Lesson 3: How does the environment magnify our exposure to toxicants?
This lesson is part of the unit:
In this lesson students investigate the role of environment in exposure to toxicants. In Activity 1, students and teacher play a board-based Bio Bay game in which they play the roles of Anchovies, Tuna, and Fishing Boat (humans) to model the biomagnification of a toxicant with each trophic level. To gather more information, students read about how mercury enters food chains and a case study of a community affected by mercury poisoning. Using this information, students analyze data collected from the game to observe trends of biomagnification as toxicant concentration increases with each higher trophic level. Students also evaluate the game as a model for biomagnification by discussing its strengths and limitations. In Activity 2, students use recent news articles to gain perspective on how most people are exposed to toxicants today. The lesson concludes with student groups creating public service announcements that communicate the concept of biomagnification and the dangers of consuming high levels of mercury through fish.