Lesson Plan Template: General Lesson Plan
Learning Objectives: What should students know and be able to do as a result of this lesson?
- Define marine debris and explain the scope of the problem, especially as it affects the Alaskan coast.
- Explain the possible solutions and challenges for eliminating marine debris.
- Cite specific and relevant text evidence to support analysis of the text.
- Use various vocabulary strategies to define academic and domain-specific terms and phrases in the text.
- Construct a multi-paragraph written response that clearly establishes a main point(s), contains relevant textual evidence to support the main point, utilizes transitions to maintain flow, effectively uses domain-specific vocabulary, and provides an appropriate conclusion.
Prior Knowledge: What prior knowledge should students have for this lesson?
- Basic knowledge of how ocean currents form and what the global current system looks like would be beneficial. Students should understand that currents form from differences in densities of water and that currents circulate around the world and cause the formation of gyres.
- Basic knowledge of tsunamis will help. The article references the tsunami of Japan in 2011. Students should understand that a tsunami is a wave or series of waves created by sudden displacements in the ocean floor, landslides, or volcanic activity.
- Basic geography of Alaska is required. Students should know where Alaska is on a map and understand that the state has a large coastline.
- Students should have prior experience utilizing various vocabulary strategies to determine the meaning of unknown words in a text. For this lesson, prior experience in using context clues to determine the meaning of words in a text would be beneficial. In addition, students should have some dictionary skills that will enable them to look up words with multiple meanings and determine the most appropriate meaning based on how a word is used in a text.
- Students should be able to respond to a writing prompt in a clear, organized manner that includes use of an introduction to establish the main point(s), a body paragraph(s) that support the main point(s) and includes relevant and specific textual evidence, and a conclusion that supports the main point(s).
- Students should have some awareness that use of transition words or phrases can help a piece of writing flow smoothly from one point or idea to the next.
Guiding Questions: What are the guiding questions for this lesson?
- What is marine debris? Debris or garbage that enters the ocean and remains in the ocean or washes up onto the coastline.
- How do scientists find, study, and remove marine debris? Scientists use technology such as helicopters, unmanned aerial systems, and sonar to help find and study debris. They also organize large cleanup projects to remove debris washed up onto the shore.
- What are the impacts of marine debris in the ocean? Impacts are numerous and include ingestion by various marine organisms and leakage of chemicals from the debris. Human communities can also be negatively affected economically.
Teaching Phase: How will the teacher present the concept or skill to students?
1. Begin the lesson by showing the class this short video clip that provides a somewhat humorous introduction to ocean debris and covers much of the important terminology students will encounter in the text:
2. Next, tell students that everyday use and improper disposal of man-made objects isn't the only cause of marine debris. Natural disasters on land can also cause marine debris issues. Show this short clip from NOAA discussing the 2011 Japanese tsunami (also discussed in the text) as an example:
3. Ask students to define tsunami before continuing to make sure the entire class is up to speed on what exactly this natural occurrence is. (A tsunami is a series of large ocean waves generated by displacements in the ocean floor or volcanic activity.)
4. Next, ask students to explain why debris from a tsunami that occurred in Japan would be a concern for the Pacific coastline of the United States. Students will likely know that it is related to ocean currents but may need a refresher on exactly what currents are and how they work. This resource is a good place to start. Consider asking students to read the information on this page in small groups and then take turns presenting or explaining the information they learn to the class.
5. Next, ask students to elaborate on where marine debris from the Japanese tsunami might end up. Hopefully students will be able to identify Alaska or other parts of the United States coastline, in addition to Hawaii and the other locations referenced in the video. This is a great map that shows Alaska's extensive coastline very well:
6. Ask students: Why does it matter if garbage gets into the oceans? Write students' answer on the board. This NOAA site is a good resource to discuss impacts:
7. At this point, you should be ready to introduce the article on the Alaska Marine Debris Program to the students.
Guided Practice: What activities or exercises will the students complete with teacher guidance?
1. Provide each student with a copy of the article "Alaska: Marine Debris in the Wilderness." For class discussions that will follow, it might be helpful to have students number each question the interviewer asks.
2. Provide each student with a note-taking guide. Before students begin reading, direct them to pay attention to the vocabulary of the article to help them learn and locate information.
3. Have students fill out the note-taking guide as they read the text. This can be done individually, in pairs, or in small groups. They should take notes on the right-hand side to answer the questions posed on the left. Student answers will vary. The teacher should monitor students as they work and provide support and guidance as needed.
- Marine debris is a problem that only affects wildlife and marine ecosystems. (Marine debris can have very significant effects on human communities through economic losses due to unattractive beaches and reduced tourism.)
- Marine debris on Alaska's shoreline stemming from the 2011 Japanese tsunami is not a human-induced problem. Although natural disasters can result in debris entering the ocean, the debris itself consists man-made materials.
Formative Assessment (How will teachers check for student understanding?):
1. Teachers can check students' understanding by collecting students' completed note-taking guide, checking their work, providing written feedback, or grading the assignment. Or, teachers can have students share out their responses and the teacher can provide verbal corrective feedback, allowing students to make corrections to their work during the discussion.
2. Teachers can use this sample answer key to help them assess students' answers.
Independent Practice: What activities or exercises will students complete to reinforce the concepts and skills developed in the lesson?
Provide each student with a copy of the text-dependent questions to complete. Students should be reminded to continually refer back to the text and to use relevant and specific evidence from the text to support their answers.
Formative Assessment (How will teachers check for understanding?):
1. Teachers can check students' understanding by collecting students' answers to the text-dependent questions, checking their work, providing written feedback, and maybe grading the assignment. Or, teachers can have students share out their responses and the teacher can provide verbal corrective feedback, allowing students to make corrections to their work during the discussion.
2. Teachers can use this sample answer key to help them assess students' answers.
Common errors/misconceptions to anticipate and how to respond: Please see the text-dependent questions sample answer key.
Closure: How will the teacher assist students in organizing the knowledge gained in the lesson?
- Before students complete the writing prompt, be sure to review responses to the text-dependent questions as a class, including covering the misconceptions and key points described in the sample answer key.
- After students' written responses have been graded and returned with feedback, teachers might wish to use the provided sample response with the class. Students who are struggling writers can benefit greatly from seeing a well-organized, detailed written response. The teacher could show the sample response on an overhead or with an LCD projector and discuss some of the following:
- How the author introduced the topic and addressed the prompt. Brainstorm alternatives.
- How each paragraph expounds on a different main point and a different part of the prompt.
- How the author uses textual specifics and quotes to support the response.
- How the author uses transition words and phrases.
- How the author concludes the topic and refers back to the prompt. Brainstorm alternatives.
1. Students will individually respond to the writing prompt. They should be directed to respond with a multi-paragraph response, with a clear introduction, body section, and conclusion. They can refer back to the text as they construct their response.
2. Provide students with a copy of the rubric and go over it with them so they will know how their written response will be assessed.
3. Go over the writing prompt with students and make sure students understand what the prompt is asking them to address. Encourage students to underline key parts of the prompt as the teacher goes over it so they will remember to answer all the required parts.
The prompt: Discuss some of the large-scale impacts associated with marine debris, providing at least two possible examples of how marine debris could negatively impact an ocean ecosystem. Next, recollect how the interview discusses the three pillars of the Marine Debris Program: research, removal, and prevention. Explain how scientists and the community can become involved in these three pillars to reduce the impacts of marine debris. Be sure to cite evidence from the text in your response.
4. Teachers will use the rubric to assess students' written responses.
Specific suggestions for conducting Formative Assessment can be found in the Guided Practice and Independent Practice phases of the lesson where it says, "How will you check for student understanding?"
Feedback to Students
Specific suggestions for conducting Feedback to Students can be found in the Guided Practice and Independent Practice phases of the lesson where it says, "How will you check for student understanding?"