This article examines environmental pollution in the South Park community near Seattle, Washington and how members of this community are fighting for environmental justice.
Students will learn that this community has a relatively high percentage of Hispanic people, deals with far more air, water, and noise pollution than other sections of Seattle, and that community members have created the Duwamish River Community Coalition (DRCC) in order to fight for environmental justice.
This article highlights how communities can work to better their local environment.
The article contains a map of the South Park neighborhood.
Pre-read the article to identify any vocabulary to review with students ahead of time.
Students should have a basic understanding of environmental justice and how pollution affects human health.
This article could enhance a lesson on how discriminatory housing and zoning policies of the past are currently impacting communities.
This article could supplement a lesson on how the environment of a low-income community may impact the personal health of its residents.
This article could augment a lesson on the American government's effectiveness at integrating neighborhoods.
For ELLs, it may be useful to define some words before these students dive into the reading.
To extend this reading, have students research the locations of factories, power plants, and industrial areas in their city and discuss their thoughts about the locations and effects on surrounding neighborhoods. Are there any trends?
This website discusses the challenges that low-income and racial minority neighborhoods face when it comes to air, water, and soil pollution levels. This article looks specifically at the South Park community outside of Seattle and what the youth in that community are doing in order to take as stand against environmental injustice. This article would be a great addition to a classroom discussing environmental justice, climate change, and the effect students can have on their communities.
Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
HS-ESS3-4 Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.
College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
Dimension 2: Civics
D2.Civ.13.9-12 Evaluate public policies in terms of intended and unintended outcomes, and related consequences.
Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.11-12.4 Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grades 11-12 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.
Reading: Informational Text (K-12)
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.11-12.2 Determine two or more central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the course of the text, including how they interact and build on one another to provide a complex analysis; provide an objective summary of the text.
National Health Education Standards
Standard 1: Students will comprehend concepts related to health promotion and disease prevention to enhance health.
1.12.3 Analyze how environment and personal health are interrelated.