Activity Page


You are a member of the Love Canal community. You have 5 activities to complete, both as an individual, and as a member of a group. Every student must join one of seven groups, which are to be made of at least 3 people, but no more than 5 people. The group is responsible for maintaining a journal of information and reactions that record the progress of your work and research. The group should decide if one person will be responsible for maintaining the journal, or whether everyone will contribute. Once you are in a group, there are four learning activities which must be completed.

Group Activities:

Activity 1 (everyone helps do this, one answer sheet per group)

Complete the focus questions. Use the internet to find answers to the focus questions. Check the resources page for help with finding answers. When you are completed, print your answers and hand in to the teacher. You will have one class period to complete this activity. If you finish, go on to the next activity.

Activity 2 (one map per group)

Create a map of the Love Canal community. On your map you should indicate housing, schools, the contaminated area and any other significant details. Use the resources page to help you search for a map. You will have one class period to complete this activity. Turn in your work when you are finished. If you finish early, go on to the next activity.

Activity 3 (one timeline per group)

Create a time line of the events which have shaped Love Canal, right up to present day. Use the resources page for help. You will have one class period to complete this activity. Turn in you work when you are finished. If you finish early, go on to the next activity.

Activity 4 (everyone participates as described on team page)

After completing the first three activities, and turning your work in to the teacher, you are now ready to choose a role for the group to prepare for the Town Hall meeting. Select a role, then inform the teacher. Your first choice may have already been assigned, so be prepared to select a different role.

The Roles:

  • Local Water Board/Chemists: Report and describe the contamination problems
  • School Board: Report and defend the decisions made to use land for school construction.
  • Hooker Chemical Company: Describe company efforts and completely support company position.
  • Environmental Protection Agency: Government "watchdogs" and environmentalists. Assign blame, demand a remedy.
  • Niagara Falls City Government: Main concern is public image for Niagara Falls, NY. Re-election is looming.
  • New York State Government: What needs to be done for the citizens of New York State
  • Love Canal Resident/Landowner/Parent: Represent the concerns of the "Little Guy" harmed in this controversy.
  • Medical Professionals: Report on the impact of toxic chemicals on human health, and specifics of how citizens were affected.


The time is January 1979. You have been invited to a "Town Hall" meeting in which all the interest groups of the Love Canal catastrophe have gathered to explain their positions. With the knowledge available in 1979, what does your group have to say to the other people involved in this situation?

Timeline for this activity:

On day 1, you and your group will have 1 class period (90 minute block) to research your position. Days 2 through 4 you will continue to research your position, and also create a multimedia presentation of not less than 8 slides, but not more than 10 slides. On day 5, your group will have 5 minutes to make a presentation in support of your position, including presenting your multimedia project. Following the presentations, the whole class will participate in an organized question and challenge session. By the end of class, you should have a very clear view of how all the different interest groups interpret the problem.



Individual Activity:

Activity 5

The very last part of this online lesson is to complete a five paragraph essay (approximately 500 words) which summarizes your reactions to what you have learned about the Love Canal Disaster specifically, and about hazardous waste disposal in general. In doing so, special consideration should be given to the following:

You will have one last class period for doing research. When you are done, turn in your essay to the teacher on the due date given.

Team Page

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