Students may not recognize items
created from natural substances versus those created by artificial
means. For instance, wood products such as paper or wooden desks are
made from trees. So the material is natural, but the product itself if
human created. However, plastics resulted from a chemical combination
involving petroleum products and are artificially created. The petroleum
products are natural but the plastics are chemically derived.
Technology today makes many
artificial products that look very much like the natural ones it
imitates. It may be confusing to children to separate these terms. An
ant, bird, or any other animal makes a home and we call that natural. A
human makes a home and that is considered artificial or human-made. What
is the difference? When an organism lives within the context of the
other living creatures in an area, that is natural. When organisms, like
humans, control the environment to the point where it doesn't resemble
its original state, it is considered artificial or a built environment
created by humans.
Emphasize to your students that they
control the future directions of our built environment. When they grow
up, they will have positions as builders, architects, bankers, planners,
geologists, politicians, and engineers who will help decide where and
what is constructed in an area. Students will also become consumers, who
can "demand" certain buildings.
Each person can make a difference on
how they work, play, and consume products in our country. Each person
influences the next generation and to understand how the environment is
a part of that future is important.
- Using the worksheet, have students
circle those items which are made by humans.
- Discuss each item with students on
what is the original material and how it was created.
- A seastar is naturally created. The five part
symmetry is natural artwork.
- A corkscrew is human-made,
although the handle may be wood and the metal is derived from nature.
All the raw products would have to be made in a human factory.
worm created its home without any intervention of humans.
glider is human-made from different fabrics, wood, and metal.
tree is natural.
- Rockets are made by humans, but the man itself is
made by nature.
- Cars are manufactured by humans, although some of
the parts especially metal and rubber are derived from nature. Many
parts of a car today are made of products that are synthetically
- Clouds are naturally made of water.
- A light bulb is
artificially made. Glass is derived from quartz (a mineral) or
quartzite (a rock) which are natural.
- The man is using machines to
make something in a factory, this would be human-made.
- The tools,
although made of metals which occur natural, are human made.
cow is nature made.