Read the movie description that appears below the movie player on the Rachel Carson Topic Page. Then use the following prompts to encourage class discussion before, during, and after watching the movie.


  • What does an environmentalist do?
  • What can people do to protect natural resources?

During (Pause Points)

Stop at the following times in the movie and ask questions or prompt a discussion to keep students focused and to assess their understanding before moving on:

  • Timecode 1:19: Why do you think Carson chose a career as a science communicator rather than work in a lab?
  • Timecode 3:29: Why was Carson concerned about DDT despite its effectiveness?
  • Timecode 4:40: How did DDT affect Michigan State University?
  • Timecode 6:15: How did chemical companies react to Silent Spring and why?
  • Timecode 6:45: What effects did Carson’s advocacy have on policy?


  • What did Carson mean when she said, “Man’s endeavors to control nature by his powers to alter and destroy the world inevitably evolve into a war against himself, a war he would lose unless he came to terms with nature.”?

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments