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9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Social Studies, Geography, Mathematics, Health

Resource Types

  • Lesson Plans, 45 minutes
  • Interactive Media
  • Worksheets
  • Videos, 2 minutes, 49 seconds, CC, Subtitles
  • Charts, Graphs, and Tables

Regional Focus

North America, United States, USA - Midwest, Illinois


Google Docs, PDF, YouTube Video

Plotting Trends – Environmental Justice in Chicago

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  • This is an excellent lesson on environmental justice where students will use an interactive map, collect data, graph a scatter plot, and analyze the data.
  • The resource includes a video, student worksheet, teacher guide, and links to additional preparation articles and information. 
Teaching Tips


  • Students are conducting real-world statistical modeling on environmental pollution and the potential burden on nearby populations.

Additional prerequisites

  • Students should know how to graph a trend line on paper. Students could also create their graphs digitally using Google Sheets.
  • The lesson is intended to follow "Introduction to Climate Justice" by ACE.
  • This lesson may take longer than 45 minutes, as the lesson plan only estimates ten minutes to gather data from thirty data points.
  • You must click on the title of the video in the teacher guide, not the image of the video, to access the correct video.  The link on the image goes to the wrong video.
  • Teachers must sign up for a free account to access the materials.


  • Students could have a homework assignment before the lesson to brainstorm possible sources of pollution and ways pollution impacts a community, as well as the characteristics of a community or group of people that makes them more vulnerable to the effects of pollution.
  • The teacher could ask students to write a paragraph about how Chicago could reverse the trends shown in their graphs.
  • An interesting follow-up project could involve students gathering data on information in their community and doing the same kind of analysis.
Scientist Notes

This resource will increase students' proficiency in advocating for environmental justice, clean air, water, and soil. There is no contradiction in the concepts used and this resource is recommended for teaching.

  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • 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.
      • HS-ESS3-3 Create a computational simulation to illustrate the relationships among management of natural resources, the sustainability of human populations, and biodiversity.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Reading: Science & Technical Subjects (6-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.11-12.1 Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts, attending to important distinctions the author makes and to any gaps or inconsistencies in the account.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.11-12.7 Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., quantitative data, video, multimedia) in order to address a question or solve a problem.
  • Common Core Math Standards (CCSS.MATH)
    • Statistics & Probability: Interpreting Categorical & Quantitative Data (9-12)
      • CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.HSS.ID.B.6 Represent data on two quantitative variables on a scatter plot, and describe how the variables are related.
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