Teams of students will identify environmental issues related to prairie
preservation and urban development and present their findings to the class
in an oral presentation aided by a poster or PowerPoint presentation.
Students will take notes and complete a web diagram or Inspiration
type flow chart to storyboard their presentation.
- Identify, explain, and effectively use input, output and storage devices
of computers and other technologies (e.g., keyboard, mouse, scanner,
monitor, printer, floppy disk, hard drive).
- Use a variety of productivity tools (e.g., word processing, graphic
tools, digital cameras) for communication, presentation, and illustration
of ideas (e.g., signs, posters, banners, charts, newsletters, or multimedia
- Gather information and communicate with others using telecommunications
(e.g., email, videoconference)
- Utilize search strategies employing keywords, phrases, and Boolean
operators (and, or, not) to access and retrieve information.
- Use technology resources to assist in problem-solving, self-directed
learning, and extended learning activities.
Students will pretend that they are a team of community leaders, environmentalists
and resource experts. A major housing developer is requesting permission
from the Zoning Commission to build a new subdivision in one of the few
remaining prairie areas of the state. The Zoning Commission has requested
information on prairies and the impact the new subdivision would have
on the prairie ecosystem. The Commission has requested that a team of
experts research the issues and prepare a presentation to assist them
in making a decision.
Teams of students will complete a K-W-L-H
chart prior to reading the background information and assigning roles.
Students will work with a team or partner and create a graphic organizer
that visually summarizes the background information.
Teams will select roles, complete research, and design a project/ presentation
describing the benefits and problems of prairie preservation.
The final project will:
- Compare and contrast the need for urban growth and the loss of a valuable
- Describe the prairie environment of the past.
- Explain why prairies are on the endangered list.
Students may write an editorial, letter to the editor, brochure, or magazine
article about the issue (similar to National Geographic magazine's articles)
or design a poster or Web page to present their research information including
drawings or photos.
Each team will assign production roles and tasks such as:
Writers - Compile the information and write text for the PowerPoint
Designers - Design a storyboard or rough sketch of the PowerPoint
Graphic Artists - Design the graphics for the PowerPoint presentation
Students will evaluate peers' presentaitons.
- How well are the conclusions supported by data and facts?
- Is the argument convincing? What made you think so?
- If you were on the Zoning Commission, how would you vote after hearing
this presentation? Why?
Tips For Teachers
- An extensive list of websites is available to students in the Webliography.
Students may need assistance in selecting materials that are most appropriate
to their specific topic focus and reading level.
- If PowerPoint presentations are not possible in your classroom, alternative
final projects might include a class debate, skit or news broadcast
called, "What's Best for Our Community?"
Students may work in pairs or teams to present information for a news
broadcast that reports their research findings and is filmed with a
The news clips may be shown again at a learning station and as part
of Technology Night presentations.
- Extension Activity
Al Stenstrup, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, developed a
series of activities for students to compare historical aerial photographs
with current aerial photographs and determine what factors influenced
land use decisions; evaluate the impacts of different land uses on an
area; and consider future changes in land use and the affect on a community.
This Land is
Activity-based lesson plans on land use issues developed by Michigan
State University Extension.
Using Graphic Organizers
Describes how concept maps and story webs assist students in visually
structuring ideas and relationships between concepts and visual brainstorming
tools for developing writing plans and problem solving.
Electronic Graphic Organizers:
Are They for You?
The templates under the categories Language Arts, Social Studies, Science,
Teacher Planning, and Thinking Tools include bubble diagrams, tree maps,
flow maps, Venn diagrams, and other structures for students to use when
organizing information into an outline or concept map.
Planning a PowerPoint Presentation
PowerPoint in the Classroom
Presentation and Teaching Materials with PowerPoint
Presentations with PowerPoint
PowerPoint Step by Step