Lead Affects Our Lives and Our Learning

Author: Charlette Walker

School/Organization:

Tilden Middle School

Year: 2019

Seminar: Lead & Health

Grade Level: 5-8

Keywords: activism, Health, lead, research based, writing assignments

School Subject(s): English, Science, Environmental Science, Health

Children are natural activists when it comes to trying to get what they want. When they are passionate about a cause, they are actually quite persuasive. When it comes to motivating them in an academic setting, they are more prone to take a writing assignment seriously when the assignment is meaningful and relevant. Therefore, the object of this curriculum unit is to put tools in the hands of our children that will allow them to conduct their own research on the causes and effects of lead exposure, find creative ways to communicate the information that they acquire, and address their concerns to the relevant entities that can bring about change. The goal is to empower our youth to conduct their own research and risk assessments to determine the ways they may have been exposed to lead. They will write argumentative/persuasive letters and essays, and mail or deliver them to those who have the power to change the laws, enforce the current laws, make new laws, and address the problem in whatever way they can. They will create informational brochures, pamphlets, and multimedia presentations to share with their families, friends, and neighbors.

This unit will go far beyond asking students to complete assignments simply to earn a grade. They will be encouraged to perform activities that will be life-altering for themselves, for those they care about, for children like themselves, and for the children of the future. They will learn skills that will not only serve them in their current class, but in future classes, and in life overall.

In classrooms that are fully technology-based, all articles, graphics, graphic organizers, assignments, activities, etc. can be uploaded to Google classroom so that they can be accessed outside of the classroom as well. Also, the performance objectives, i.e. the photo journal, slides presentation, essays, etc. can be created in the Google suite.

Download Unit: Walker-C.-19.05.07-abs-incl.pdf

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Full Unit Text
Content Objectives

Rationale

 

Students attending public school in the city of Philadelphia are faced with many challenges and barriers to their success. Some of these include the effects of poverty, lack of adequate funding for their schools, the effects of violence, homelessness, single parent homes, and being in the foster care system. Add to this, exposure to drugs, alcohol and environmental hazards, such as lead, mold, and asbestos (at home, at daycare, at school etc.), and you have the recipe for an imminent storm. Being exposed to any one of these factors is enough to be detrimental to the success of school-aged children, but when more than one of these risk factors is present, the negative effects are compounded. While most, if not all of these obstacles are not of their own making, our children must successfully navigate them if there is to be any hope of reaching their full potential in school and in life.

Over the past 20 years as a middle school educator in the city of Philadelphia, I have noticed an alarming increase in the number of students receiving special education services and/or needing special education services. There is a growing number of students who have not been identified or diagnosed with any type of disability, and yet their cognitive and behavioral deficits are becoming increasingly disturbing to this educator. I have repeatedly asked myself, “What is going on here? Is there something in the water or in the free lunches? What have all these children been exposed to that is causing such widespread bizarre behaviors and cognitive deficits?”

While teaching at a K-8 school in the Logan section of Philadelphia, I asked this question of an educator who had been at the school for more than 25 years, and what he told me was shocking. He informed me that Logan had a long history of sinking houses and lead toxins in the soil and water, which was why there were so many blocks of land with no properties on them and why there were so many abandoned houses. I have since learned that the entire Wingohocking Valley, “had been filled in and remade into flat, fake, developable land” decades ago, and that “the 800 block of Roosevelt Boulevard had been built on top of 30-48 feet of unstable coal ash” (Discoveries from the City Archives, “Atop the Shifting Toxic Dump Now Known as The Logan Triangle,” by Ken Finkel, 2017). I now know that this nearly 100-year-old school was built right in the middle of this toxic wasteland.

Although I no longer teach at this particular school, I have found that nearly every school I have taught at in Philadelphia has similar issues of environmental hazards or toxins, both in the schools and in the communities that are clearly negatively impacting our children (and cannot be good for our teachers and staff either!). There has been much in the news lately about the toxicity of Philadelphia public schools. Lead in the paint and drinking water, asbestos, mold, and other hazards are far too commonplace in our old urban school buildings, and yet, many of our children have little choice, and less say in where they live and where they go to school. They are expected to attend their neighborhood schools, even if they are in disrepair or cited for high levels of environmental toxins. And teachers are expected to educate them, even if they are suffering from irreversible brain damage leading to cognitive deficits and behavioral challenges that they have little control over, sometimes exacerbated by the very schools they are expected to attend.

As my awareness grew, I began to think about the effects of lead poisoning on not just people in general, but on children in particular. I was aware that lead poisoning was tested for and diagnosed in young children, but I began to wonder what lead-poisoned children looked like (or rather, acted like) as teenagers, since I am a middle school teacher. What studies have been done that describe the cognitive, emotional, social, and behavioral challenges faced by children that have been exposed to lead poisoning in their early years? Furthermore, what are the effects of on-going exposure to lead in the paint and dust, in the soil, in the air, and in drinking water, not only in our homes, but also in our schools? How are we, as educators to respond to this epidemic?

Several years earlier, while working as a clinical coordinator in a residential facility for teenage mothers and their babies in Trenton, NJ, I had asked myself similar questions. First, after learning the histories of these young ladies, and in an effort to try to understand the cognitive deficits and irrational behaviors I was witnessing, I had begun to wonder what babies born addicted to crack (and other illegal substances) looked like as teenagers, and if we were not, as a nation, working with the first generation of crack babies as teenagers. Secondly, and more relevant to this curriculum unit, I had begun to question why every teenage mother and her baby in this program was being treated for asthma, regardless of whether they were diagnosed with asthma prior to coming to this residential facility. Additionally, I wondered why even I, was having far more asthmatic symptoms and episodes than I had ever experienced. Even my doctor was asking questions about the age of the building, the ventilation system, and other possible environmental hazards that were contributing to the increase in my symptoms. It was clear that there was something in the building that was making people sick. As further proof of this, immediately after I left this job, my health dramatically improved, and shortly after this, I learned that the building where I previously worked was condemned, and the program was closed down.

So, in my journey to help children, no matter what capacity I have worked in, I have found myself asking the same questions. Why are we seeing behaviors in the schools, classrooms, and society today that are far more extreme than the ones we remember growing up? Why are there more students exhibiting these behaviors than ever before? Why have many of them never been diagnosed with anything that can lead to an explanation for what we are experiencing? Are there environmental issues that are different? I have felt for a long time that educators need to have a better sense of what they are dealing with so they can better know how to deal with it.

This quest has led me to enroll in the Teacher’s Institute of Philadelphia (TIP) seminar, “Lead and Health” led by Professor Marilyn Howarth. The topic is deeply troubling to me and I wanted to find some answers to my questions. The seminar addressed the history and challenges of lead, the sources of lead and routes of lead exposure, the health effects of lead exposure, how to assess risk of lead exposure, environmental justice, policy and legislative initiatives, and how to enhance health literacy to enhance personal empowerment, among so many other topics. The wealth of information gleaned from this course has awakened my dedication to sharing this knowledge with those who are in position to empower others, namely educators.

According to Sir Francis Bacon, “Knowledge is Power.” If this statement is true, then much light needs to be shed on the issue of effects of lead on health in order for something to be done to bring about a positive change for the future. The purpose of this unit is both to educate students and educators on the many ways that people can be exposed to lead, the effects lead has on learning, and to empower them to protect themselves and to work towards lasting changes for the foreseeable future. Because of the far-reaching scope of this topic, I believe this curriculum will be relevant for not only the middle school or high school ELA/English classroom, but also for science, technology, history, social studies, civics/government, and health classes, as well.

This curriculum is designed to be taught in a middle school English Language Arts (ELA) classroom at the Tilden Middle School in Southwest Philadelphia. Tilden is a Title 1 school where 100% of the approximately 400 students receive free breakfast and lunch. The student population is incredibly diverse with more than 35 nations represented and nearly as many languages spoken.  Approximately 16% of our students are English Language Learners (ELL) and 20% of our students receive special education services. Although 5th and 6th graders will be targeted with this unit, the material will be appropriate for 7th and 8th graders as well as high school students.

Background

When people lack basic information, they are unable to make informed decisions about how to govern their own lives and protect the lives of their loved ones. The problem of lead poisoning in the children of this country is not a new problem, but there are still many people who are unaware of the many ways one can be exposed to toxic levels of lead or lead at any level. Many are also unaware of the devastating and irreversible damage caused by exposure to lead. Fewer still have any idea of what they themselves can do to limit their exposure to lead, both now and in the future, and what can be done to advocate for change.

Educators and students using this curriculum will gain insight into four major areas concerning lead exposure:

 

  1. Sources of lead exposure—How do children come in contact with lead?
  2. Effects of lead exposure on children—Health and behavioral deficits caused by lead exposure
  3. Ways to reduce or limit lead exposure—What can families do?
  4. What can be done to advocate for change? How to put pressure on offenders to clean up their act

Additionally, this unit will have a heavy emphasis on writing with a purpose. The students will move beyond completing assignments simply to earn a grade. Letters and argumentative (another name for “persuasive” according to ELA standards) essays will be written and mailed to their respective designees. Brochures, flyers, and risk assessments will be created and disseminated throughout the community and over the Internet. The information learned and discovered for themselves will be shared with a wider audience in order for students to begin to take responsibility for what they have learned and begin to advocate for change that will impact themselves and the generations to come.

This unit will also have a strong technology foundation since my current classroom is also a computer lab and my current assignment is to prepare my students to be digitally literate. So, in the course of addressing ELA standards, students will also meet ISTE standards, and be empowered to become social and environmental activists as well.

 

Part 1: Sources of Lead Exposure: How Do Children Come in Contact with Lead?

 

Lead in Paint | CPSC.gov

 

 

 

Lead in Paint

 

As you may already know, the most common way that children are exposed to lead in their homes is through paint chips and lead dust originating from lead-based paint used in homes built before 1978. Lead in interior household paint was not banned in the United States until 1978, even though many other countries had banned its use many years earlier. The median age of homes built in Philadelphia is 93 years old, which means that quite a lot of homes and apartment buildings have been constructed with lead-based paint. (see Table 1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table 1

 

https://www.epa.gov/lead/protect-your-family-exposures-lead

 

Because lead tastes sweet, children have been licking, chewing, and ingesting lead-based paint for years many years, oftentimes without any immediate or visible signs of having done so. Young children crawling around on the floor and putting things in their mouths that have come in contact with lead dust are being exposed as well. Homes that are being remodeled by contractors that are not lead-certified can further increase the lead exposure by causing the lead dust to become airborne. Then everyone in the household can breathe in lead dust, but this is most harmful to children because their brains are still developing.  According to the CDC’s Childhood Lead Prevention Program, “Today at least 4 million households have children living in them that are being exposed to high levels of lead. There are approximately half a million U.S. children ages 1-5 with blood lead levels above 5 micrograms per deciliter (µg/dL), the reference level at which CDC recommends public health actions be initiated.”

 

 

Lead in Household Products

 

While lead-based paint is the most common way that children can be exposed to lead in the home, it is by no means the only way. There are many common household items that may be found in the home that also may contain lead, and most, if not all of these products fail to inform the consumer that any amount of lead is present (see Table 2). Some of these items include imported candy, baby food, antique and imported toys, and keys. It is alarming to begin to consider ways that children and families can be poisoned without their knowledge.

 

 

Lead in Soil

 

Lead can also be found in soil. So, how does lead get into the soil? While lead does occur naturally in soil, high levels of lead can be attributed to leaded gas emissions, smelters (Philadelphia has more smelters than any other city. Most located in the Kensington, Fishtown, and Port Richmond sections of the city), erosion of lead paint, and industrial waste and emissions. Lead is a heavy metal that does not biodegrade, or disappear over time, and will remain in the soil for a very long time. When children play in areas where there are high concentrations of lead in the soil, lead may be ingested, children may pick up or play with items that have been contaminated by lead, and they may track lead into their homes on their shoes or bare feet.

 

Lead in Water

 

Lead occurs in water most often when water has not been treated properly to prevent the lead in lead pipes and lead solder from leaching into the water, which is what happened in Flint, Michigan. (A Case Study of Environmental Injustice: The Failure in Flint). This is not the case in Philadelphia, which has some of the best water in the country, but because of the older housing and infrastructure, there are approximately 100,000 lead service lines still in use. The water department is not sure where all of these service lines are. If residents are not aware that they have lead service lines, and that they should run their water for several minutes, as a rule, but especially if the water has not been used in a while, then they could be exposing their children to lead by way of the lead service lines. This is one of the reasons that all public schools in Philadelphia are mandated to have filtered hydration stations on each floor. These hydration stations are designed to ensure that Philadelphia’s children are not being exposed to lead in their drinking water.

 

Other Routes of Exposure

 

Since there is no safe level of lead for human exposure, then all levels of lead are harmful, especially to children. Additionally, parents may work in industries that expose them to lead and may be unwittingly bring home lead dust on their clothing (see Table 3). If the parents are not adequately instructed about the hazards of their jobs, and precautionary measures are not taken to protect themselves and their families, children can be further exposed to additional sources of lead originating from outside their homes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table 2: Products Found in and Around the House that May Contain Lead

 

Cosmetics (lipstick, eyeliner) Soil
Baby Food (Root vegetables, Fruit Juices, Arrowroot Cookies, Teething Biscuits) Venison and wild game
Keys Household Dust
Imported Vinyl Blinds Garden hoses
Imported Candy (Mexico, containing tamarind, chili) Wheel weights
Imported Canned Food Food/liquid stored in lead crystal, lead-glazed pottery or porcelain
Lead glazes in Pottery, Ceramics, China Computers, circuit boards
Candles (metallic wick, coating on jar) Antique toys
Food packaging/wrappers Foil and colored gift wrap and ribbons
Imported Toys (Fidget Spinners, Action Figures) Decorations on glass drinking mugs
Imported Spices Holiday light strings
Toothpaste tubes (before ?) PVC
Folk Remedies, Traditional Remedies Imported crayons
Hair Dye (Grecian Formula Old painted playground equipment
Jewelry (costume) Artificial turf
Leather (Furniture, Purses, Shoes, Belts) Calcium supplements and antacids
Lead Crystal Bullets
Lead Solder Pewter
Water Pipes, Plumbing Fixtures Paints, Pigments, Artist Supplies
Fishing Sinkers, Lead Weights, Jigs Decorative Figurines
Statues Fasteners and Trim on Clothing
Scuba Weights Stained glass windows and doors
 Batteries (car, household) Sound-proofing studios
Solar Energy, Infrared Technology Cigarettes, Second-hand smoke

 

 

 

Table 3: Complete List of Jobs & Hobbies That May Cause Lead Exposure

Construction
  • Painting or paint removal
  • (sanding, abrasive blasting, scraping, torching, stripping, heat gun applications)
  • Remodeling/renovations
  • Plumbing, glazing, brick laying
  • Lead burning
  • Construction/repair of bridges, water towers, tanks
  • Welding or cutting materials with lead-coated or lead alloys
Metal Working (with lead containing metals)
  • Foundry work, casting, forging
  • Grinding
  • Circuit board manufacturing and recycling
Repair
  • Automotive radiator repair, auto body work
  • Ship repair
  • Welding, cutting, sanding
  • Grinding of lead alloys or lead-coated surfaces
  • Soldering, electronics repair
  • Repair work that disturbs lead paint
Hobby Sources
  • Home remodeling
  • Melting lead for fishing weights, bullets or toys
  • Target shooting
  • Using lead glazes in ceramics
  • Backyard scrap metal recycling, radiator repair
  • Stained glass making
  • Burning painted wood
Manufacturing
  • Lead acid batteries
  • Cable, wire products, solder
  • Firearms, bullets, explosives
  • Rubber or plastics
Other sources
  • Cleanup at firing ranges
  • Using lead-containing paints, inks, pigments, glazes
  • Working at municipal solid waste incinerator

https://www.leadsafemanchester.com/Lead-Source

 

Part 2: Effects of Lead Exposure on Children

 

“Lead poisoning is a serious hazard for children and causes significant biological and neurologic damage linked to cognitive and behavioral impairment, even at low levels of exposure” (Bellinger 2008a, Bellinger 2008b). High blood lead levels (BLLs at or greater than 5 micrograms per deciliter) can cause cognitive and behavioral impairment, resulting in multiple and irreversible health problems, such as learning disabilities, ADHD, mental retardation, growth stunting, hearing loss, insomnia, seizures, coma, and even death. Low blood lead levels (BLLS lower than 5 micrograms per deciliter) are associated with lower IQs, lower graduation rates, lower lifetime earnings, and increased need for special education services and increased propensity toward violent criminal activity. Clearly, the ideal would be for children to have no lead in their blood when tested at the ages of 1 and 2 years of age. Once lead is determined to be present, it is very difficult to remove all of it, and nearly impossible to reverse the damage already caused. According to Herbert Needleman, “There is no effective remedy to remove lead from the body at levels below 30 micrograms/deciliter, rendering treatment of blood levels in this range ineffective. The only meaningful response is primary prevention: removing lead from the environment before it acts on children’s brains.” (Needleman, 2004)

One would expect cognitive damage to occur at high levels of lead exposure. What is particularly disturbing to this researcher is that the damage detected even at low levels of lead exposure is extremely damaging to a child’s brain. Given the many routes of lead exposure that are present in the City of Philadelphia, especially in the inner city neighborhoods due primarily to the age of city housing, it would be safe to assume that most, if not all, of the children born and reared in the city have been exposed to some level of lead poisoning. This exposure scenario is not unique to Philadelphia but rather found in all cities that existed in the early part of the 20th century.

Anne Evens et al (2015) studied the impact of low blood lead levels on the academic performance of 58, 650 third graders in the Chicago Public School system. These children were born between 1994 and 1998. They were tested for blood lead concentration at birth and were third graders between 2003 and 2006. It was determined that even at blood lead concentrations below 5 micrograms per deciliter, early childhood lead exposure has a negative impact on school performance. This was after controlling for other risk factor for low school performance, including gender, race/ethnicity, poverty, maternal education, very low birth weight, and early preterm birth. The children who had higher blood lead levels, even only 5 micrograms higher, scored significantly lower on reading and math standardized tests and had significantly higher failure rates. They also found that for about 1 in 6 children, failure in reading or math could be attributed to low level lead toxicity.

Also, consistent with other studies, Evens found that Blacks had a higher level of exposure, along with those with lower incomes, with lower birth weights, were early preterm, and those whose mothers had less education. These findings were likely due to children living in poorer quality housing and higher lead communities.

 

Sadly, the negative impact of lead exposure continues into adulthood. Adults whose exposure to lead is most likely through their occupations, can have BLLs greater than 40 micrograms per deciliter experience headaches, nausea, anorexia, fatigue, sleep disturbances, and memory problems. “Lead poisoning causes negative health effects later in life, such as neurologic disorders, adult hypertension, heart disease, stroke, kidney malfunction, elevated blood pressure, and osteoporosis” (Korrick et al., 2003, Latorre et al., 2003, Muntner et al., 2005). Most of these are chronic diseases that require long term care.

 

Part 3: Ways to Reduce or Limit Lead Exposure

 

Since it is virtually impossible to avoid all exposure to lead at this time, the goal is to educate families about ways to reduce or limit lead exposure as much as possible. First of all, families living in homes built before 1978 should assume that their home was painted with lead-based paint. One thing that can be done is to have a lead inspection by a licensed lead inspector or request a lead safe certification if living in an apartment. If there is reason to believe that lead is present in the home, or at least suspected, make sure that all children under the age of six are tested at least twice (at around 12 months and again at 24 months) by your pediatrician. All children should be tested anyway, especially if they live in areas that are known to have high levels of lead, like Philadelphia.

There are additional precautionary practices that should be a part of your family’s normal routine to reduce their exposure to lead. Wash children’s hands before they eat and before they go to sleep. Also, wash bottles, pacifiers, and toys often. When cleaning, wash floors and damp wipe window sills (instead of sweeping and dry dusting) to protect kids from dust and peeling paint contaminated with lead—especially in older homes. If paint is chipping or peeling, cover with duct tape or contact paper to prevent further production of lead dust.  Household items you suspect may have lead content can be tested with a test kit from a paint or hardware store, such as “LeadCheck Swab” or “PACE Lead Alert,” although home testing is not guaranteed to be accurate.

A diet rich in calcium, iron and vitamin C can help protect kids and adults from absorbing lead. Make sure your family consumes foods high in calcium, such as milk, yogurt, cheese, and green leafy vegetables, such as spinach. Lean red meats, beans, peanut butter, and cereals are high in iron. Vitamin C can be found in oranges, red and green peppers, and juices.

Ultimately, the more informed a person is about how to prevent or reduce exposure to lead, the better. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have many publications and infographics that can provide information to help educate families and consumers. Knowledge gives us the ability to make more informed decisions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Part 4: What Can Be Done to Advocate for Change?

 

 

Because children are the ones who have the most to lose when it comes to lead poisoning, it can be assumed that children should be most concerned about why it is that the adults who are supposed to be protecting and keeping them safe have not done a better job of preventing their exposure to lead. Children themselves should be better educated about the hazards of lead exposure so that they can inform their families about ways to protect themselves now and begin to become agents for change that will affect their future and that of their future children.

So, what can be done? Children should arm themselves with information—firsthand information from their personal experiences and information they have researched. They can share what they have learned with anyone who will listen. They can contact their legislators and elected officials and share their concerns about what they have learned and express what they want to see changed. They should participate in community meetings and public meetings where this topic is being addressed and communicate their feelings. They can write letters to those contributing to the problem, such as landlords who refuse to ensure that their units are safe for children, or those who perform renovations without taking the appropriate precautions in buildings with lead paint and therefore create a bigger problem.

 

 

Why Should You Teach This Curriculum Unit?

 

Children are natural activists when it comes to trying to get what they want. When they are passionate about a cause, they are actually quite persuasive. When it comes to motivating them in an academic setting, they are more prone to take a writing assignment seriously when the assignment is meaningful and relevant. Therefore, the object of this curriculum unit is to put tools in the hands of our children that will allow them to conduct their own research on the causes and effects of lead exposure, find creative ways to communicate the information that they acquire, and address their concerns to the relevant entities that can bring about change. The goal is to empower our youth to conduct their own research and risk assessments to determine the ways they may have been exposed to lead. They will write argumentative/persuasive letters and essays, and mail or deliver them to those who have the power to change the laws, enforce the current laws, make new laws, and address the problem in whatever way they can. They will create informational brochures, pamphlets, and multimedia presentations to share with their families, friends, and neighbors.

This unit will go far beyond asking students to complete assignments simply to earn a grade. They will be encouraged to perform activities that will be life-altering for themselves, for those they care about, for children like themselves, and for the children of the future. They will learn skills that will not only serve them in their current class, but in future classes, and in life overall.

In classrooms that are fully technology-based, all articles, graphics, graphic organizers, assignments, activities, etc. can be uploaded to Google classroom so that they can be accessed outside of the classroom as well. Also, the performance objectives, i.e. the photo journal, slides presentation, essays, etc. can be created in the Google suite.

Teaching Objectives

SWBAT determine the author’s argument and point of view IOT trace and evaluate specific claims in a text.

SWBAT trace and evaluate specific claims in text IOT distinguish claims that are supported by reasons and evidence from those that are not.

SWBAT compose a piece of writing that provides an argument and explains that argument using facts and/or definitions in an organized way with an introduction and conclusion IOT clearly communicate a written claim or opinion on a topic of interest.

  • Focus:SWBAT state a clear claim in a thesis statement IOT convey a position in an argument
  • Content:SWBAT collect and analyze appropriate support from multiple reliable resources related to a stated claim IOT provide support for a position in a specific argument
  • Organization: SWBATcategorize support and evidence and present them in a carefully considered order IOT present a claim clearly.

SWBAT group related information together within and across categories of information IOT clearly communicate written information.

  • Focus:SWBAT proficiently develop a clear thesis statement around a topic IOT provide information about that topic
  • Content:SWBAT locate, develop, and synthesize multiple facts from multiple sources IOT provide additional information around a chosen thesis statement
  • Organization: SWBATselect and follow an appropriate organizational structure IOT clearly communicate written information.

 

 

 

 

Teaching Strategies

Students will…

  1. Read articles from the Toxic City series to learn about the lead problem in Philadelphia
  2. Conduct research to determine the specific environmental hazards in their local school/community.
  3. Conduct their own lead risk assessments and photograph findings
  4. Determine whether their home has a lead service lines (LSL) and have parent/guardian contact their local water department to find out how to remediate the problem if a LSL is present in the home
  5. Create digital photo journals depicting environmental hazards they themselves have discovered and photographed using Google docs
  6. Write letters to governmental and industry leaders expressing their concern and outrage at environmental injustices
  7. Write an opinion/argumentative essay persuading a public official to take action on the issue of lead poisoning
  8. Write informational essay about the negative impact of lead poisoning on children
  9. Research current events on the issue of lead exposure
  10. Create brochures, flyers, pamphlets, and/or risk assessments to be distributed within the school and community
  11. Create videos or other digital presentations to share during an assembly about the hazards of lead poisoning using Google docs, slides, etc.
  12. Complete graphic organizers, exit tickets, etc.
  13. Participate in discussions where they will express their opinions about what they are learning
  14. Complete a choice board as an assessment

Classroom Activities

Lesson 1: “Philly, We Have a Problem! Lead Paint is Still Poisoning Our Kids!”

 

Duration: (5) 90-minute blocks, or (10) 45-minute periods

 

Grade: 5-6

 

Instructional Goals and Mastery Objectives:

 

SWBAT read and analyze informational text IOT obtain evidence to support their conclusions about lead poisoning and its effects on children

 

Standards Addressed:

 

CC.1.2.6. A Determine the central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details; provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments.

 

CC.1.2.6. B Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences and/or generalizations drawn from the text.

           

Materials Needed:

 

  • Article (digital or print copy) “Toxic City: Lead Paint—City Ignores Thousands of Poisoned Kids” Lead Paint
  • K-W-L Chart
  • Lead Exposure Graphic Organizer
  • Student Computers/Chromebooks/Laptops/Tablets/Phones or Teacher Smartboard

Activities Aligned to Goals and Objectives:

 

Introduction: (15 minutes)

Teacher will ask students what they know about lead poisoning and its effect on children and to document their responses on a K-W-L chart. Then students will be given an opportunity to share what they are willing to share about their personal knowledge about lead poisoning. Students will complete the first 2 sections of the chart—what they already know, and what they want to know about lead poisoning. They will complete the last section as part of their exit ticket.

The teacher will explain that in this unit, they will learn the many ways that a person can be exposed to lead, the effects that lead poisoning has on a child’s body and behavior, ways to limit their exposure to lead, and actions that they can take to pressure adults to make changes to protect them from lead exposure in the future.

 

Activity: (45 minutes)

Students will read the article, “Toxic City: Lead Paint” over the course (5) 90-minute blocks. It is strongly recommended that the digital article be used either with a Smartboard or with students following along on their own or shared technology. This article is highly interactive with embedded video clips and graphics and can be explored over the course of several days. Additionally, as students are reading the article (independently, with a partner, or as a class) they will be completing the lead exposure graphic organizer. This graphic organizer will document the information that will be used to create future documents in this unit and will be maintained throughout this unit.

 

Discussion Questions: (20 minutes)

After each day’s reading (how much of the article read will be determined by how long each class period is), a vigorous discussion session should be conducted to determine the students’ understanding of what has been read. It will allow students an opportunity to add information to their graphic organizer, more importantly, it will give students an opportunity to express their feelings about what is being learned. This is necessary to increase student engagement in the topic and begin to build a framework for future participation in the culminating action project.

 

  • According to this article, what are some ways that children can be exposed to lead? (peeling, chipping, flaking lead-based paint)
  • Why might children eat paint chips? (tastes sweet)
  • What kind of problems occurred when children in this article were exposed to lead? (speech difficulties, low IQ, learning difficulties)
  • What efforts were made to minimize the risk of further lead exposure to Aisha Stafford’s twins? (she sent them to live with her sister in South Philadelphia)
  • True or False. In Philadelphia, when a child has a blood lead level of 10 or higher, the city sends a health inspector to check the home for lead contamination. (True)

Exit Ticket: (10 minutes)

 What concerns you most about what you have learned so far? What questions do you have? Complete the “Learned” section of your K-W-L chart.

 

Homework: (ongoing)

Begin to search for current event articles about issues of lead. This will be an on-going assignment in preparation for final assessments. Listen for reports in the media and on the news. Look for articles in newspapers and magazines and document where they were found (which tv network, newspaper, etc.) Collect website addresses, printed articles, infographics, etc. Are community meetings being held? When? Where? As we continue to study this topic, you will find that you will begin to notice that this topic is being addressed in many ways. Be prepared to share what new or corroborating information you are discovering on your own.

 

Lesson 2: Lead at School? Why Does Learning Have to Be So Dangerous?

 

Duration: (5) 90-minute blocks, or (10) 45-minute periods

 

Grade: 5-6

 

Instructional Goals and Mastery Objectives:

 

SWBAT read and analyze informational text IOT obtain evidence to support their conclusions about lead poisoning and its effects on children

 

SWBAT create a digital photo journal IOT depict anecdotal accounts of their personal experience with lead poisoning along with graphics

 

Standards Addressed:

 

CC.1.2.6. A Determine the central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details; provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments.

 

CC.1.2.6. B Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences and/or generalizations drawn from the text.

 

CC.1.2.6. G Integrate information presented in different media or formats (e.g. visually, quantitatively) as well as in words to develop a coherent understanding of a topic or issue.

 

ISTE Standards

 

            15.4.8.K: Create a multimedia project using student-created digital media.

 

15.4.8.G: Create an advanced digital project using appropriate software/application for an authentic task.

Materials Needed:

 

http://www.cartoonistgroup.com/subject/The-Lead-Comics-and-Cartoons-by-Signe+Wilkinson%27s+Editorial+Cartoons.php

 

 

Activities Aligned to Goals and Objectives:

 

Introduction: (15 minutes) Teacher will ask students to view the cartoons by Signe Wilkinson for a few minutes. What messages are being communicated through these cartoons? What does this say about children who have been exposed to high levels of lead compared to children who have not? Allow students to share their thoughts about these cartoons and any other information they may have come across since the last lesson.

 

Activity: (45 minutes)

Students will read the article, “Toxic City: Sick Schools—Danger: Learn at Your Own Risk” over the course of (5) 90-minute blocks. It is strongly recommended that the digital article be used either with a Smartboard or with students following along on their own or shared technology. This article is highly interactive with embedded video clips and graphics and can be explored over the course of several days. Additionally, as students are reading the article (independently, with a partner, or as a class) they will be completing the lead exposure graphic organizer. This graphic organizer will document the information that will be used to create future documents in this unit and will be maintained throughout this unit.

 

Discussion Questions: (20 minutes)

After each day’s reading (how much of the article read will be determined by how long each class period is), a vigorous discussion session should be conducted to determine the students’ understanding of what has been read. It will allow students an opportunity to add information to their graphic organizer, more importantly, it will give students an opportunity to express their feelings about what is being learned. This is necessary to increase student engagement in the topic and begin to build a framework for future participation in the culminating action project.

 

  • According to this article, how was Dean exposed to lead at school? (eating lead-based paint chips that fell on his desk)
  • What percent of homes in Philadelphia were built before 1978 (when lead -based paint was banned)? (92%)
  • What kind of problems occurred when Dean was exposed to lead? (loss the ability to do simple math problems, behavior changed, developed ADHD, mood swings, stomachaches, inability to finish sentences)
  • What is another way children can be exposed to lead at home and at school, according to this article? (drinking water)
  • If “the level of lead in Dean’s blood was 46 micrograms per deciliter — nine times higher than the level at which doctors worry about permanent damage to the brain”, at what level do doctors begin to worry about permanent brain damage? (5 micrograms per deciliter—46/9=5)

 

 

Exit Ticket: (10 minutes)

 What concerns you most about what you have learned so far? What questions do you still have?

 

Homework:

Assignment—”Create a Photo Journal Using Google Docs”

https://applieddigitalskills.withgoogle.com/c/middle-and-high-school/en/create-a-photo-journal-in-google-docs/overview.html

 

Instructions: Students will interview family members and friends

who have had personal experience with lead exposure and share their stories through a 5-page photo journal. They will follow the instructions on the Applied Digital Skills website to create the photo journal, but they will gather their own anecdotes and photographs. They will take pictures on their phones or cameras or find pictures on the internet that illustrate the way in which lead exposure occurred (i.e. chipping or flaking paint) and upload them to this photo journal. They will work on this assignment for 2 weeks, adding to it daily. Additional pages will be given extra credit.

 

Continue to search for current event articles about issues of lead. This will be an on-going assignment in preparation for final assessments. Listen for reports in the media and on the news. Look for articles in newspapers and magazines and document where they were found (which tv network, newspaper, etc.) Collect website addresses, printed articles, infographics, etc. Are community meetings being held? When? Where? As we continue to study this topic, you will find that you will begin to notice that this topic is being addressed in many ways. Be prepared to share what new or corroborating information you are discovering on your own.

 

Lesson 3: Lead is in Our Soil, Too!?

 

Duration: (5) 90-minute blocks, or (10) 45-minute periods

 

Grade: 5-6

 

Instructional Goals and Mastery Objectives:

 

SWBAT read and analyze informational text IOT obtain evidence to support their conclusions about lead poisoning and its effects on children

 

 

 

Standards Addressed:

 

CC.1.2.6. A Determine the central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details; provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments.

 

CC.1.2.6. B Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences and/or generalizations drawn from the text.

 

CC.1.2.6. G Integrate information presented in different media or formats (e.g. visually, quantitatively) as well as in words to develop a coherent understanding of a topic or issue.

 

ISTE Standards

 

            15.4.8.K: Create a multimedia project using student-created digital media.

 

15.4.8.G: Create an advanced digital project using appropriate software/application for an authentic task.

 

Materials Needed:

 

Activities Aligned to Goals and Objectives:

 

Introduction: (15 minutes)

Writing Prompt:  Respond to the following prompt in a paragraph, “If you could do something to prevent the children of Philadelphia from being exposed to lead, what would you do? Be specific.

 

Activity: (45 minutes)

Students will read the article, “Toxic City: Tainted Soil—In Booming Philadelphia, Lead-Poisoned Soil is Resurfacing” over the course of (5) 90-minute blocks. It is strongly recommended that the digital article be used either with a Smartboard or with students following along on their own or shared technology. This article is highly interactive with embedded video clips and graphics and can be explored over the course of several days. Additionally, as students are reading the article (independently, with a partner, or as a class) they will be completing the lead exposure graphic organizer. This graphic organizer will document the information that will be used to create future documents in this unit and will be maintained throughout this unit.

 

Discussion Questions: (20 minutes)

After each day’s reading (how much of the article read will be determined by how long each class period is), a vigorous discussion session should be conducted to determine the students’ understanding of what has been read. It will allow students an opportunity to add information to their graphic organizer, more importantly, it will give students an opportunity to express their feelings about what is being learned. This is necessary to increase student engagement in the topic and begin to build a framework for future participation in the culminating action project.

 

  • According to this article, how was Jana’s daughter exposed to lead? (playing in lead-poisoned soil in her backyard)
  • How does soil become poisoned by lead? (smelters and factories, construction work)
  • True/False. Lead stays in the soil for only 10 years. (False, it stays indefinitely)
  • Lead in the soil is measured in parts-per-million (ppm). Parents are advised to keep children from playing in soil above ____ ppm. (400 ppm)
  • Ingesting (eating lead in paint or soil) is bad, but what is worse, according to this article? (inhalation—breathing lead dust)
  • What kind of problems can occur with exposure to lead, according to this article? (impulsivity, aggression, hyperactivity, and diminished academic ability)

Exit Ticket: (10 minutes)

What concerns you most about what you have learned so far? What questions do you still have?

 

Optional Activity: (30 minutes outside in schoolyard)

On the last day of this lesson, take students outside to an area where there is bare soil. Teacher will show students how to collect soil samples using a plastic spoon and a Ziploc bag (detailed instructions included in resources section). Students will be instructed to collect soil samples in areas near their homes, label them correctly, and return them to their teacher. The teacher will then forward the samples to the researchers at the University of Pennsylvania for lead testing. The results will be returned to the teacher, who will share them with her students.

 

 

 

Homework:

  1. If students completed the optional soil sampling activity, students will collect 3 different soil samples and return to their teacher.
  2. Compile all data from graphic organizers, photo journal, current event articles, and any other independent research collected in preparation for the action phase of this unit.

Lesson 4: Time to Take Action

 

Duration: (10) 90-minute blocks

 

Grade: 5-6

 

Instructional Goals and Mastery Objectives:

 

SWBAT compose a piece of writing that provides an argument and explains that argument using facts and/or definitions in an organized way with an introduction and conclusion IOT clearly communicate a written claim or opinion on a topic of interest.

SWBAT locate, develop, and synthesize multiple facts from multiple sources IOT provide additional information around a chosen thesis statement

 

SWBAT create multimedia presentations IOT demonstrate thorough knowledge of material learned and communicate information to appropriate audiences

 

 

Standards Addressed:

  1. 1.4.6.H: Introduce and state an opinion on a topic.

CC.1.4.6.G: Write arguments to support claims.

 

CC.1.4.6.I: Use clear reasons and relevant evidence to support claims, using credible sources and demonstrating an understanding of the topic.

CC.1.4.6.A: Write informative/ explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information clearly.

  1. 1.4.6.B: Identify and introduce the topic for the intended audience.
  2. 1.4.6.C: Develop and analyze the topic with relevant facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples; include graphics and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.

ISTE Standards

15.4.8.K: Create a multimedia project using student-created digital media.

15.4.8.L: Evaluate the accuracy and bias of online sources of information; appropriately cite online resources.

15.3.8.E: Choose appropriate print and electronic resources to meet project need.

15.3.8.G: Develop appropriate information and content for presentations, meetings, discussions, and group assignments.

15.3.8.H: Deliver presentations using a variety of techniques and media; employ conventions of language.

 

15.4.8.G: Create an advanced digital project using appropriate software/application for an authentic task.

 

Materials Needed:

 

  • Student Computers/Chromebooks/Laptops/Tablets/Phones or Teacher Smartboard
  • All data/ documents compiled from last homework assignment
  • Action Phase Choice Board

Activity: (90 minutes)

           

For the next 2 weeks, students will be working on the culminating action phase of this unit. Students will be working from the Action Phase Choice Board where they will choose 3 projects to complete. One project will be completed independently, one project will be completed with a partner, and the last project will be completed in a small group.

 

Rotation 1 (30 minutes) Independent work

 

Rotation 2 (30 minutes) Partner work

 

Rotation 3 (30 minutes) Group work

 

 

Notes on Assessments:

 

  • In order to give writing grades, standard informational and argumentative essay rubrics can be used.
  • Graphic organizers can be graded
  • Participation can be graded
  • Exit tickets and homework can be graded for completion

 

Extension Activities

 

After these documents have been completed, revised, and graded, students will have tools that can be used to educate their peers, their families, and the community at large. They may participate in some or all of the following activities as a continuation of the action phase:

 

  1. Organize school assemblies where they can distribute their brochures, and infographics or present a digital presentation using the same materials.
  2. Mail their letters and essays to state representatives, industry leaders, etc. and/or meet with them in person to express their concerns
  3. Participate in community meetings where this issue is being discussed
  4. Disseminate the risk assessments in the community

Appendix

Action Phase Choice Board

 

Name__________________________________                  Section/Class____________

 

 

Action Phase Choice Board

 

Directions: You will choose 3 projects to complete from this choice board, one from each column (Choice A or B), and one from each row (Independent, Partner, Group). Make sure you follow the guidelines on the rubric for each assignment in order to receive the maximum grade. You will be given time in class to work on each section.

 

     Choice A                                       Choice B

 

 

 

 

 

Independent Project (1 project grade)

Write a Letter: Write a letter to your state representative or school superintendent expressing your concern about lead in your community and/or your school. Include at least 3 paragraphs in your letter and communicate your understanding of how children are exposed to lead, the negative effects on them, and what you would like to see done. This letter will be mailed. Create a Risk Assessment:

Create a questionnaire that helps parents/families determine the amount of risk for lead exposure. Ask your teacher for samples of risk assessments to use as a guide.

Make sure to check for errors in spelling and grammar. These assessments will be distributed to families in the community.

 

 

 

 

Partner Project

(2 project grades)

Write an Informational Essay: Work with a partner to write a 5-paragraph informational essay communicating your understanding of how children are exposed to lead, the negative effects on them, and how to minimize exposure to lead. Be sure to include 3 supporting details in each paragraph. Write an Argumentative Essay: Work with a partner to write a 5-paragraph argumentative essay responding to the prompt, “Should landlords be required to make sure their properties are safe from lead before renting them to anyone, whether they have children or not?” Support your argument with 3 strong reasons.
 

 

 

 

Group Project

(3 project grades)

Create 3 Google Infographics:  Work with a small group (3) and the Applied Digital Skills curriculum to create an Infographic on lead poisoning. There should be at least 3 pages to your infographic or perhaps 3 separate infographics on ways that children are exposed to lead, the negative effects of lead exposure, and ways to limit lead exposure. Make sure everyone participates equally in this project. Create a Brochure/Pamphlet:

Using Microsoft Word, create a brochure or pamphlet that educates families and communities about the hazards of lead exposure. This brochure should include illustrations and graphics in addition to facts and details. It should have a cover page plus 3 additional pages, for a total of 4 pages. All information should correctly cite the sources from which the information was obtained.

Action Phase Rubric

 

 

 

Name__________________________________                  Section/Class____________

 

 

Action Phase Choice Board Rubric

 

Directions: You will choose 3 projects to complete from this choice board, one from each column (Choice A or B), and one from each row (Independent, Partner, Group). Make sure you follow the guidelines on the rubric for each assignment in order to receive the maximum grade. You will be given time in class to work on each section.

 

     Choice A                                       Choice B

 

 

 

 

 

Independent Project (1 project grade)

Write a Letter:

Correct Format              ____pts/15pts

3 Paragraphs                 ____ pts/15 pts

How exposed               ____ pts/15 pts

Negative Effects         ____ pts/15 pts

Response                    ____ pts/15 pts

Conventions                ____ pts/15 pts

Extra Effort                _____pts/10 pts

 

Total points                ____pts/100 pts

Create a Risk Assessment:

 

Correct Format              ____pts/30 pts

20 question min.            ____ pts/30 pts

Conventions                 ____ pts/ 30 pts

Extra Effort                  _____pts/10 pts

 

Total points                  ____pts/100 pts

 

 

 

 

Partner Project

(2 project grades)

Write an Informational Essay:

Correct Format              ____pts/15pts

5 Paragraphs                 ____ pts/15 pts

How exposed               ____ pts/15 pts

Negative Effects          ___pts/15 pts

Response                      ___ pts/15 pts

Conventions                ____ pts/15 pts

Extra Effort                _____pts/10 pts

 

Total points                ____pts/100 pts

Write an Argumentative Essay:

Correct Format              ____pts/15pts

5 Paragraphs                 ____ pts/15 pts

How exposed               ____ pts/15 pts

Negative Effects         ____ pts/15 pts

Response                    ____ pts/15 pts

Conventions                ____ pts/15 pts

Extra Effort                _____pts/10 pts

 

Total points                ____pts/100 pts

 

 

 

 

Group Project

(3 project grades)

Create 3 Google Infographics:

Correct Format              ____pts/15pts

3 Infographics

____ pts/15 pts

How exposed               ____ pts/15 pts

Negative Effects         ____ pts/15 pts

Response                    ____ pts/15 pts

Conventions                ____ pts/15 pts

Extra Effort                _____pts/10 pts

 

Total points                ____pts/100 pts

Create a Brochure/Pamphlet:

Correct Format              ____pts/15pts

4 Pages                        ____ pts/15 pts

How exposed                ____ pts/15 pts

Negative Effects         ____ pts/15 pts

Response                    ____ pts/15 pts

Citations                      ____ pts/15 pts

Extra Effort                _____pts/10 pts

 

Total points                ____pts/100 pts

 

 

Lead Exposure Graphic Organizer

 

Name__________________________________            Date__________________________

 

Lead Exposure Graphic Organizer

 

Directions: As you read each article in the Toxic City series, use this chart to take notes on the key details.

 

Title of Article____________________________________________________________

 

Source/Cause of Lead Exposure

Effect of Lead Exposure

Action Taken to Limit/Reduce Exposure

Action Taken to Remedy Situation

 

 

How to Collect Soil Samples

**These instructions are to be used with the optional soil sampling homework assignment.

 

K-W-L Chart

https://www.eduplace.com/graphicorganizer/pdf/kwl.pdf

 

Resources

 

Bellinger DC. 2008a. Neurological and behavioral consequences of childhood lead exposure. PLoS Med 5: e115.

 

Bellinger DC. 2008b. Very low lead exposures and children’s neurodevelopment. Curr Opin Pediatr 20:172–177.

 

Birnbaum HG, Kessler RC, Lowe SW, Secnik K, Greenberg PE, Leong SA, et al. 2005. Costs of attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in the US: excess costs of persons with ADHD in 2000. Curr Med Research Opin 21:195–205.

 

Costello E, Mustillo M, Erhandt A, Keeler G, Angold A. 2003. Prevalence and development of psychiatric disorders in childhood and adolescence. Arch Gen Psychiatry 60:837– 844.

 

Evens et al. Environmental Health (2015) 14:21DOI 10.1186/s 12940-015-0008-9

 

Korrick SA, Schwartz J, Tsaih SW, Hunter DJ, Aro A, Rosner B, et al. 2003. Correlates of blood and bone lead levels among middle-age and elderly women. Am J Epidemiol 156:335–343.

 

Lanphear BP, Burgoon DA, Rust SW, Eberly S, Galke W. 1998. Environmental exposures to lead and urban children’s blood lead levels. Environ Res 76(2):120–130.

 

Lanphear BP, Hornung R, Khoury J, Yolton K, Baghurst P, Bellinger DC, et al. 2005. Low-level environmental lead exposure and children’s intellectual function: an international pooled analysis. Environ Health Perspect 113:894–899.

 

Latorre FG, Hernández-Avila M, Orozco JT, Albores-Medina CA, Aro A, Palazuelos E, et al. 2003. Relationship of blood and bone lead to menopause and bone mineral density among middle-age women in Mexico City. Environ Health Perspect 111:631–636.

 

Muntner P, Menke A, DeSalvo KB, Rabito FA, Batuman V. 2005. Continued decline in blood lead levels among adults in the United States. Arch Intern Med 165:2155–2161.

 

Needleman HL. 2004. Low level lead exposure and the development of children. Southeast Asian J Trop Med Public Health 35(2):252–254.

 

Needleman HL, McFarland C, Ness RB, Feinberg SE, Tobin MJ. 2002. Bone lead levels in adjudicated delinquents: a case control study. Neurotoxicol Teratol 24:711–717.

 

Needleman HL, Riess JA, Tobin MJ, Biesecker GE, Greenhouse JB. 1996. Bone lead levels and delinquent behavior. J Am Med Assoc 275:363–369.

 

“Atop the Shifting, Toxic Dump Now Known as the Logan Triangle,” Ken Finkel, June 24, 2017

 

“How Philly Got Flat: Piling it on at the Logan Triangle,” Ken Finkel, October 30, 2013

 

 

Annotated Bibliography (Teacher)

 

Lead in Residential Soils: Sources, Testing, and Reducing Exposure

https://extension.psu.edu/lead-in-residential-soils-sources-testing-and-reducing-exposure

 

This article was published by the Penn State Extension and it provides some background information about how lead performs in soil.

 

Learn About Lead

https://www.epa.gov/lead/learn-about-lead

 

This website contains infographics and links from the EPA to educate the reader about lead.

 

Protect Your Family from Exposures to Lead

https://www.epa.gov/lead/protect-your-family-exposures-lead

 

This is one of the links from the above website.

 

Lead in Food

https://www.edf.org/health/lead-food-hidden-health-threat

 

This is a report published by the Environmental Defense Fund to inform the public about lead found in food.

 

Lead and Other Heavy Metals – Safe …

safecosmetics.org

 

This article is about lead found in some cosmetics.

 

 

Lead in Paint | CPSC.gov

cpsc.gov

 

This article is about lead manufactured in paint before it was banned in 1978.

 

Lead in Keys

https://vhcb.org/our-programs/healthy-lead-safe-homes/lead-poisioning-prevention/lead-in-keys

 

Interesting article about keys and children

 

Sources of Lead

https://www.leadsafemanchester.com/Lead-Sources

 

Another article about different sources of lead

 

FYI

http://www.todayifoundout.com/index.php/2015/02/lead-added-paint/

 

This site provides information about why lead was put in paint in the first place

 

 

Annotated Bibliography (Student)

 

Toxic City: Lead Paint

Philly’s Shame: City ignores thousands of poisoned kids. By Barbara Laker, Wendy Ruderman, and Dylan Purcell, October 30, 2016

Lead Paint

 

This article is the first in the Toxic City series and it brings to light the issue of the prevalence of lead in the homes of children in the City of Philadelphia.

Toxic City Sick Schools

Danger: Learn at Your Own Risk by Barbara Laker,  Wendy Ruderman, and Dylan Purcell, Updated: May 3, 2018

http://media.philly.com/storage/special_projects/lead-paint-poison-children-asbestos-mold-schools-philadelphia-toxic-city.html

 

This article is the second in the Toxic City series and it brings to light the issue of the prevalence of lead, asbestos, and mold in many of the schools in Philadelphia.

 

 

 

Toxic City Tainted Soil

In booming Philadelphia neighborhoods, lead poisoned soil is resurfacing by Wendy Ruderman,  Barbara Laker, and Dylan Purcell, June 18, 2017

http://media.philly.com/storage/special_projects/philadelphia-lead-soil-fishtown-construction-dust.html

 

This article explains the reality of lead in soil—how it gets into the soil, how children come in contact with it, how it ends up in houses, and the impact it has on the health of children.

 

 

Hidden Peril by Wendy Ruderman,  Barbara Laker, and Dylan Purcell, Updated: May 10, 2018

http://media.philly.com/storage/special_projects/asbestos-testing-mesothelioma-cancer-philadelphia-schools-toxic-city.html

 

This article talks about the problem of other environmental toxins in the schools of Philadelphia, particularly asbestos.

 

Botched Jobs by Dylan Purcell, Barbara Laker, and Wendy Ruderman,  Updated: May 17, 2018

http://media.inquirer.com/storage/special_projects/lead-carbon-monoxide-silica-poisoning-construction-students-teachers-philadelphia-schools-toxic-city.html

 

In this article, the reader will learn that sometimes when efforts are made to remediate unsafe conditions in homes and schools, the problem can be made worse if  precautions are not taken to contain the lead dust created by the renovations.

 

How the ‘Toxic City’ Investigation Has Protected Philadelphia Children From Environmental Perils by Barbara LakerDylan Purcell and Wendy Ruderman, Updated: December 27, 2018

https://www.philly.com/news/philadelphia-schools-lead-poisoning-children-reform-soil-asbestos-mold-cancer-fishtown-construction-20181227.html

 

This article provides updates on many of the changes that have occurred since the publication of the “Toxic City” series.

 

‘Toxic City’: State confirms extreme lead levels in Kensington soil

by Wendy RudermanBarbara Laker and Dylan Purcell, Updated: October 18, 2018

https://www.philly.com/philly/news/toxic-city-state-confirms-extreme-lead-levels-in-kensington-soil-20181018.html

 

This article is a follow-up to the “Tainted Soil” article and gives the Department of Environmental Protections’ confirmation of the previous findings.

 

Lead testing of water in schools is finished    Greg Windle (https://thenotebook.org/articles/author/greg-windle/)

 

This article shares information about problems that still exist even though the School District of Philadelphia says that they have tested the water in all the schools.

 

Risk Assessment for Lead Exposure


First example

www.lovejoypediatrics.com/docs/2014_lead_questionaire.pdf

 PDF]

Lead Poisoning Risk Assessment Questionnaire – RDV Sportsplex …

Second Example

https://www.rdvpediatrics.com/uploads/2/7/9/4/27947435/lead_screening.pdf

 

Third Example

Lead Exposure Risk Assessment Questionnaire

These 3 risk assessments can be used as templates to help students develop their own risk assessments to be used in the action phase of their project.

Solve the Outbreak Game

https://www.cdc.gov/mobile/applications/sto/web-app.html

This is an optional online activity that students can participate in to implement what they have learned and use critical thinking skills to determine how people come in contact with lead poisoning (and other diseases).

 

 

Additional Resources for Teachers, Students, and Parents

5 Things You Can Do: Fact sheet with information on how to help lower elevated blood lead levels; in English[PDF – 128 KB] and en Español[PDF – 186 KB]

Are You Pregnant?: Fact sheet with lead poisoning prevention information for pregnant women; in English[PDF – 128 KB] and en Español[PDF – 86 KB]

 

Know the Facts: Fact sheet with general lead poisoning prevention information; in English[PDF – 276 KB] and en Español[PDF – 220 KB]

 

Blood Lead Levels in Children[PDF – 292 KB]: Fact sheet with an update on blood lead levels in children.

 

Ethan’s House Gets Healthier with a Visit from the Lead Poisoning Prevention Team[PDF – 2.83 MB]: Children’s coloring book on making a home lead safe.

 

Lead Poisoning: Words to Know[PDF – 1.33 MB]: Dictionary that gives the meaning of words you often hear or read about lead.

 

A Healthy Home for Everyone: The Guide for Families and Individuals[PDF – 2.56 MB]: Booklet with information about the connection between housing and health.

 

CDC – Lead – Information for Parents

https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/lead/parents.htm

 

CDC – Lead – Infographic

https://www.cdc.gov/nceh/lead/infographic.htm

 

Lead Poison Prevention – ACPHD

www.acphd.org/lead-poison-prevention.aspx

 

Dr Yu Household Products with Lead

 

https://www.co.thurston.wa.us/health/ehkids/pdf/Lead.pdf

 

WHO | Lead paint – Infographics

https://www.who.int/phe/infographics/lead/en/

 

Lead Exposure and Lead Poisoning – AAP.org

https://www.aap.org/en-us/advocacy-and-policy/aap-health…/lead…/default.aspx

 

Shareable Infographics on Lead Poisoning Awareness | Lead | US EPA

https://www.epa.gov/lead/shareable-infographics-lead-poisoning-awareness

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Common Core Standards

 

ELA

 

CC.1.2.6. A Determine the central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details; provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments.

 

CC.1.2.6. B Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences and/or generalizations drawn from the text.

 

CC.1.2.6. F Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in grade-level reading and content, including interpretation of figurative language in context.

 

CC.1.2.6. G Integrate information presented in different media or formats (e.g. visually, quantitatively) as well as in words to develop a coherent understanding of a topic or issue.

 

CC.1.2.6. H Evaluate an author’s argument by examining claims and determining if they are supported by evidence.

 

CC.1.2.6. J Acquire and use accurately grade-appropriate general academic and domain-specific words and phrases; gather vocabulary knowledge when considering a word or phrase important to comprehension or expression.

 

 

Informational Writing

CC.1.4.6.A: Write informative/ explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information clearly.

  1. 1.4.6.B: Identify and introduce the topic for the intended audience.
  2. 1.4.6.C: Develop and analyze the topic with relevant facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples; include graphics and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.

 

 

 

Opinion/Argument Writing

  1. 1.4.6.H: Introduce and state an opinion on a topic.

CC.1.4.6.G: Write arguments to support claims.

CC.1.4.6.I: Use clear reasons and relevant evidence to support claims, using credible sources and demonstrating an understanding of the topic.

ISTE Standard 3: Knowledge Constructor: Students critically curate a variety of resources using digital tools to construct knowledge, produce creative artifacts and make meaningful learning experiences for themselves and others.

 

15.4.8.K: Create a multimedia project using student-created digital media.

15.4.8.L: Evaluate the accuracy and bias of online sources of information; appropriately cite online resources.

15.3.8.E: Choose appropriate print and electronic resources to meet project need.

15.3.8.G: Develop appropriate information and content for presentations, meetings, discussions, and group assignments.

15.3.8.H: Deliver presentations using a variety of techniques and media; employ conventions of language.

 

15.4.8.G: Create an advanced digital project using appropriate software/application for an authentic task.