Name:  Susan Kuhn


College:  Mt. Hood Community College

Class/Level: Intermediate Level Listening/Speaking Ė Meets once a week for 3 hours - CASAS SPLs 4-6

CA Obj.: #10 Community Resources Directory

Language and Literacy Objectives:

2. Write scripts and perform language functions to collect information and take mini-fieldtrips.

4. Locate maps on the Internet (or in hard copy form if the Internet is not available at Maywood Park Campus).

            5. * Name important places in the community and their locations.


Resources Used: 

            Portland Water Bureau presenter Judy Burlin

            Pie chart regarding home water use:  National Water Use           


            When I was unable to answer a studentís question about her water bill, I thought it would be appropriate to have a presenter from the Portland Water Bureau come talk about water bills, as well as water use and conservation.  As PCC and MHCC had had regional meetings together for the last 2 terms, I knew that PCC instructors had already set up presentations with someone from that Bureau so in order to make my process easier, I contacted one of the instructors (Ann Kopel) and got the name and email address for their presenter.  I asked her to attend my class and she readily agreed. 

            The week before the presentation I had the students complete a water use pie chart.  I used the pie chart that is attached and I whited-out the names of the sections.  Students looked at the percents and tried to figure out which activity (washing dishes, washing clothes, etc.) would use that percent of water.  None of them knew that the toilet was the biggest user of water, and they were surprised.  Then we discussed possible questions they would like to ask the presenter.  They were encouraged to bring their water bills if they had any specific questions or issues that she could help them with.

            On the night of the presentation, the lower level Listening/Speaking class joined our class for an interactive, fun-filled hour and a half presentation.  The students began with a discussion of how much of the earth is drinkable water, and then where that water comes from (rivers, snow-caps, etc.)  The presenter used Google Earth on the Internet to show the students where most of Portlandís water comes from (Bull Run) and they got to see where itís held in reservoirs.  None of the students were familiar with Mt. Tabor and that led to an interesting discussion of the park and the open reservoirs.  They were surprised to learn that a park could have such importance to their daily lives.  Finally, the presenter handed out postcards that students could return to the Bureau to receive water conservation tools such as low-flow shower heads, etc.  It would have been great if we could have taken a field-trip to Mt. Tabor Park as a final event, but that was unfortunately not possible since the classes ran in the evening.


CASAS Competencies: 

0.1.2 Identify or use appropriate language for informational purposes (e.g., to identify, describe, ask for information, state needs, command, agree or disagree, ask permission)

0.1.6 Clarify or request clarification

5.7.1 Interpret information about environmental issues

7.2.3 Make comparisons, differentiating among, sorting, and classifying items, information, or ideas


Student Responses:

            The students enjoyed the presentation and learned a lot.   The presenter was able to answer all of the studentsí

questions and stayed to chat with some of the students after her presentation had ended.   The students were attentive during the presentation and asked questions that showed their depth of understanding.  The presenter did a great job with using visuals and keeping the presentation moving at the right speed.   I was impressed with her ability to connect with students of varying levels of English proficiency and will be having her come in the spring term to give the same presentation to another class.  It was a success and the students enjoyed learning more about an important resource and their community.