviroChallenger educators will answer questions and share stories to help them understand new vocabulary and concepts.


Pre-Lesson Activity - Use this activity to better prepare your students before the lesson.

Post-Lesson Activity - Use this activity as a lesson follow-up to test student knowledge.

 

 

Down the Storm Drain

Down the Storm Drain: Where does the flow go? (50 minutes)


Find out what goes down the storm drains in Tacoma and how it affects water quality. How do our actions affect water quality? Where do the chemicals we use on our lawn and garden go when it rains? While playing an interactive matching game, students will see how their actions affect water quality. For information about a companion program offered by Tacoma Public Utilities, please call (253) 502-8224.


Please Note: This lesson requires an in-class sink.


Pre-Lesson Activity - Use this activity to better prepare your students before the lesson.

Post-Lesson Activity - Use this activity as a lesson follow-up to test student knowledge.

 

 

Save our Salmon

Save Our Salmon: Is something fishy going on? (50 minutes)


Where have all the salmon gone? During this lesson about salmon and water quality, students hypothesize reasons for the decline in salmon populations, play a game about the salmon life cycle and brainstorm ways to help save the threatened and endangered fish. While playing the game, students encounter factors that are critical to salmon survival. After the game, students express actions they can take to help salmon survive and thrive. For information about a companion program offered by Tacoma Public Utilities, please call (253) 502-8224.

 

Pre-Lesson Activity - Use this activity to better prepare your students before the lesson.

Post-Lesson Activity - Use this activity as a lesson follow-up to test student knowledge.

 

 

Talking TrashTalking Trash: Is it really garbage? (50 minutes)


Did you know that over a lifetime, the average American throws away 600 times his or her adult weight in garbage? All of us can play a part in Reducing the amount of waste we send to landfills. Getting into the five Rs, students learn why and what they can compost, Reuse and Recycle in Tacoma. Using hands-on visuals and minds-on activities, students learn how to make Responsible choices to help reduce the solid waste stream. As the class participates, they learn to Respect the environment.


Pre-Lesson Activity - Use this activity to better prepare your students before the lesson.

Post-Lesson Activity - Use this activity as a lesson follow-up to test student knowledge.


 

Toxic Toilets

Toxic Toilets and Sick Sinks: What's in Your Sewer? (50 minutes)


Find out what causes problems in the sewers. What gripes your pipes? Are you putting things down the drain that don’t belong there? Be careful. Some items like chemicals, oils and medicines can cause problems for your pipes, the treatment plant and the environment. In this lesson, students play a game where they are water drops traveling through the sewer lines. As they play, they find out what should and should not go down our drains. Students will learn about alternatives and proper disposal for things commonly flushed down or rinsed into the sewer.


Pre-Lesson Activity - Use this activity to better prepare your students before the lesson.

Post-Lesson Activity - Use this activity as a lesson follow-up to test student knowledge.

 

 

Water Water Everywhere

Water, Water Everywhere: How can you keep it clean? (50 minutes)


Learn how pollution affects the water cycle.  Students will unearth the importance of protecting and preserving this natural resource by learning about the water cycle and how pollution affects it. In this activity each student becomes a drop of water and collects different colored stamps as they flow through the water cycle. Putting their new aqua-information to work, the class discusses how to keep water clean and the environment healthy.


Pre-Lesson Activity - Use this activity to better prepare your students before the lesson.

Post-Lesson Activity - Use this activity as a lesson follow-up to test student knowledge.

  


Middle School Lessons (Grades 6-8)

Clean Go Bingo

Clean-Go-Bingo: Can you clean without chemicals? (60 minutes)


Through an interactive game of Clean-Go-Bingo, students learn about the caution, warning, and danger labels on hazardous household products as well as greener, more natural alternatives. As students play, the EnviroChallenger educators will answer questions and share stories to help them understand new vocabulary and concepts.

 

 

Flush out the Facts

Flush Out the Facts (60 minutes)


Is it really flushable? In this lesson, students learn about the history of toilets, Tacoma's sewer system and why it is important that only appropriate items be flushed. During the lesson, students develop and conduct their own investigation to test the flushability of four products that are often considered flushable. In their experiment, students identify their hypotheses and outline the controlled, manipulated and responding variables. At the end of the lesson, students see what items can't be flushed using the results of their scientific experiment.

 

 

Jeopardy

Our World is in Jeopardy: What Can You Do to Help? (50 minutes)


When you throw something away, where does it go? When you throw something away, it doesn't just disappear. Your garbage gets packed up and moved to a landfill where it will stay buried forever. What can you do to keep trash out of the landfill and save Mother Nature's natural resources? It starts with the 5 Rs: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Respect, Responsible. In this lesson, students learn where Tacoma's garbage goes, what happens to it and they can do to reduce the amount of garbage they generate. Then students hit the daily double by playing Jeopardy to test their new-found garbage knowledge.

 

 

Surface Water

Surface Water Investigation (SWI): Can You Solve the Mystery? (50 minutes)


Find out what's in the City's surface water (hint: it's not just water). What's going down the storm drain? Is it oily? Does it have bubbles? Is it a funny color? It's not just water! Everyday habits like washing and maintaining our cars, taking care of our lawns, and disposing of pet waste affect the water that goes down the storm drain and then flows - untreated - to rivers, lakes and Commencement Bay.With the help of the EnviroChallenger educator, students will make predictions based on investigative questions, learn how to test the quality of the surface water, how to locate points of pollution and how to prevent pollution from entering the surface water system.

  



 

EnviroShorts

To help get the most out of your lesson, watch any of the related EnviroShorts videos with your class before you meet with the EnviroChallengers.