CBC Digital Archives

Lesson Plan: For Teachers: Mercury Plague

Type:
Assignment
Subjects:
History, Social Studies, Political Science, Geography, Science
Duration:
1 to 2 lessons
Purpose:
To examine the causes and effects of mercury poisoning, to write a position paper responding to an issue
Summary:
Students will write a position paper on the causes and effects of mercury poisoning.

Lesson Plan

Before Exploring

Provide students with a variety of newsmagazines and newspapers. In pairs, students will create a collage using key words and suitable drawings and/or pictures to illustrate types of pollution and the effect of pollution on the environment. Students should identify air, land, and water pollutants; outline the kinds of chemicals and effluence that can cause pollution; and identify the impact pollutants have on human and animal life.

Outline the Opportunity

Direct students to the topic James Bay Project and the Cree on the CBC Digital Archives website and have them review the clips "James Bay Cree experience dramatic change" and "Mercury poisoning and the Cree." Students will develop a position on an aspect of this situation, such as cleaning up the pollution, educating the Cree, or potential health problems associated with mercury poisoning. Students will write a persuasive essay of at least five paragraphs describing their position and, if applicable, their solution.

Revisit and Reflect

Have students share their essays and discuss the potential of their plans to address the mercury poisoning issue.

Extension

 

Students can write a petition demanding that the Quebec and Federal governments act to assist the Cree people who have been hurt by mercury poisoning. The petition should include ways that the governments should respond to the issue and state the argument to persuade people to sign.


Download PDF

Related Content

A Lost Heritage: Residential Schools extra cl...

In 1928, a government official predicted Canada would end its "Indian problem" within two gene...

The Battle for Aboriginal Treaty Rights

It's a battle over the land and its resources. The fight has taken place on the land, in the c...

Davis Inlet: Innu Community in Crisis

"We are a lost people." That description by an Innu chief seemed fitting when a shocking video...

Acid Rain: Pollution and Politics

When fish started turning belly up in lakes and streams, North America's eyes were suddenly op...

A Lost Heritage: Canada's Residential Schools

In 1928, a government official predicted Canada would end its "Indian problem" within two gene...

1981: Native people fight for constitutional ...

Thousands of native people stage demonstrations over the omission of native rights in the new ...