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Unit 14: Living in my world

Day 4: My neighborhood, clean or not?


  1. Students will be able to read simple text about current environment concerns
  2. Students will be able to discuss personal choices regarding their environmental "footprint" with classmates and Teacher

Setting the Stage (2 minutes)

Teacher walks around the classroom and

  • Turns on as many lights as possible
  • Drops trash on the floor
  • Turns on a radio at very high volume
  • Draws "graffiti" on the board and labels it as graffiti

Teacher asks students for their personal reactions to what he or she did.

Input (20 minutes)

Teacher tells students that they will create a story about a person who is very unfriendly to his or her environment. Teacher encourages students to be creative and unusual with setting up the scenario for their story. The scenario should include:

  • Name of person in the story
  • Place where person lives
  • Age of person
  • With whom this person lives

Teacher guides the students through the story and reinforces vocabulary and content by "recycling" or "circling" every detail of the story by asking yes/no, either/or, who/what/when/where/why as well as personal questions.

Then, Teacher offers the following choices to students to continue building their story. Teacher writes the expressions on board or overhead projector in the target language as well as the English translation in order to ensure student comprehension. Teacher continues to "recycle" and "circle" the vocabulary.

Does _________________ (name of character in the story)

  • Smoke in public places?
  • Send text messages while driving?
  • Drive a large truck or SUV?
  • Write graffiti in public places?
  • Leave dog excrement in the park or on the sidewalk?
  • Leave trash in public places?
  • Park his/her car in handicapped parking spaces?
  • Play music really loud at home or in the car?
  • Let the water run while brushing his/her teeth?
  • Etc.

Guided Practice (10 minutes)

Once Teacher has written the story on the board or overhead projector, he or she asks students to take turns reading the story to a partner.

Teacher has written each statement below on large flash cards, with the English translation on the other side of the flash card.

  • This is illegal!
  • This is really a bother, but not serious.
  • This is not clean.
  • This is really bad for the environment!
  • This is very dangerous!
  • This is rude or impolite.

Teacher drills the students on the reading of the target language Flashcards and the English translation.

Teacher asks for students to choose which of these expressions applies to each of the 10 elements listed in the Input section of this lesson. This is done in a open discussion or brainstorm format. Example:

  • Is letting the water run illegal? Is it bad for the environment or dangerous?
  • What is parking in a handicapped zone, not clean or illegal?

Evaluation (15 minutes)

Students, in pairs, read about four young people. Teacher has chosen a name for each of the four, filling in the blanks and selecting "he" or "she" as appropriate in the stories below. Students translate the stories into English. Teacher collects the translations at end of class and gives participation points for the completed assignments.
Model stories:
1. ________ was always driving around town, even to go just a few blocks, in his/her truck (SUV). That used a lot of gasoline. The truck (SUV) spit out a lot of black smoke from the back.
Then, one day, ________ read a newspaper story about how Earth's atmosphere was getting warmer and dirtier. He/she was shocked! He/she decided to sell the truck (SUV) and buy a hybrid car.
2. ________ loved to plant flowers in his/her garden. The flowers were beautiful. Sadly, the bugs liked to eat the flowers and the flowers would die. ________ had to spray the garden with chemical insecticides to kill the bugs.
Then, one day, ________ read a magazine article about how to use natural products in the garden. ________ decided to stop using insecticides and bought some ladybugs. Ladybugs like to eat the bad insects in the garden.
3. ________ used to throw all the household trash in the trash can. Bottles, cans, newspapers, magazines---they all went into the trash can.
Then, one day, ________ heard an important scientist talk about how to recycle household items in order to stop creating so much trash. ________ decided that recycling was very important and started to put all the glass, plastic, newspapers and magazines in special containers to take to the recycling center close to home.
4. ________ always watched television with the volume really loud. He/she also played his/her car radio at maximum volume and left the car windows down. The noise pollution disturbed his/her neighbors a lot. The drivers in cars around him/her always had to roll up their windows to avoid the noise.
One day, ________ learned that loud noise was a form of pollution. He/she decided to stop playing music or the television so loud. He/she started to lower the volume every time the car radio or the television was on.

Closure (2 minutes)

Students talk to several classmates about what they do to protect their environment.

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