People too often see the world as a place of unlimited resources, rarely considering that their actions have a direct effect on everything around them. The environment influences life and shapes human feelings and opinions. This unit presents opportunities for students to explore human relationships with and responsibilities to the world of which they are a part.
The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
– William Wordsworth
What challenges to survival does the environment present?
- What hardships and challenges do humans experience with respect to the environment? What hardships and challenges do animals experiences with respect to the environment?
- What must humans do to survive with respect to the environment? Who and what will survive? Is population survival more important than individual survival? Why or why not?
- What are the major threats to our environment?
- What are the most important survival qualities in our society? What images do we associate with the idea of wilderness survival?
How might natural disasters be considered an important aspect of the environment’s delicate balance?
- What is a natural disaster?
- How might birth and death in the natural cycle be considered disasters?
- How do we best cope with natural disasters?
What rights do animals have?
- What attitudes do people have toward animals?
- What influence do habitat, habits, and behaviour have on animals?
- What are the implications of using animals for research? Should animals be used for research?
- What are the long-term consequences of bio-engineering?
- Why are some species allowed to go extinct? What animals need protection? What actions can be taken?
Urban and Rural Issues
What effect do cities and dwellings have on the natural environment?
- What is the present ecological state of the environment?
- What are the significant changes taking place in rural and urban environments?
- How do urban and rural environments contribute to the quality of our lives?
- What has been lost and gained by growth and development and/or the lack of growth and development?
- How can careful planning counteract the impact of changes humans make on the environment?
Ecology and Technology
What is humanity’s relationship to the environment and technology?
- What is the relationship between people and nature?
- What role does technology play in our lives and in nature?
- What are our most significant technological achievements?
- How can humans work in harmony with nature and technology?
- What considerations have to be given to the environment? To our technology?
- What happens if nature’s ecological balance is upset?
- What values have we been taught about taking care of the land? How do these beliefs affect our actions?
- What are our environmental issues and concerns? How do these protect the environment? What can we do, as individuals, toward environmental protection?
- What are the advantages and risks related to technology? What are our technology issues and concerns?