Lesson Plan: Population and Growth and Healthy Oceans

Students will create a video presentation on how North Carolina’s growing population affects ocean health and their proposals for sustainable solutions to mitigate the impact. Their videos are intended to be presented to a public audience.

The project was inspired by the World of 7 Billion student video contest. In that contest, middle and high schoolers are given the platform to think critically about global challenges related to population and share what they think we should do to fix it.

Students will be able to:

  • Speak to an audience with eye contact
  • Pace themselves when speaking
  • Improve their ability to present a clear and well-organized message
  • Create and edit a video message
Victoria Mahoney and Jennifer WalskiEnglish Language Arts6th15 days
1 hour class periods



  • W6.5 – Conduct short research projects to answer a question, drawing on several sources and refocusing the investigation when appropriate.
  • W6.6 – Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources; assess the credibility of each source; and quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism and providing basic bibliographic information for sources.
  • W6.1 – Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.
  • SL6.4 – Present claims and findings, sequencing ideas logically and using pertinent descriptions, facts, and details to accentuate main ideas or themes; adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks.
  • W6.4 – Use digital tools and resources to produce and publish writing as well as to interact and collaborate with others; demonstrate sufficient word processing skills.

Essential Question

How can we as 6th grade students educate stakeholders in North Carolina’s oceanography on sustainable solutions that mitigate the negative environmental impact of population growth?

Entry Event

Public Product

Produce a 5-minute argumentative speech presenting the problem and sustainable solutions, delivered to local stakeholders.

Resources and Materials

  • Coordinate with your school’s Media Specialists to helps source texts on NC population growth and impact, maintaining healthy oceans, script-writing resources/guides
  • Public speaking experts: NC Environmental Education outreach program and NC Museum of Natural Sciences outreach program
  • Video recording/editing technology 

Formative Assessment 1

Research Notes

  • Information gathered from multiple sources
  • Sustained focus on chosen topic
  • Ability to gather relevant information
  • Note-taking without plagiarism

Formative Assessment 2

Script Rough Draft

  • Ability to write a clear claim
  • Ability to use relevant supporting evidence
  • Skillful selection of evidence
  • Speech is appropriate to task and audience

Formative Assessment 3

Technology Tool Selection

  • Skillfully use technology to produce and publish writing

Summative Assessment

Final Video

  • Clearly answers guiding question
  • Speech is focused
  • Speech compiles information from a variety of credible sources
  • Evidence is clear, relevant, and directly supports claims
  • Evidence has been synthesized rather than plagiarized
  • Speech is logically organized
  • Speech is argumentative in tone and purpose
  • Tone is appropriate for the intended audience
  • Digital tools are appropriate for audience and topic
  • Demonstrates proficiency using selected digital tools

Project Calendar

Day 1
Day 2
  • Model how to evaluate sources through Think Aloud process
  • Students have to find one source independently.
Day 3
  • Choose a topic
  • Research and compile information 
  • Cite evidence 
  • Take notes and paraphrase the information
Day 4
  • Research and compile information 
  • Evaluate sources
  • Cite evidence
  • Take notes and paraphrase the information
Day 5
  • Organize the notes
  • Review the rubric.
Day 6
  • Lesson on how to write a script
  • Start writing a script
  • Review the driving question and identify stakeholders
Day 7
  • Write a script
Day 8
  • Peer review and revise script
Day 9
  • Schedule a guest speaker to discuss how to use an effective voice in presentations
Day 10
  • Record and time the script. The recording should be under 3 minutes.
  • Revise the script and record it again.
Day 11
  • Media center visit. The media specialists will introduce tools to create videos. 
  • Review the copyright rules for images and sounds.
Day 12
  • Production time to create the video
Day 13
  • Production time to finalize the video
Day 14
  • Teacher reviews the video and provides feedback
Day 15
  • Edit the video based on feedback 
  • Present the video to class

Think Aloud Process

 Think Aloud Process

The teacher should model the process on how to evaluate a website. The teacher should ask the following questions during the evaluation:

  • What is the purpose of the site?
  • Who created the information at this site? What is the person’s level of expertise?
  • When was the information at this site updated?
  • Does the website present only one side of the issue, or are multiple perspectives provided?
  • Is there anyone who might be offended or hurt by the information at this site?
  • How can I connect these ideas on the site to my own research questions?

World of 7 Billion Speech Rubric

View the World of 7 Billion Speech Rubric here.