Lesson Plan

Whose Backyard? Toxic Waste Management Meeting and Environmental Injustice

Toxic waste is a global problem. What to do with environmental hazards and where to put toxic waste is a global concern. To better understand current issues around toxic waste management and how current practices can lead to environmental injustice, class members engage in a role playing activity that requires them to decide in which of five communities to place toxic waste.

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Instructional Ideas
  • Instructors should prepare for the lesson by reviewing the suggested readings
  • Due to the sensitive nature of the activity, it is important to ensure enough time to thoroughly debrief the activity; therefore, present the lesson over two days with the first devoted to establishing and introducing the groups and the second day conducting and debriefing the activity
Classroom Considerations
  • The second in a series of eight Environmental Justice, Equity, and Health lessons
  • The lessons are cumulative and designed to be taught in order
  • Requires copies of several worksheets
  • Guidelines must be in place to ensure a safe, respectful discussion of sensitive issues raised by the activity
Pros
  • Includes links to suggested readings to prepare instructors for the activity
  • The 11-page packet includes step-by-step directions for the activity
Cons
  • None