Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8

*Click to open and customize your own copy of the Rachel Carson Lesson Plan.

This lesson accompanies the BrainPOP topic Rachel Carson, and supports the standard of analyzing individuals’ contributions to scientific progress and society. Students demonstrate understanding through a variety of projects.

Step 1: ACTIVATE PRIOR KNOWLEDGE

Ask students:

  • Where do you see human impact on the environment in your community?
  • How can humans reduce their environmental impact?

Step 2: BUILD BACKGROUND

  • Read the description on the Rachel Carson topic page.
  • Play the Movie, pausing to check for understanding. 
  • Have students read one of the Related Reading articles. Partner them with someone who read a different article to share what they learned with each other.

Step 3: ENGAGE 

Students express what they learned about Rachel Carson while practicing essential literacy skills with one or more of the following activities. Differentiate by assigning ones that meet individual student needs.

  • Make-a-Movie: Produce a biopic of Rachel Carson highlighting her scientific contributions. Explain their effect on humanity’s understanding of how we impact the environment. (Essential Literacy Skill: Make logical inferences from explicit details)
  • Make-a-Map: Identify the timeline of events that led to the ban on DDT use in the United States. (Essential Literacy Skill: Summarize key details)
  • Creative Coding: Code a newscast announcing the findings of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring. (Essential Literacy Skill: Determine central ideas)

Step 4: APPLY & ASSESS 

Apply: Students complete the Rachel Carson Worksheet, applying essential literacy skills while demonstrating what they learned about this topic.

Assess: Wrap up the lesson with the Rachel Carson Quiz

Step 5: EXTEND LEARNING

Time Zone X: Rachel Carson: Challenge students to put historical events in chronological order in this interactive timeline game.

Lakeland: Students balance the use of resources for business and food in this simulation game.

Famous Scientists Unit: Continue to build understanding around individuals’ scientific contributions by exploring more BrainPOP biographies.

Additional Support Resources:

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

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