Epigenetics, Environmental Justice, and Pollution Case Studies in North Carolina

Phil H. Carver, Science, James Martin Middle School

Curriculum Unit (pdf)


This curriculum unit includes research and information for the middle school and high school teacher regarding localized pollution issues and includes epigenetics and the effects of environmental factors on long-term health over generations. I teach an integrated 8th grade science class and the curriculum I teach reaches almost all of the science disciplines. This particular curriculum unit is a five-day unit, which one can implement throughout the year, with various units, or saved for a testing review at the end of the year. There are activities and case studies described in detail, along with teaching strategies and methods.  All of my activities include inquiry based learning. Vocabulary words are also included along with an annotated bibliography and instructions on how to integrate the teaching standards, with the rationale and research included. I teach a diverse population of students in a high-needs school and I believe this unit will help assist teachers and students to make connections with topics such as chemistry, water quality, non-renewable resources, evolution, DNA modification, and generational effects of pollution on low income and minorities. Also, the topic of environmental justice is defined and explored for interdisciplinary lesson plans between science and social studies.