Don't Mess with Mercury
The three lessons in the don’t Mess with Mercury Unit Module are designed to teach middle schoolers about the dangers of mercury. The first option is teacher-led. Class members learn about mercury by reading case studies and participating in a class discussion. Groups develop and present public service announcements that teach interesting facts about mercury and warn others about the hazards associated with this remarkable chemical element. The second of three activities covering mercury focuses on its health hazards if humans are exposed. Pairs research and answer questions about the health hazards of mercury exposure and use their findings to create a six-slide presentation to share with the class. The health effects of mercury exposure are the focus of the third option. Pairs use computers to research the properties of mercury, then write, prepare, and share posters, articles, or PSAs with the class. Instructors choose the plan that works best for their classroom.