Students watch a video about the pros and cons of tourism, and learn how tourism affects natural resources and social needs. They then create posters to attract visitors to the Loess Hills while also providing safety and care guidelines for their visits.
This lesson is part of "Great States: Iowa | Unit 1: Introduction & Geography." In this unit, students will be introduced to the history and geography of Iowa. Students examine the societal challenge of balancing competing demands on fragile resources.
H.SS.2.24: Describe the intended and unintended consequences of decisions about using Iowa’s natural resources.
E.SS.3.13: Identify how people use natural resources, human resources, and physical capital to produce goods and services.
SS.4.4: Construct responses to compelling questions using reasoning, examples, and relevant details.
G.SS.4.17: Create a geographic representation to illustrate how the natural resources in an area affect the decisions people make.
- Video: Working Landscapes – Tourism
- An interactive whiteboard, projector, or another type of screen to show videos to the class
- Blackboard or chalkboard
- Poster board
- Markers, crayons, or colored pencils
- Various arts materials
- Ask students to think of a time that they have visited another city or region in Iowa as tourists. What benefits did their visits give to that place? In what way might they have caused harm? Jot these ideas on the board.
- Indicate that they will be watching a short video focusing on the positive and negative aspects of tourism, and using the Loess Hills of Iowa as an example. Tell students to listen for arguments for and against tourism.
Play the video, Working Landscapes – Tourism. [3:18]
- Have students share additional arguments for and against tourism that they heard in the video. Write these on the board. The background essay in the video’s support materials provides more pros and cons of tourism if students need further prompting.
- Direct students to design posters that both entice people to visit the Loess Hills and provide guidelines for how to protect the site from potential negative impacts. This can be done as an individual, pair, or small group assignment.
- Makes people aware of new places [1:40]
- Economic development, brings money to the state [0:20, 2:30]
- Allows more people to experience and connect to nature [3:15]
- Publically owned lands can encourage such a large volume of tourism that these lands have the potential to suffer from overuse and irresponsible use [0:26–0:43]
- Need to find solutions to transport large quantities of people [1:22]
- Can have negative impacts on ecology: air quality, trash, impact on wildlife, etc. [0:52, 1:29, 2:29, 3:02]