Unit 5: Advocating for Change on the School Grounds

In this unit, students will finalize and present their plan for ecological, bioculturally diverse school grounds to decisionmakers and the public.

Please read the introduction to this curriculum before beginning any lessons.

Grade Level:

  • 6 - 12 grade or equivalent

Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) Performance Expectations:

Middle and high school:

  • Asking questions and defining problems

  • Constructing explanations and designing solutions

  • Engaging in argument from evidence

  • Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information

5E Unit Element:

  • Elaborate

Ecological Society of America 4DEE Framework:

  • Human-Environment Interactions

  • Cross-Cutting Themes

Enduring Understandings (the Big Ideas)

Students will understand that:

  • In order for change in society to happen, advocates must make their views known.

  • Advocates use persuasion to encourage people to join their causes and implement their ideas.

  • Creating compelling presentations and practicing them before different audiences can help ensure favorable reception of our ideas.

  • The qualities and actions of a leader can be exhibited by everyone, not just those holding leadership positions.

Essential Questions

  • What are some attributes of successful advocates that can be applied to our own lives?

  • What are the elements of compelling presentations, and what tools can be used to design them?

  • What examples exist in our community of ordinary people taking on leadership roles to advocate for a cause?


  • Contributions to class discussion

  • Quality of teamwork

  • Quality of presentations according to a rating scale and their presentation rubrics

  • Descriptions of observations in student journals

  • Journal entries describing key takeaways from this lesson

  • Preparation of slide(s) for presentation