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Database Provider

Author

Our Changing Climate

Grades

8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th

Subjects

Science, Social Studies

Regional Focus

North America, United States, Europe

Format

YouTube Video

Why Lawns Must Die

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Synopsis
  • This video provides historical context about lawns, the many ways that lawn maintenance can be damaging to our planet, and the ways that lawns are now regulated. 
  • Topics covered in the video include colonialism, conformity, classism, insecticides, herbicides, fertilizers, gas-powered lawn mowers, non-native grasses, monocultures, and water waste. 
Teaching Tips

Positives

  • This video brings up valuable content that is typically overlooked, especially given that there are more acres of grass than corn grown in the United States.
  • Students may also be surprised to learn how much water, fertilizer, and pesticides are sprayed onto lawns each year.

Additional Prerequisites

  • The video content ends at 9 minutes, 26 seconds. The last segment is an advertisement.
  • You may have to sit through commercials to view the video.

Differentiation

  • Science classes could use this video as a hook to discuss the nitrogen cycle, water ecosystems, eutrophication, biodiversity loss, and land use changes.
  • Social studies and civics classes could discuss new regulations that could prevent HOAs and cities from mandating lawns and lawn maintenance.
  • Economics classes could discuss the financial impacts of regulations that require residents to maintain lawns with chemicals, equipment, and water.
Scientist Notes
This resource highlights the need to reduce lawn ownership and convert lawn spaces to agricultural purposes to drive food security. This is recommended for teaching.
Standards
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Civics
      • D2.Civ.12.6-8 Assess specific rules and laws (both actual and proposed) as means of addressing public problems.
      • D2.Civ.12.9-12 Analyze how people use and challenge local, state, national, and international laws to address a variety of public issues.
    • Dimension 2: History
      • D2.His.1.9-12 Evaluate how historical events and developments were shaped by unique circumstances of time and place as well as broader historical contexts.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Speaking & Listening (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.9-10.3 Evaluate a speaker's point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric, identifying any fallacious reasoning or exaggerated or distorted evidence.
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