a civil action

A Civil Action (1998)

Concept featured in clip:groundwater pollution
Location of clip: Entire Movie (DVD)

Play Flickclip Here

Summary of clip: There is a scene where Jan Schlitzman (John Travolta) is speaking with Anne Anderson about her son's struggle with leukemia that ultimately led to his death. She then describes the other children in the neighborhood who are also sick because of the TCE in the groundwater.

Connection of flickclip to the concept:This flickclip is a powerful way to start a learning cycle on pollution and its possible effects on society. Students realize that dumping of pollutions can do more than just kill animals and dirty rivers. It can devastate human lives.
Suggestions to teachers:

1. Suggested questions for students when viewing the clip:

a. What are types of pollution that you can think of?

b. What are the effects of the pollutions?

c. How is the dumping of TCE a form of pollution?

d. How can the dumping of something in a river ultimately affect human lives?

e. What are some other possible ramifications of dumping chemicals in a river?

f. How likely are these cases of lukemia just coincidences?

g. Why would a company cover up their pollution?

2. You can use this clip to set up a mock courtroom. Students can research cases from both the side of the polluter and the side of the victims. They can take roles such as the judge, jury, environmental activist, business executive, journalist, citizen, student or lawyer.

3. This clip can be used as an assessment for pollution. Students can view the clip and then describe how this case of pollution was caused, its effects, and possible ways to rectify the situation.