Lesson Plan: For Teachers: The Economic Impact of Acid Rain
Have students review radio, print, or television news for several days. After a week, ask the students what environmental stories are currently in the news. Ask: Do the news reports focus on the economic, environmental, or social consequences of environmental problems? Discuss how an entire community's livelihood might be negatively affected by a serious environmental problem, and how governments at various levels might handle it.
Outline the Opportunity
Have students browse the topic Acid Rain: Pollution and Politics on the CBC Digital Archives website for as much time as they need. Students should focus on clips that deal with the economic and social impact of acid rain on specific geographic regions in Canada. Students will work in groups to answer the following questions (also available on the download sheet The Economic Impact of Acid Rain):
What regions of Canada were most negatively affected by acid rain?
How did acid rain affect people's lives in these regions?
What economic activities or industries were most responsible for acid rain?
What economic activities or industries suffered most as a result of acid rain?
What actions did people in areas affected by acid rain take in order to deal with the situation in their communities?
Groups will prepare and present a newspaper article or a script for a news broadcast, focusing on one Canadian community affected by acid rain. Each group should incorporate its answers to the questions above.
Groups will prepare and present a newspaper article or a script for a news broadcast
Revisit and Reflect
Have each group present its news story. Ask students to compare and contrast the economic impact of acid rain on Canadian communities with that of other, more recent environmental problems (tainted water, logging, and so on). Ask them to note any significant similarities or differences among the issues. Record their responses on the chalkboard or on chart paper.
Students can write a report evaluating the economic impact of acid rain on communities in Canada during the 1970s and 1980s and answer the question: Has the economy of those communities improved or declined since that time?