Lessons

The World's Most Toxic Town

price_zambia_081.jpg

Subsistence mining at Kabwe's Black Mountain.

Lead levels in Kabwe are as much as 100 times recommended safety levels. Image by Larry C Price. Zambia, 2017.

Extension Activities

  1. Spend an hour exploring http://www.pureearth.org/.  What most resonated with you? Why?
  2. Use an Internet search engine to find the 1920’s ad “the Dutch boy's hobby a paint book for boys and girls” as a starting point to analyze the changes and continuities of Americans relationship with lead over the last 100 years.  Students could create a timeline articulating these changes and continuities or create a T-chart.
  3. Research lead poisoning rates around the world.  Create a map that visually illustrates these findings.
  4. Research lead poisoning in your city/town.  Compare and contrast the causes, effects and responses to lead poisoning in Kabwe, Zambia with the causes, effects and responses to lead poisoning in your city/town.
  5. Encourage students to test their home’s water for lead.  Some municipalities offer this service free of charge.  For example, in Chicago, residents call 311to request a free water quality test kit.  More information can be found at http://www.chicagowaterquality.org/
  6. Using reputable sources like the CDC and Mayo Clinic, research lead poisoning prevention.  Using social media, teach others about your findings.
Educator Notes: 

COMMON CORE STANDARDS

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.9-10.1

Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources, attending to such features as the date and origin of the information.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.9-10.2

Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of how key events or ideas develop over the course of the text.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.9-10.3

Analyze in detail a series of events described in a text; determine whether earlier events caused later ones or simply preceded them.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.9-10.4

Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary describing political, social, or economic aspects of history/social studies.

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.9-10.5

Analyze how a text uses structure to emphasize key points or advance an explanation or analysis.

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OBJECTIVES

  • Students will analyze textual and visual elements of the article to assess the value of language and imagery in storytelling.
  • Students will critically consider the causes of, effects of and responses to lead poisoning.
  • Students will assess the various stakeholders responsibilities.

 

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