Technological advancements are continually changing the world we live in. Many of these advancements bring about positive change, while others have adverse effects. Unfortunately, these adverse effects impact our environment and may create environmental changes that have lasting effects on living organisms. This lesson would go along with an environmental studies unit, it could be an introductory lesson to get students interested in a variety of environmental topics or it could be a culminating activity where students choose the environmental study that they feel most passionately about to create a visual message.
At a Glance
Grades: Middle School
Lesson Duration: Two 50-minute class periods
- Identify environmental issues; and,
- Understand how to use visual art to represent an idea and convey a message.
Materials and Resources
- Laptops, 2-in-1s, or tablets
Research & Websites
- Collect newspaper articles and magazines
- Global issues: Environmental Issues
- National Resources Defense Council: Priority Issues
- Science Daily: Environmental Issues Now
The inquiry process will guide students through asking questions an investigating research on a chosen environmental issues, encouraging them to draw conclusions from research backed by multiple sources of data. Students will create a digital posted to raise awareness of their chosen environmental issue.
If available, students will use the Internet to research current environmental issues. Utilizing technology along with existing print materials they can access large amounts of information in the form of dat, images, audio and video.
Students will also utilize a digital creation tool to create a bumper sticker. The technology gives students the tools they need to be creative and easily share a final product with others.
Prior to beginning the lesson, provide students with time to explore the graphic application that came with their device ArtRage or Sketchbook Pro.
Engage students in a discussion about posters they have seen that make a statement about an issue, for example, political, social, or environmental issues. Ask students to discuss their reactions when they see posters. Challenge them to identify the components of a posters (for example, image or text) that make the most impact.
Explain to students that they are going to use ArtRage to design a poster that will educate the community on their chosen environmental issue. Students must be prepared to explain the elements behind their design.
Before students begin exploring an environmental topic that they are going to investigate, engage in a discussion with them asking questions like:
- Do you recycle?
- How many of you brush your teeth with the water running?
- Do you carpool to events? Why?
If students were not already aware and interested in environmental issues, this conversation is design to have them start wondering what each of them can do to help the environment. Once students have a topic, they will explore their classroom resources on various environmental issues until they have found one that inspires their creation of a poster. As they think about their topic they will create a slogan or call to action that they will incorporate into the design of their poster. Their slogan should be based on the research and they should be able to justify why that is appropriate for their cause. Using ArtRage students will draw and incorporate images and text to create their poster.
Have students engage in a "gallery walk" where they post their work and other students walk around the classroom adding notes to provide feedback. Or, create a digital showcase where students can "like" their classmates' work and leave positive feedback about why they believe the poster raises awareness.
Students will present their poster to the class. The class will vote as to which poster clearly represents the selected environmental issue.
This lesson was created by Julia Fischer, Professional Development Strategist for Clarity Innovations, Inc. in Portland, Oregon.
In this lesson, students will identify environmental issues and understand how to use visual art to represent an idea and convey a message.