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For Educators:
Kids and Chemicals - Facts and Laws
More on This Lesson:

Welcome to NOW's Classroom site. In the coming months we plan to offer more companion materials to help you use NOW's on-air and online resources in your classroom.

The classroom resources offered here are designed to help you use this Web site, other material on the Internet, and the KIDS AND CHEMICALS video to teach students more about the scientific process and to assess the impact of everyday toxins to the health of communities, families and individuals. These materials are designed for use in high school classrooms (grades 9-12), but can be adapted for younger students.

The lesson plan provides objectives, standards correlations, background information, Web links, procedures, extension suggestions, and assessment recommendations. The lesson also incorporates video clips from the KIDS AND CHEMICALS documentary, although the lesson and Extra Activities can also function as stand-alone curricula.

Lesson 1: Chemicals in Your Environment
This lesson focuses on identifying and evaluating exposure to synthetic chemicals in one's environment. Students will conduct a cost-benefit analysis of living with synthetic chemicals in the environment and examine related government regulations.

Extra Activities
The following "Extra Activities" are a series of shorter adaptable classroom activities that can be used to extend the learning from Lesson 1, or they can be easily integrated into existing curricula as stand-alone activities:

  • Pollutants in Your Community
  • Pregnancy and Environmental Health
  • Understanding the 1996 Food Quality Protection Act
If you have questions about taping rights for this or other NOW broadcasts, visit PBS TeacherSource's Copyright site ( or you can access purchasing information at

About the Authors
Karen Hartley has developed educational curricula for 10 years, including activities for K-college and after-school organizations and museum groups. Her work has included educational materials to accompany videodiscs, giant-screen films, prime-time television programs, and college telecourses in the areas of biology, earth science, space science, physics, and mathematics.

Jenny Lisle has developed a range of educational materials, including K-12 science curricula, materials for after-school programs and museums, and professional development materials for elementary science teachers.

Suggestions for lesson content improvement and implementation are always welcome at More curriculum resources are available at PBS TeacherSource.

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