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In this ESD classroom resource students work in small groups to create novel web diagrams that illustrate the array of environmental, social and economic impacts related to the consumption of everyday items such as cell phones, t-shirts or athletic shoes. The activity expands the biospheric impact concept of 'ecological footprint' (i.e. cutting rain forest for beef cattle grazing land) to include impacts of consumer product choices on people and societies (i.e. over consumption of hamburgers leading to obesity). Students develop ideas to and promote sustainable consumption and reduce their ecological footprint related to everyday items.
Each student group subsequently presents to the larger group its web diagrams and creative solutions for improving the manufacture and use of specific consumer products. Poignent reflection questions are then provided to stimulate thinking further about the sustainability of lifestyle, manufacturing and business practices.
Analyzing the social and ecological impacts of manufacturing processes and consumption activities while considering more sustainable alternatives.
Can be used in social studies, geography, business and environmental studies classes.
Involves small group work and bringing that understanding to share with full class. The orientation period involves introducing ideas from a case study to the full class and then breaking off into small groups.
The following tool will allow you to explore the relevant curriculum matches for this resource. To start, select a province listed below.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives||Good|
Students are asked to take on the perspectives of economists, sociologists, materials and industrial process specialists, environmental and social impact analysts.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives: |
Satisfactory- absence of bias towards any one point of view
Good- students consider different points of view regarding issues, problems discussed
Very good- based on the consideration of different views, students form opinions and take an informed position
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions||Very Good|
Positive and negative ecological, economic and social consequences are effectively addressed.
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions: |
Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.
|Respects Complexity||Very Good|
|Respects Complexity: |
The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected
|Acting on Learning||Satisfactory|
Action opportunities are extensions.
|Acting on Learning: |
Learning moves from understanding issues to working towards positive change — in personal lifestyle, in school, in the community, or for the planet
|Values Education||Poor/Not considered|
Poor, not considered.
|Values Education: |
Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.
|Empathy & Respect for Humans||Poor/Not considered|
|Empathy & Respect for Humans: Empathy and respect are fostered for diverse groups of humans (including different genders, ethnic groups, sexual preferences, etc.).|
|Personal Affinity with Earth||Satisfactory|
The attention the days 1 and 2 activities gives to environmental impacts provides some sense of affinity for the natural world.
|Personal Affinity with Earth: |
Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.
The use of a hamburger (and very personal items later) to help illustrate the concept involved here does a good job of encouraging learning that is relevant to the lives of the learners.
|Locally-Focused Learning: |
Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community.
|Past, Present & Future||Good|
Students are asked to consider existing manufacturing practices, consumption and their impacts as well as alternative manufacturing practices and products and better ways of using products whose impacts they are evaluating.
|Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.|
Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.
|Integrated Learning||Very Good|
|Integrated Learning: |
Learning brings together content and skills from more than one subject area
|Inquiry Learning: |
Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.
There is lots of analysis as well as web diagramming.
The resource teaches only to cognitive domains.
|Differentiated Instruction: |
Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.
The simulation exercises satisfy the learning objectives which require lots of student analysis.
|Experiential Learning: |
Authentic learning experiences are provided
Satisfactory, students work in groups.
|Cooperative Learning: Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.
|Assessment & Evaluation||Good|
There are chart with substantive information and criteria to help students organize their thoughts.
|Assessment & Evaluation: Tools are provided that help students and teachers to capture formative and summative information about students' learning and performance. These tools may include reflection questions, checklists, rubrics, etc.|
Satisfactory, incidental teaching that arises from cooperative learning, presentations, etc..
|Peer Teaching: Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.
The case study is called "Hamburger, Fries and Cola. What Did it Take to Produce This American Meal"?"
|Case Studies: |
Relevant case studies are included. Case studies are thorough descriptions of real events from real situations that students use to explore concepts in an authentic context.
|Locus of Control||Satisfactory|
The students do select their own consumer items and are given freedom in the design of their webs. Students are not offered a choice about the medium in which they work.
|Locus of Control: Meaningful opportunities are provided for students to choose elements of program content, the medium in which they wish to work, and/or to go deeper into a chosen issue.|