School Improvement in Maryland
The 0 Zone - Code Red Alert - Environmental Science and Social Studies, Performance-Based Instructional Task
The 0 Zone - Code Red Alert
 
Overview
Students are organized into groups to review and analyze fact sheets, maps, air quality data, and background material on air pollution in Maryland. Students then “jigsaw” into new groups, each with an “expert” from the original group to answer questions about what to do during summer “ozone alerts.” Finally, students will work on their own to make a decision about what each of them can do to improve air quality in Maryland.
 
 
Table of Contents
.Outcome Activity Match
.Teacher Directions
.Materials Required
.Estimated Time
.Student Booklet (78k Acrobat)
.Assessment Information
 
Maryland Learner Outcomes
 Social Studies:
.Geography
.Skills and Processes
.Valuing Self and Others
.Understandings and Attitudes
 Science:
.Concepts of Science
.Nature of Sciences
.Habits of Mind
.Processes of Science
.Applications of Science
 Reading:
.Reading for Information

 Outcome/ Indicator Activity Match

Activities             Outcomes/Indicators
Activity 1 Habits of Mind
Develop questions.
Activity 2 Resource A
    1 Reading to Be Informed
Demonstrate ability to apply needed strategies to effectively construct, extend and examine meaning.
    2 Do not Score.
    3 Reading to Be Informed
Demonstrate ability to apply needed strategies to effectively construct, extend and examine meaning.
    4 Valuing Self & Others
Analyze the impact of social institutions and the media on the behavior of individuals and groups.
Activity 2 Resource B
    1 Reading to Be Informed
Demonstrate ability to apply needed strategies to effectively construct, extend and examine meaning.
    2 Valuing Self & Others
Analyze the impact of social institutions and the media on the behavior of individuals and groups.
    3 Understandings & Attitudes
Provide examples that demonstrate an understanding of and commitment to the rule of law.
Activity 2 Resource C
    1a & b Processes of Science
Make a graph.
    1c & d Processes of Science
Analyze a graph.
    2 Processes of Science
Analyze a graph.
    3 Processes of Science
Analyze data.
Activity 2 Resource D
    1a Skills & Processes
Obtain, interpret, organize, and use print and non-print sources of information such as pictures, graphics, maps, globes, and artifacts.
    1b Processes of Science
Analyze data.
Skills & Processes
Obtain, interpret, organize, and use print and non-print sources of information such as pictures, graphics, maps, globes, and artifacts.
    2 Geography
Predict the effects of living in a given geographic setting on people's lives.
    3 Geography
Locate places and natural features by interpreting and constructing maps using directions, legends, grid systems, boundary lines, and scales.
    4 Geography
Examine different ways of defining a region.
Activity 2 Resource E
    1 Skills & Processes
Obtain, interpret, organize, and use print and non-print sources of information such as pictures, graphics, maps, globes, and artifacts.
    2 & 3 Geography
Predict the effects of living in a given geographic setting on people's lives.
    4 Processes of Science
Analyze data.
Activity 3A Applications of Science
Describe an environmental problem.
Geography
Predict the effects of living in a given geographic setting on people's lives.
Activity 3B Applications of Science
Describe an environmental problem.
Geography
Predict the effects of living in a given geographic setting on people's lives.
Activity 3C Processes of Science
Analyze data.
Geography
Predict the effects of living in a given geographic setting on people's lives.
Activity 4A Understandings & Attitudes
Analyze situations in Maryland and U. S. history in which individuals demonstrate respect and support for the rights and dignity of all peoples.
Activity 4B Applications of Science
Use your knowledge of science to make a decision about what you can do.
Activity 4C Geography
Predict the effects of living in a given geographic setting on people's lives.
Activity 5A Geography
Demonstrate a sense of personal responsibility for environmental decisions made at the state and national levels.
Activity 5B Applications of Science
Use your knowledge of science to make a decision about what you can do.
Geography
Demonstrate a sense of personal responsibility for environmental decisions made at the state and national levels.
Activity 5C Understandings & Attitudes
Analyze situations in Maryland and U. S. history in which individuals demonstrate respect and support for the rights and dignity of all peoples.
Geography
Demonstrate a sense of personal responsibility for environmental decisions made at the state and national levels.
Activity 5D Geography
Demonstrate a sense of personal responsibility for environmental decisions made at the state and national levels.

 Teacher Directions Student Groups.

In this task students are organized into “expert groups.” Each group of students receives only one component of five different air quality informational resources (a press release, fact sheet, map, data, or chart). In Activity 2, group studies its set of materials and answers questions particular to this material, and each student thus becomes an “expert.” Students then “jigsaw” into new groups for Actrivity 3. Each of the new groups has one representative from each of the original groups to serve as an expert on the resource material which that student studied.

There are five sets of resource materials, A through E, and related questions. Plan a way to divide your class into five groups. Each member of a group should receive a copy of the resource material assigned to their group. Write a code on each student's resource material to facilitate “jigsaw” regrouping that occurs later in the task. Write A1, A2, A3, A4, and A5 for the five students in Group A. Similarly, code groups B through E. When students “jigsaw” all the 1's will form a new group, all the 2's form a group, etc. Adjust the pattern to fit your class size and the group size you prefer.

Introduction.

Before passing out the Student Booklet, ask your students to take a deep breath and hold it. Tell them to keep on holding their breath while they listen to you. Read or paraphrase the following:

We all know breathing is vital, yet we often take it for granted. Maybe we could try to estimate or count the number of times a day that we take a breath. How many? Hundreds or thousands per day? Don't stop holding your breath yet! I just have a few more minutes to talk! Oh. . . OK, you can breath again. It feels good to breathe again doesn't it? Now think about the air we were breathing. What kinds of gases are in the air that we might breathe? Most of the air we breathe is healthy for us, but sometimes. . .

Activity 1.

Group students into pairs. Distribute Student Booklets. Have students follow along as you read the directions to Activity 1. Allow three minutes for students to write their own questions. Have pairs share their questions with the class. As they share, write the questions on the board. Make sure the list includes questions which refer to stating the problem, its causes and effects, and possible solutions. The list could include the following kinds of questions. If these are not included, add them.

How does an air quality alert affect you?
Does an air quality alert affect different people differently?
What are the causes and effects of this problem in Maryland?
What regions of the state are affected?
Is the problem in Maryland different at different times of the day or year?
Is the problem getting better or worse?
How many “code red alerts” were there last year?
What should you do during an alert?
What are we doing to stop this problem?
What would make the problem in Maryland worse?

Activity 2.

Divide the class into five groups, A through E. See Student Groups information above. Have students follow along as you read the introduction to Activity 2. Distribute appropriate resource materials and related questions to each individual in a group. Remind students to use the dictionary, atlas, or encyclopedia if needed to help them understand the resource materials.

Activity 3.

Regroup students into their new “jigsaw” groups. Point out the code you wrote on the resource materials. Each new group should have a representative from each of the original expert groups. See Student Groups information above.

Have each group select a spokesperson to represent the ideas of their group during a class discussion. Remind them that each student has something to contribute to the discussion and that each student should be able to answer the questions. Allow time for group discussion, then lead a class discussion of the group answers to the three questions listed below and in the Student Booklet. Be sure to ask students to support their answers with data from the resource materials.

  1. Describe the air quality problem in Maryland
  2. What are the causes and effects of the air quality problem in Maryland?
  3. Is the air quality problem in Maryland getting better or worse?

Activity 4.

A series of questions is listed in the Student Booklet. You may choose to discuss these questions as a class, have students select one or more to answer individually or as a group, or have students complete all questions for homework. Allow time for students to share their responses in small groups or as a class.

Activity 5.

Have students complete this activity independently.

 
Materials Required
A copy of one of the resource materials and related questions for each student
An overhead transparency of each page of resource material (optional)
 
 
Estimated Time

These activities should be completed over several days.
  Activity 1:   5 minutes
Activity 2: 30 minutes
Activity 3: 30 minutes
Activity 4: 20 minutes
Activity 5: 30 minutes

 
 
Student Booklet 
(78k) Acrobat
 
 
Assessment Information Rationale.

You may want to focus on particular activities to evaluate student progress on a certain indicator and outcome. For the purposes of this exemplar task, sample scoring tools are provided for Activities 1, 2C-1a, 2C-2, 2D-1a and 1b, and 2D-2.

Activity 1. Think about where you live and the quality of the air you breathe. Work with a partner to write four questions about air quality that you would ask of a scientist from Maryland Department of Environment. For instance, how many alerts are issued each year?

  This activity addresses Science Outcome, Habits of Mind. The response is scored on a 0-2 scoring tool.
Scoring Tool: The response demonstrates the ability to develop questions to clarify a scientific issue.
  2: In the response four questions are written about air quality and all address what one would reasonably ask an air quality scientist.
1: Two or three questions are written about air quality and address what one would reasonably ask an air quality scientist.
0: All other responses.
Sample responses could include:
  How bad is the air in Maryland?
Is air quality bad all the time, all over the state?
What are the effects of bad air on people?
Are there many different kinds of air pollution?
How do you measure air pollution?
Is air quality getting better or worse in Maryland?
What can we do to make our air good?

Activity 2, Resource C-1a. Look at the chart, Levels of Ozone During July 1995, that your teacher has given you. Data at the bottom of the chart show the maximum ozone level recorded for each two hour period, and the average level for each time period. Make a line graph that shows how the average ozone level changes during the course of the day. Be sure to include all necessary graph elements.

  This activity addresses Science Outcome, Processes of Science. The response is scored on a 0-3 scoring tool.
Scoring Tool: The response demonstrates the ability to display data on a line graph.
  3: Data are accurate and complete and the graph includes all three elements from the answer cue.
2: Data are accurate and complete, but the graph includes only two of the three elements.
1: Data are generally accurate (80%-85%) and the graph includes two of the three elements, or data are accurate and complete, but the graph includes only one of the three elements.
0: All other responses.
Answer Cue for a line graph:
  title
both axes are labeled
appropriate intervals indicated on both axes

Activity 2, Resource C-2. What time of day should you be most concerned about ozone levels? Support your answer with data from the chart.

  This activity addresses Science Outcomes, Processes of Science, and Habits of Mind. The response is scored on a 0-2 scoring tool.
Scoring Tool: This response demonstrates the ability to analyze graphs and support an answer with evidence.
  2: Answer is appropriate and supported with evidence.
1: Answer is appropriate but not supported.
0: All other responses.
Sample Response:
2 The afternoon is the time to be most concerned about ozone. The ozone levels are highest between noon and 7:00 pm. All readings of over 100 are between noon and 7:00 pm. The line graphs show that ozone levels climb during the day, are highest in the afternoon, and then start to fall after 6:00 pm.
1 The afternoon is the time of day to be most concerned about air pollution.

Activity 2, Resource D. Score 1a and 1b together.

1a. Which region of the state had the most violations? Support your answer with information from the chart.
1b. Which region had the fewest violations? Support your answer with information from the chart.

  This activity addresses Social Studies Outcome, Skills and Processes. The response is scored on a 0 - 2 scoring tool.
Scoring Tool: This response demonstrates the student's ability to obtain, interpret, organize and use print and non-print sources of information such as pictures, graphics, maps, globes and artifacts.
  2: The correct part of the state is identified in both a and b and the answer is supported with data from the chart.
1: The correct part of the state is identified in both a and b with no supporting data from the chart for the answer given.
0: All other responses.

Activity 2, Resource D-2. Think about the many differences there are between the two regions you just identified. Explain how those differences affect the number of ozone violations each year.

  This activity addresses Social Studies Outcome, Geography. The response is scored on a 0 - 2 scoring tool.
Scoring Tool: The response demonstrates the student's ability to predict the effects of living in a geographic setting on people's lives.
  2: More than one regional difference related to ozone is identified, and a reasonable explanation is provided for each.
1: Only one appropriate regional difference related to ozone is identified, and a reasonable explanation is provided.
0: All other responses.
Sample Answer:
  Area 1 has few violations because it is cooler than other regions, has fewer people driving cars, and few industries. Region 3 has many violations because there are many people living there, there are many cars and buses, and many industries.