Lesson Plan for World Geography/World Cultures (2-3
Critical Thinking Skills
9th-grade Social Studies
Don Donn; USA
Prepare overheads of the Personality List
below. Put several on each page. Have a blank
page handy to cover the ones you have not yet discussed.
Materials about the Pacific Reef available for student use (handouts,
ONE: (Quick Background)
What is the Great Barrier Reef and why is it important?
Open Class: Tell students that The Great
Barrier Reef is the name given to the more than 3000 rainbow colored coral
reefs that grow off Australia's east coast. In places, the reef is as much
as one hundred miles wide. Although there are natural breaks in the reef,
the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park maintains shipping lanes - wide cuts -
through the reef so ships can get through.
may choose to tell students the following three paragraphs
of background information or have them read from their textbook. Or,
you may choose to give them 10 minutes to research answers to 3 questions:
Why is the Great Barrier Reef one of the natural wonders of the world? What
value does the reef offer Australia's economy? How is the reef being damaged?
The reef is very important to Australia's economy. It provides food and jobs.
80% of the land along the reef supports agriculture - from fisheries to cattle
grazing to crops. The reef protected beach offers white sand for lazing and
sparking turquoise and aqua water for snorkeling, swimming, and surfing.
The Great Barrier Reef is one of the natural wonders of the world. It is
home to thousands of species of plants and animals. The reef itself provides
food, pearls, treasure from shipwrecks, and tourism. It is of great
interest to the scientific and medical communities of the world. Treatments
for cancer, AIDS, asthma, arthritis, and other infections are being researched
from organisms found in coral reefs.
The reef is in danger. Run-off from land based agriculture, urban development,
and aquaculture have all done their part to damage the reef. Oil spills and
normal pollution from private boats and thousands of commercial vessels have
damaged it. Tourists have damaged it. Infestation and disease have damaged
it. Rather than use the passageways provided, ships push
their way through the reef to save time and money. Sections
of the reef are already dead. Other sections are dying.
For student teachers, suggested Transition
Statement: Say: Obviously, something
this big and this important needs laws to protect and manage it. The
Australian people have different ideas on what these laws should be.
Hand out Personalities List.
First, read through it with your class, using the overhead.
Put up the following: (White or chalk board, or use the overhead) The
Australian Government is considering restricting all visitors to the Great
Discuss: What does this mean? (Does all mean no scientists, no tourists,
by pass, by exception.) Allow your students to define the above statement.
- to shape it up into a statement.
Return to the Personalities List.
This time, have
your students decide the vote of each personality - would it be Yes or No
if they went to the poles today. (Mark the decision.)
Quickly review what
is a propaganda
Divide your students into
groups. Assign each group a list of
"personalities" who will vote the same way - either pro or con - although
probably for different reasons. Have each group create a propaganda campaign
designed to persuade voters to vote their way (pro or con.) They must design
a theme that carries their message. That theme must be supported
with visual materials such as posters that they create. They may choose
one speaker from their group to present and summarize the campaign,
or they may choose to each take a part.
Give them time to create and present their campaign. This can be done as
part of a day, or over 2 days depending upon your time restraints and directions.
Have each group present their campaign.
Position campaign posters on the walls of your classroom.
Revisit the Personality List
Say: Now that you have had time to think about the ramifications of various
actions or lack thereof, let's see how people on the personality list will
vote today. Have your campaigns had any effect on their understanding of
the issues involved - and their vote.
Ask: Who owns the Great Barrier Reef? Discuss: Should something this important to the people of the world be left to the management
of one country?