Lesson Plans

The links below lead to standards-based lessons {definitionbot=disable}related to each EcoHealth sections.

Lesson Authors

  • Victoria Babcock teaches biology, botany, and zoology at DeSoto High School in DeSoto, Missouri. Before becoming a teacher, Ms. Babcock was an outreach educator for the St. Louis Science Center.
  • Janet Collier teaches World Cultures, Geography and World History at the Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School in Rockville, Maryland. Before becoming a teacher, Ms. Collier worked as an editor. In addition to writing the lesson plans for Our Small World, the Glossary and the Newspage, she is editor of the EcoHealth website and uses EcoHealth in her classroom.


Water, Water, Everywhere—Is It Safe?
Students explore the contents of untreated water, using a microscope to find organisms. They then create their own filtering system to clean the water. Finally, students research water-borne pathogens that may be increasing in number due to effects of global warming.

Weather or Not It Might Make Us Sick
Students monitor weather forecasts for four weeks. They assess the accuracy of predictions and determine whether local weather reflects the impact of global warming.

Greenhouse Gases Exposed
Students perform a controlled experiment, then record and analyze their data. The lesson deepens understanding of the relationship between greenhouse gases and global warming.

Birds, Mosquitoes, and Viruses
Students distinguish between direct and indirectly transmitted diseases and participate in a group game to simulate the spread of vector-borne diseases. They then research a particular pathogenic disease to learn how global warming—and biodiversity loss—can affect disease transmission. This lesson works with several chapters of the website.


Is My Sunscreen Working?
Students use UV-sensitive bacteria to test the effectiveness of various products.

Create a UV Warning Scale
Students learn about the dangers of UV radiation and create warning scales for tracking UV levels in their community.


Celebrate Biodiversity Placemat
Students create restaurant placemats containing puzzles and games about diversity. This activity provides a fun route toward a deeper understanding of biodiversity, its importance, and the impact of human actions.

Genetically Modified Foods: What Do You Think?
Students research current studies and uses of genetic engineering. They then conduct a role-playing forum that focuses on the advantages and disadvantages of incorporating genetically modified foods into society. This may also be used with the chapter “What's Left to Eat?”

Nature's Store
Students research medicinal uses of plants, correlating loss of habitat to loss of valuable medicine. Drawing on their research, pupils then create a “sales pitch” that tries to convince the owner of an imaginary drug store to stock plant products.


Globalization: How and Why, From Here to There
Through these three activities students will have the opportunity to explore today’s globalization and its effects, both good and bad. They will have fun while building upon Our Small World and the importance of natural resources, free trade and the spread of disease.


Get the Lingo
In a variation of Bingo, students use glossary terms and definitions to fill up squares on a board to be the first to go LINGO!

Making Connections
Drawing connections is a helpful way for students to classify and interact with information. In this lesson plan, students work in pairs or small teams to generate a list of glossary words on a topic, then group the terms into helpful categories.

What D’Ya Know?
Often when approaching new information, it is useful to assess what information is truly new to you, what information is somewhat familiar, and what information you know very well already. In this activity, students rate the vocabulary of a chapter in just such a way.


Where Do You Stand?
Environmental and health issues are constantly in the news. Relating lessons students learn in school to what they hear in the news helps the information to “come alive”. Often when reading articles in the news, students need to be able to identify the author’s position on the issue discussed, as well as their own.

Get the Scoop
One reason that students encounter difficulty when reading a news story is that they may have insufficient background knowledge of the topic. By using the News Page, related content in this website, and the EcoHealth website Glossary students can develop the skills they need to read and comprehend the news.

Additional information