Rachel Carson


The lesson introduces students to writer, scientist, and ecologist Rachel Carson.  She played a key role in the birth of environmentalism in the 20th century.  Many students are unaware of early leaders in the field of ecology.  The lesson is an overview of Carson’s life, including personal and professional.  She is most notable for her book titled Silent Spring, which converted many people to fight for the environment.  It is important for students to become aware of the environment and how humans can affect the environment, both positively and negatively.

Rachel Carson Lesson Plan Includes:

  • Full Teacher Guidelines with Creative Teaching Ideas
  • Instructional Content Pages about Rachel Carson
  • Hands-on homework activities learning more about Rachel Carson
  • Answer Keys
  • Common Core State Standards
  • Many Additional Links and Resources
  • Built for Grades 1-6 but can be adapted for other grade levels.

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The lesson introduces your students to Rachel Carson, a writer, scientist and ecologist who played a key role in the birth of environmentalism in the 20th century.  It provides an overview of Carson’s life, both personal and professional.  Carson is most notable for her book titled Silent Spring, which converted many people to fight for the environment.  Your students will gain an understanding of ecology, the study of the environment, by learning about one of its key figures.  The lesson will also introduce students to the impact they can have on the environment, and how they must be aware of their positive and negative effect on the physical world around them.

Sample Classroom Procedure / Teacher Instruction:  

  1. Ask: What may be some things today that are having a harmful effect on the environment?
  2. Allow for responses and discussion. Ask:  Do you think people care about the environment?  Why or why not?
  3. Allow for responses and discussion. Ask:  Do you know anyone famous who tries to get people to care about the environment?
  4. Allow for responses and introduce Rachel Carson.
  5. Distribute Rachel Carson content pages. Read and review the information with the students.  Save the final question for the lesson closing.  Use the additional resources to enhance understanding.
  6. Distribute Activity page. Read and review the instructions.  Pair students.  Distribute supplies, scratch paper, etc.
  7. Encourage students to be creative. Use old magazines or Internet access for images, or students may draw related pictures.  Circulate through the room keeping students on task, and approving final rough sketches.
  8. Once each pair is completed, students will present posters to the class. Tell students to explain the meaning of the poster if necessary.
  9. Distribute Practice page. Check and review the students’ responses.
  10. Distribute the Homework page. The next day, review responses and allow students to read their letters aloud.

Common Core State Standards:

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.1.7, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.2.3, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.2.7, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.3, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.7, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.3, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.3, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.6.3

Class Sessions (45 minutes): at least 2 class sessions.

Additional Resources: 

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Additional information

Grade Level

1st Grade, 2nd Grade, 3rd Grade, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade


Social Studies