The Resources We Live By


In this lesson, students use EcoTipping Point success stories to create illustrated geography books about the natural resources that can make or break human communities. This lesson is ideal for World Studies and Geography courses.

Suggested Procedure:

  1. Tell students that they must define 5 – 8 natural resources that humans rely upon for the survival of their communities. They will determine their chosen natural resources by researching the difficulties communities face when these resources are in decline. It should be pointed out that some natural resources are necessary for all communities, but other natural resources, for instance fish, or a particular energy source, may be vital to a community in one geographic area but not to communities in other areas. As long as it is a vital resource to some communities, it counts!!!
  2. In teams, students should visit the EcoTipping Points Website ‘Our Stories’ Page (, and use the links under ‘Find a Story by Topic’ to guide them towards stories about different problems in the human ecology. Recommend to students that they look at stories under each of the topic links.
  3. When students have identified a resource that they think is vital, i.e., water, healthy soil, forest, energy sources, food supplies, they should add it to their vocabulary book. Using several pages of printer paper and colors to construct it, the book should contain the following for each item: the name of the resource, a drawing or photograph of the resource, a description from their story of what can happen when that resource is in decline, and a description of what that community did to restore their vital natural resources.
  4. As an alternate assignment, pairs could create PowerPoint presentations about the vital natural resources using the same guidelines for elements to include.

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