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Processing & Impact of Minerals Lesson Plan

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

This lesson plan is designed to help teachers teach their students about the environmental impact of mining. Students will use content-specific vocabulary terms to describe various types of mining and the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Learning Objectives

After completing, students will be able to:

  • Describe various types of mining
  • Summarize the environmental impact of different types of mining
  • Use content-specific language to discuss mining and its environmental impact

Length

90 minutes

Common Core Curriculum Standards

  • NGSS.HS-ESS3-1

Construct an explanation based on evidence for how the availability of natural resources, occurrence of natural hazards, and changes in climate have influenced human activity.

  • NGSS.HS-ESS3-2

Evaluate competing design solutions for developing, managing, and utilizing energy and mineral resources based on cost-benefit ratios.

Materials

  • Copies of the quiz
  • Access to computer/internet
  • Online presentation software or PowerPoint

Vocabulary

  • acid mine drainage
  • longwall mining
  • open-pit mining
  • smelting
  • solution mining
  • strip mining
  • subsurface mining
  • surface mining

Video & Discussion

  • Watch the video: Extraction and Processing of Minerals & the Environmental Impacts of Mineral Use.
  • Pause after 'How Minerals Are Extracted From Earth' at 0:26 to ask the following questions:
    • What are some examples of minerals?
    • How are minerals extracted from the Earth?
  • Pause after 'Extracting Surface Minerals' at 1:41. Ask:
    • What is surface mining?
    • Explain some different types of surface mining.
  • Pause at 2:39 after 'Extracting Minerals Deep Underground' to discuss:
    • What is subsurface mining?
    • Describe the different types of subsurface mining.
  • Pause at 4:24 after 'The Harmful Effects of Mining'. Ask:
    • What are environmental effects of surface mining?
    • What are environmental effects of subsurface mining?
  • Watch the remainder of the video.
  • Answer any remaining questions and clear up any confusion that students might have then move on to the worksheet.
  • Pass out the printable worksheet to each student.
  • Have students complete the worksheet independently.
  • Check answers together as a class.

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