Lesson Plan: To Mine or Not to Mine, That is the Question

Section One: Project/Lesson Overview

Grade: 11

Subject: Language Arts

Lesson Title: To Mine or Not to Mine, That is the Question

Lesson Description: Students will explore the impact of mining on the landscape, people and environment of New Brunswick from various, conflicting perspectives. Students will engage in an active debate on the advantages and disadvantages to learn the skills for understanding and presenting a balanced view of an issue.

Time Required: 5 x 60 minute classes

Curriculum Outcomes:
  • follow up on and extend others’ ideas in order to reflect upon their own interpretation of experiences
  • ask perceptive/probing questions to explore ideas and gain information
  • address complex issues, present points of view backed by evidence, and modify, defend, or argue for their positions in response to opposing points of view
  • listen critically to evaluate others’ ideas in terms of their own understanding and experiences, and identify ambiguities, and unsubstantiated statements
  • effectively adapt language and delivery for a variety of audiences and situations in order to achieve their goals or intents
  • critically evaluate others’ use of language and use this knowledge to reflect on and improve their own uses of language
  • demonstrate sensitivity and respect in interaction with peers and others in both informal and formal situations
Section Two: Project/Lesson Implementation

Equipment/Materials Required: Access to Magnificent Rocks Learning Object content

Lesson Procedures/ Teaching Strategies:
  1. Discuss the significance of the mining industry to New Brunswick and Canada. Where are current mines? What are the minerals? How are the minerals formed? How are minerals discovered? Who makes the discoveries? Why mine? What are the uses? What are the markets? What is the impact of a mine on a community? What is the impact of a mine on the landscape? How has the mining industry shaped the culture and economy as part of Canadian identity?
  2. Have students explore the Magnificent Rocks virtual exhibition, particularly the Community Connections sections of each geological period to identify NB mines and communities.
  3. Divide class into two groups, or several groups if class is large. Instructor will choose a mineral and create a hypothetical situation that a mine is going to open in the students’ community.
  4. Have one group or set of groups prepare a list of advantages, have the other group or set prepare a list of disadvantages.
  5. Within each group, have students examine the opposing view of the items on their lists and brainstorm responses if they are challenged on a point. For disadvantages for example, are there ways to resolve or lessen the disadvantage?
  6. Have students research and create rules of debate. For example, 2 minute opening statements, 1 minute rebuttals, etc.
  7. Stage an organized debate using the agreed rules between the two groups
  8. Following debate, have students write summaries of the points and make a personal judgment based on the points they have heard in the debate. For example, after hearing the points of the opposing group, a student may form an opinion different than their assigned perspective.
Suggested Assessment Strategies:

Grade for project will be determined by three components of lesson:
  1. Preparation
  2. Debate: style, politeness/respect, content
  3. Written summaries
Section Three: Project/Lesson Resources
Supplementary Resources:

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Section Four: Additional Information

Credits: New Brunswick Museum, Saint John, New Brunswick
New Brunswick Museum
New Brunswick Museum

New Brunswick, CANADA
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