Lesson Plan

Grades 9-12

Trash Trouble in Paradise

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15 minutes (Part 1); Several class periods (Part 2)

SUBJECTS: Language Arts, Science, Social Studies

TOPICS: Land Use, Public Health, Wealth & Poverty, Solid Waste

Resource Overview

Role playing a city council meeting, students weigh various real-world economic, social, and environmental factors when siting a landfill on the Hawaiian island of O‘ahu.

Students will be able to:
  • Define and identify examples of environmental injustice.
  • Read and annotate an article on waste management and respond to comprehension questions.
  • Analyze demographic, wealth, and education data of three communities in a case study about siting a landfill.
  • Conduct research on a specific Hawaiian community and role-play a city council meeting.
  • Use quantitative and qualitative data to draft and argue for a proposal about improving the health of a particular community.
Modern landfill operation at Waimanalo Gulch, the municipal sanitary landfill for Honolulu

Features of This Resource

  • SEL core competency of responsible decision-making
  • Students evaluate the consequences of various actions, and consider the well-being of different groups
  • Real-world data and current events provide authentic learning
  • Lesson plan with connections to geo-literacy and civics

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