Pollution and Its Effect

Teacher(s): Erin Kapolka, Olivia Alkema, Diane Zadel, Jan Goeman, and Sarah David
Main Contact: Erin Kapolka/Olivia Alkema Email: ekapolka@godfrey-lee.org or oalkema@godfrey-lee.org
Date: October 12, 2012 Building: Godfrey Elementary Grade Level: Fifth grade
First Trimester: X Second Trimester: X Third Trimester: X

Download PDF or Word

Project Overview

Give a brief overview of the project you are planning.

Partnered with the City of Wyoming, we will look at types/sources of pollution and how it affects living things.


Effective Practice: MEANINGFUL SERVICE

Service learning actively engages participants in meaningful and personally relevant service activities.

What community need will you address and how did you determine the need?

City of Wyoming Clean Water Plant has expressed the need to partner with our school to communicate the need to increase the awareness of local point/non-point source pollutants in our community. This is through Federal mandates for the treatment of storm water.

What service will you provide to address the need?

The information gathered by students when they have the results of the investigation will be communicated to parents, community members, and City of Wyoming officials through local publications (newspapers), social media, and school presentations.

Students will monitor/test local water systems and log results on a website to be shared world-wide.

Students will also test regional fresh water source and communicate findings with local Universities.


Effective Practice: LINK TO CURRICULUM

Service learning is intentionally used as an instructional strategy to meet learning goals and/or content standards.

How is this project related to your curriculum?

This project is closely tied to many Science and English Language Arts standards in the 5th grade curriculum

What are the educational goals?

Students will actively participate in a standards based service-learning project to experience how be an active citizen in a community.


Curriculum Crafter Connections www.curriculumcrafter.com

Strand: 05SCI: (Life Science)
TLW: Distinguish between inherited and acquired traits and explain the influence of the environment and genetics on the individual. (Gist: Genetic Traits)

Strand: 05SCI: (Life Science)
TLW: Explain how physical characteristics, behavioral characteristics, and environmental events affect survival of organisms. (Gist: Species Adaptation)

Additional State Standards and Benchmarks

List standards and benchmarks met by this project.
L.HE.05.11 – explain that the traits of an individual are influenced by both the environment and the genetics of the individual
L.HE.05.12 – distinguish between inherited and acquired traits
S.RS.05.17 – describe the effect humans and other organisms have on the balance in the natural world
W5.3c – Use a variety of transitional words, phrases, and clauses to manage the sequence of events
W5.1 – Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information
W 5.1a – Introduce a topic or text clearly, state an opinion, and create an organizational structure in which ideas are logically grouped to support the writer’s purpose
W5.1b – Provide logically ordered reasons that are supported by facts and details
W5.1c – Link opinion and reasons using words, phrases and clauses
W5.1d – Provide a concluding statement or section related to the opinion presented.
SL 5.1 – Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one0on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 5 topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly.
SL 5.4 – Report on a topic or text or present an opinion, sequencing ideas logically and using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace.
W5.7 – Conduct short research projects that use several sources to build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a topic.


Effective Practice: REFLECTION

Service learning incorporates multiple challenging reflection activities that are ongoing and that prompt deep thinking and analysis about oneself and one’s relationship to society.

What form(s) of reflection will you use with the students to help them identify what they have learned and accomplished?

They will be drawing conclusions based on observable data and then effectively communicate the conclusions and consequences to various partnerships (school, parents, community, city) We will be utilizing many methods of technology to communicate these results such as digital pictures/picture taking/documentation, video, interactive presentations, and various modes of media used to communicate our results to the community.


Effective Practice: DIVERSITY

Service learning promotes understanding of diversity and mutual respect among all participants.

What types of diverse perspectives and experiences will be explored as part of your project?

(i.e.: cultural, generational, abilities/disabilities, learning styles, etc)

In this service learning project students will learn in their local environment. This environment may be foreign to the students, allowing them to gain real world experience outside of our small neighborhood school district.


Effective Practice: YOUTH VOICE

Service learning provides youth with a strong voice in planning, implementing, and evaluating service learning experiences with guidance from adults.

How will students gain ownership of the project?

Students will learn about several types of pollutants and then choose how they will determine the harmful effects of these chemicals. Students will choose what pollutants they are most interested in, test these pollutants, observe and communicate the results of their investigation.

They will be creating an individual presentation and communicate their results with individual choice of media. Students will have access to several forms of technology which they can use to present their findings.



Service learning partnerships are collaborative, mutually beneficial, and address community needs.

Who will you partner with for this project?

We will partner with the City of Wyoming Clean Water Plant, City of Wyoming Parks and Recreation, and Grand Valley State University.

How will students benefit from this partnership?

Students will gain real world experience and knowledge outside of our small neighborhood school district. Students will also have exposure to new forms of technology to use to communicate results to the community and the partners.

How will the partner benefit from this collaboration?

City of Wyoming Clean Water Plant has expressed the need to partner with our school to communicate the need to increase the awareness of local point/non-point source pollutants in our community.

World Water Monitoring Day needs several data points of collection areas world –wide. Our students will provide data from our local water systems.

Grand Valley State University conducts research of Lake Michigan. We will be participating in their research vessel and collecting data for their use.



Service learning engages participants in an ongoing process to assess the quality of implementation and progress toward meeting specified goals, and uses results for improvement and sustainability.

How will you assess the student learning goals?

Students will be required to complete an investigation report on two pollution labs conducted in class. They will be required to state their conclusion and write a persuasive letter and present their findings using several types of media.

How will you assess your service goals?

Students will accurately collect data and communicate their findings to our community partners using several types of media and technology.



Service learning has sufficient duration and intensity to address community needs and meet specified outcomes.

How will you prepare students for this experience?

Students will take a field trip to the City of Wyoming Clean Water Plant. This will provide them with background knowledge necessary to complete the project.

What are some sample possible activities students might do as part of this project?

Students will complete an investigation to see the effects of pollution on a plant. Students will test our local water ways to see pollutants in our community.



The three arms of sustainability are environmental stewardship, economic growth, and social progress. Think planet, profit, and people.

Describe how your project addresses the issue of sustainability?

This project addresses the sustainability issue of the environment. Students will have direct access to the affects of water pollution in our local water systems and what our city does to protect these waterways.