“¿Sabe usted qué riesgos para la salud ambiental existen en su comunidad?” The National Library of Medicine has produced a Spanish-language version of Tox Town, an interactive web site created for children to learn about health hazards in their environment. By clicking on categories such as “la ciudad,” “la granja,” “el puerto,” “la escuela,” “la oficina” and even “regiones fronterizas de los EEUU,” you will be taken to an interactive map. Dragging an arrow across places on the map gives you the name in Spanish, a sound effect and, on the right side, a list of possible health hazards. While the chemical information can be quite technical, some students may be able to draw upon their science knowledge to make connections. The
cartoon-style maps are easy to interpret and can be used for vocabulary reinforcement and story-telling. Before checking the maps, students can also speculate about what environmental hazards one might encounter in each place and strategies that communities use to minimize these health risks. Who is responsible for making a community safe? What role does each member or constituency in a community play? The web site offers resources for teachers and classroom activities in English that can be converted for use with Spanish-language learners. There is also a “Tox Town Mystery” interactive game available on a cd in Spanish and English, although I have not seen it yet.