Assignment 1 – History/Biography Assignment 2 – Silent Spring

AP Environmental Science
Summer Assignment Overview
The details of the summer assignment are listed below. Please note that there are 3 parts to this assignment,
due on various dates throughout the summer. The assignments will be posted on Google Classroom (APES
2016-2017: Summer Assignment) and need to be turned in through Google Classroom (class code: koxebh) or
handed in during class as indicated. Please submit these in a timely fashion. Failure to meet the first deadline
will result in the student being dropped from the class. Failure to meet additional deadlines will result in points
being lost.
Part 1 – July 15, 2016*
Part 2 – August 5, 2015
Part 3 – August 15, 2015**
*Students MUST meet this deadline to remain enrolled in the class.
**MUST be handwritten and turned in on the first day of school.
Purpose – ASW recognize the importance of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring to the environmental movement
by researching the author’s history, reading the book, and participating in class discussions.
Silent Spring, Rachel Carson (2002)
internet access
Biography questions (attached)
Reading and Discussion questions (attached)
textbook for class: Withgott, J. & Brennan, S. Environment: Science Behind the Stories, 4th ed.
Part 1
Assignment 1 – History/Biography
1. Research Rachel Carson’s history by following the links listed below IN ORDER. Use these, the
introduction to Silent Spring by Linda Lear, and the afterward by Edward O. Wilson to answer the
biography questions listed at the end of this document. Please feel free to explore within each of the
links as there are many avenues you can follow to get your answers. Be sure to answer each question
in paragraph form (intro, 3 supports, conclusion = 5 sentences).
a. “The Legacy of Silent Spring” – CBS Morning News
b. “Rachel Carson” – Bill Moyer Journal
c. The My Hero Project – Rachel Carson
2. Transmit your COMPLETED Assignment 1 - History/Biography assignment to me via Google
Classroom by 7/15/16. Be sure to save a copy of your answers and have it accessible during the
school year. You will need them to complete other assignments throughout the year.
Part 2
Assignment 2 – Silent Spring Book Report
3. Read Silent Spring and answer the Reading and Discussion Questions listed at the end of this
document. There is approximately one question per chapter and they are in order. As you will learn,
the book was originally a series of articles in the New Yorker and so each chapter can stand on its own.
You are encouraged to work through this assignment at your own pace and in your own way, as long
as you learn about the history FIRST, then read the book. Answer the questions in paragraph form
(intro, 3 supports, conclusion) and be prepared to share your answers during class discussions.
4. Transmit your COMPLETED Assignment 2 – Silent Spring Book Report assignment to me via
Google Classroom by 8/5/16. Be sure to save a copy of your answers and have it accessible during
the school year. You will need them to complete other assignments throughout the year.
5. Participate in class discussions. We will be using the Reading and Discussion questions to facilitate
our class discussions. These discussions will be held during Kairos and each student must participate
in AT LEAST 1 discussion. You will be evaluated on your participation and receive a grade for this
activity. More details will be presented within the first month of school.
Purpose – ASW summarize the current international and domestic views on environmental ethics, economics,
policy, and law by reading the textbook and answering questions.
Part 3
Assignment 3 – Textbook Assignments
1. Read Ch. 6 and take notes
2. Complete Ch. 6 Testing Your Comprehension Questions (TYCQs) 1-10, pg. 164
3. Read Ch. 7 and take notes
4. Complete Ch. 7 TYCQs 1-10, pg. 193
5. Have handwritten hard copies of these assignments in class with you on the first day of school.
Rachel Carson and Silent Spring Questions
Biography Questions
1. From your research, what did you learn about Rachel Carson’s early years?
experiences influence Carson’s achievements in her adult life?
How did these
2. What were Carson’s main accomplishments?
3. Describe Rachel Carson’s goals. Was she successful in reaching them? Why or why not? What
factors influenced Carson’s achievements?
4. What influence did Carson have on the community, the country, the world?
5. What is your opinion of Rachel Carson’s life and achievements?
Reading and Discussion Questions (taken from Ellen Herman, Department of History, University of Oregon)
1. Carson’s first chapter explains the title of her book. Why is it called “Silent Spring”?
2. Why does she suggest that chemical insecticides and herbicides be called “biocides”? What idea is
she expressing by using this word? Is Carson opposed to the use of all toxins?
3. What is uniquely problematic about DDT and other chlorinated hydrocarbons?
4. How do toxins contribute to water pollution?
5. “In nature nothing exists alone” (p. 51). Why is this an important part of Carson’s critique? How would
you characterize her view of the many relationships in nature: between human beings and their
environments, between plants and animals, between water and earth?
6. What alternatives does Carson propose to the use of chemicals to control unwanted pests and plants?
Do you think these alternatives make sense in the context of agribusiness?
7. Her description on chemical sprays suggests moral dilemmas are involved in the use of toxins…. What
moral dilemma is Carson worried about? Do you share her view?
8. Carson’s discussion of Dutch Elm disease leads her to advocate “the conservation of variety”. What
does she mean by this?
9. Why is runoff in rivers and the ocean such a serious problem?
10. What lessons does Carson extract from the stories about spraying for the gypsy moth and the fire ant?
What was the role of local activists? Of government officials? Of the chemical industry?
11. Carson describes the kitchen and the garden as poisoned places. What particular implications do
these observations have for women? Do you think Carson is aware of these?
12. What is Carson referring to when she writes that there is a “human price” for the use of toxins? Why is
it so crucial that human beings begin to see themselves as an essential part of the natural world? Why
did she believe that people resisted thinking about themselves in those terms?
13. Carson invokes the term “ecology” (p.189) to describe “the web of life – or death…” What role does
this concept play in her analysis?
14. Carson describes the possibility of genetic damage by environmental hazards as something new. She
also discusses cellular damage caused by environmental carcinogens, an especially poignant example
because Carson herself died of breast cancer. Do you think of these as novel, controversial theories?
Why or why not?
15. Carson defines the balance of nature at the beginning of chapter 15 on p. 246. Read her definition and
explain its major features in your own words.
16. Do you agree that the project of controlling nature is arrogant, foolish, and dangerous, as Carson
argues? Why or why not?
17. After reading Silent Spring, how would you characterize its author? Is she a science writer? An
environmental activist? A philosopher?