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Can Leetso and Hozho' Coexist?
Uranium Education for Middle School Students

Learning Experiences and Instruction

By the end of this unit, students will be expected to know and be able to do the following:

Students will need to know...

  • Key terms: hozhˇ; radioactivity; alpha, beta, and gamma radiation; radioisotope; half-life; daughter products; leetso; uranium; radon; reclamation; tailings; rad; rem; millirem; mineral; ore; debris pile; yellowcake
  • History and techniques of mining and milling
  • Products and benefits of mining
  • Environmental impacts of mining
  • Health impacts of uranium mining
  • Medical uses of radiation
  • Techniques and effectiveness of reclamation efforts
  • Atomic structure of uranium, radon, and radioactive decay sequence
  • Types and detection of radiation
  • Types of uranium and coal ores
  • Uses and generation of nuclear power
  • Tribal sovereignty issues relating to mining and reclamation

Students will need to be able to...

  • Design and conduct an opinion/attitude survey
  • Interview a miner, miller, or family member of uranium industry worker
  • Analyze statistical data
  • Present data in graphic formats
  • Generate Venn diagrams
  • Use the internet and the library to research background information
  • Calculate half-lives of radioisotopes
  • Design bumper stickers
  • Draw comic strips
  • Create posters
  • Produce a video commercial
  • Produce an audio public service announcement
  • Illustrate a story or poem
  • Write a story or a poem
  • Write an editorial or letter to the editor
  • Create a brochure
  • Write a letter of application
  • Operate a Geiger counter

What teaching and learning experiences will equip students to demonstrate the targeted understandings? (see Facet Chart for recommended grouping of activities)

Guest speakers (topics below):

  • Hozhˇ
  • nuclear power plant
  • reclamation


  • atomic structure & radioactive decay
  • DinÚ (Navajo) uranium mining
  • nuclear industry (#7)
  • reclamation

Lab activities & worksheets:

  • rocks & minerals
  • ores: uranium and coal
  • radioactivity: modeling radioactive half-lives (#3)
        radioactivity in earth and water (#3)
  • radiation: calculation of personal radiation dose (#2)
        measuring background radiation using a Geiger counter (#2)
        calculating radiation dose rate from a radioactive source (#2)
        observing radiation using a cloud chamber (#2 or #3)
        making radiation photographs (#2)
        effects of distance and shielding (#3)
        ionizing radiation effects on cells (#3)
  • radon: radon in your lungs (#3)
        radon in your house (#3)

Research activities:

  • use computers to search the internet
  • use the library to research topics in problems
  • interview community members who worked in uranium industry
  • survey community attitudes & opinions of uranium industry

Field trips:

  • hospital to see examples of uses of radiation in medical profession
  • community sites of mining, milling, and water sources

Demonstrations by teacher or other presenter:

  • writing poems and stories
  • writing editorials
  • graphing
  • letters to the editor
  • developing attitude surveys
  • constructing Venn diagrams
  • illustration
  • letters of application
  • interviewing techniques
  • compiling statistical data

Leetzo and Hozhˇ Contents | Curriculum | Back | Next


Last updated: April 4, 2002


ôWe do not inherit the Earth from our ancestor, we borrow it from our childrenö
Native American Proverb