Lesson plan:

Watch the clip and write about the case on your blog. How is it possible for one person to make a significant difference in so many people’s lives? Look at the facts below and do your research online. Call your post-redemption day and explain the title!

Competency goals:

  • Demonstrate understanding, independent reflection, and critical thinking in the analysis of some current social debates in English-speaking countries
  • Demonstrate understanding, independent reflection, and critical thinking in the analysis of some current social debates in English-speaking countries
  • Apply various subject-specific texts in English with topics from other subjects as a starting point for own language learning and professional reflection

Discuss the facts below with the class:erin brokovich

Erin Brockovich is an American paralegal, whistleblower, consumer advocate, and environmental activist who was instrumental in building a case against Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E) involving groundwater contamination in Hinkley, California with the help of attorney Ed Masry in 1993. Their successful lawsuit was the subject of the Oscar-winning film.

Currently, she is still an environmental activist and advocator. The Guardian.  She has been involved in several anti-pollution lawsuits such as a suit against Whitman Corporation for chromium contamination in Willits, California and another contamination near PG&E’s Kettleman Hills compressor station in Kings County, California. Recently, she has been working on a new case on “forever chemicals” in our water and their potential wide-spread health impact.

Erin Brockovich’s work on a cancer cluster in the California desert town of Hinkley led to a lawsuit, and later a Hollywood movie. Erin Brockovich-Ellis (born June 22, 1960) is an American legal clerk and environmental activist who, despite the lack of a formal law school education, or any legal education, was instrumental in constructing a case against the Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) of California in 1993. Read this article to find out more about the trial. What should we believe?

Watch the movie in class.

Discussion in class:

  1. Was the case described in the move as you had expected?
  2. Did you ever imagine it would be that difficult?
  3. What is fracking?
  4. What was Erin Brockovich’s role in building a case against PG&E?
  5. What are some of Erin Brockovich’s current activities?
  6. What are “forever chemicals,” and what is their potential widespread health impact?
  7. What were some of the environmental lawsuits that Erin Brockovich has been involved in?

Further activities:

Click here or on the picture to see the clip.


Discuss in groups the video about the real Erin Brockovich-Ellis; what surprised you?

Read and answer questions

Read the article in The Guardian and answer the following questions:

  1. What is the name of the island where one of Indonesia’s largest nickel mines is located?
  2. What is the name of the mining company that owns the $1bn site?
  3. What is the name of the Chinese battery component producer that has signed an agreement to purchase nickel from PT Halmahera Persada Lygend?
  4. What is the maximum contaminant level allowed by law in Indonesia for carcinogenic Cr6?
  5. What are some of the health problems that Cr6 can cause when ingested or inhaled?
  6. What is the percentage of people in poverty in Indonesia due to Covid?
  7. What is the prevalence of acute respiratory infections (ARI) in Kawasi compared to the national average?
  8. How long does it take to reach Kawasi’s port from Jakarta?
  9. What are some of the environmental and human rights abuses linked to cobalt and lithium mining?
  10. How does nickel’s supply chain compare to cobalt and lithium’s supply chains in terms of scrutiny and regulation?


  1. Write a letter to the residents of Hinkley explaining the science behind their problems. See facts for that here:  Erin_Brockovich_Oxidation_Formative_Assessment

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