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Citizen Climate Curriculum

For grades 9-12

Secondary

Description

This resource examines the scientific basis for urgent action on climate change as well as the social, economic and political implications of the policy formed in response. Students view selected videos, read and discuss scientific reports, articles and blogs, conduct research and participate in different role playing activities to better understand what goes into climate policy and negotiation. Topics explored include the carbon cycle, carbon budgets, climate targets, and the roles of technology, carbon tax and cap and trade in climate change mitigation and international climate negotiation. Upon completion students will be well-equipped to evaluate media coverage of climate change policy and to take steps to make their opinions heard.

Each of the eight lessons in the resource provides a detailed implementation plan and the information and materials needed to complete the activities.

 

General Assessment

What skills does this resource explicitly teach?

  • systems thinking
  • detecting bias
  • building consensus
  • letter writing
  • presentation skills

Strengths

The resource is thorough and the activities easy to implement.  All materials needed to complete the lessons are included and there is a good deal of support for both teacher and student.

The resource encourages systems thinking and students are given lots of opportunities to articulate their own views and opinions.

The resource includes both strong learning and action components.

Recommendation of how and where to use it

The resource will be most effective once students have a firm understanding of the causes and consequences of global warming.

Relevant Curriculum Units

The following tool will allow you to explore the relevant curriculum matches for this resource. To start, select a province listed below.

  • Step 1Select a province
  • Alberta
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Social Studies 20-2:Understanding of Nationalism: Internationalism in contemporary global affairs
        • Social Studies 20-4:Nationalism in Canada & the World- Internationalism
  • British Columbia
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Environmental Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Environmental Science 11:Humans can play a role in stewardship and restoration of ecosystems
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Environmental Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Environmental Science 12: Human activities cause changes in the global climate system
  • Manitoba
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    • Grade 10
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Senior 2 Science: Dynamics of Ecosystems
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Interdisciplinary Topics in Science 40S: Science, Technology, Society and the Environment
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Citizenship and Sustainability: Area of Inquiry: Environment
        • Global Issues
  • New Brunswick
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    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Environmental Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Advanced Environmental Science 120:Introduction to the human sphere
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • World Issues 120: Geopolitics
        • World Issues 120:Interdependence
  • Newfoundland & Labrador
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    • Grade 10
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      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Canadian Geography 1202: Global Issues n Canadian Geography
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Environmental Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Environmental Science 3205: The Atmosphere and the Environment
  • Northwest Territories
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Civic Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Challenges in the Global Environment
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Social Studies 20-2:Understanding of Nationalism: Internationalism in contemporary global affairs
        • Social Studies 20-4:Nationalism in Canada & the World- Internationalism
  • Nova Scotia
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    • Grade 9
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Atlantic Canada in the Global Community: Environment
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 10: Sustainability of Ecosystems
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Political Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Global Politics 12: Global Citizen
  • Nunavut
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    • Grade 11
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      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Social Studies 20-1:Perspectives on Nationalism : Internationalism & Global Affairs
        • Social Studies 20-2:Understanding of Nationalism: Internationalism in contemporary global affairs
  • Ontario
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    • Grade 9
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science (Academic):Biology: Sustainable Ecosystems
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science (Academic):Earth and Space Science: Climate Change
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Environmental Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Environmental Science (Univ/College Prep.) Scientific Solutions to Contemporary Environmental Challenges
        • Environmental Science (Workplace Prep.) Human Impact on the Environment
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Impacts of Change
        • Forces of Nature: Physical Processes and Disasters (Univ./College Prep.)
        • Regional Geography (Univ./College Prep.) Dynamics and Change
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • World Issues: A Geographic Analysis (College Prep.):Sustainability and Stewardship
        • World Issues: A Geographic Analysis (Univ. Prep.):Sustainability and Stewardship
      • Political Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Canadian and International Politics (Univ. Prep.) Non-governmental Action on Canadian and International Political Issues
  • Prince Edward Island
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    • Grade 9
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      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Interdependence: Atlantic Canada in the Global Community: Environment in the Global Community
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Geography of Canada 421A: Canada’s Global Connections
    • Grade 11
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Environmental Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Environmental Science 621A: Environmental Challenges and Successes
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Geography 621A Global Issues: Introduction- What is a global issue?
        • Geography 631A Global Issues: Introduction - What Is a Global Issue
      • Political Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Policy Issues
  • Quebec
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    • Grade 9
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      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • The Contemporary World: Environment
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Contemporary World: Environment
  • Saskatchewan
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Environmental Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Environmental Science 20: Atmosphere and Human Health
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Social Studiees 20:World Issues - Environment
  • Yukon Territory
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Environmental Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Environmental Science 11:Humans can play a role in stewardship and restoration of ecosystems
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Environmental Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Environmental Science 12: Human activities cause changes in the global climate system

Themes Addressed

  • Air, Atmosphere & Climate (1)

    • Climate Change
  • Governance (1)

    • International Relations

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives Very Good

A key objective of the resource is to illustrate the many perspectives and considerations that surround climate policy. Students are required to formulate and express their own viewpoints and  conclusions. 

Consideration of Alternative Perspectives:
  • Satisfactory: absence of bias towards any one point of view
  • Good: students consider different points of view regarding issues, problems discussed
  • Very good: based on the consideration of different views, students form opinions and  take an informed position
Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions Very Good

Exploring the environmental, social and economic aspects of climate change policy is a key component of the resource.

Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions:

Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.

  • Satisfactory: resource supports the examination of  these dimensions
  • Good:  resource explicitly examines the interplay of these dimensions
  • Very Good:  a systems-thinking approach is encouraged to examine these three dimensions
Respects Complexity Good
Respects Complexity:

The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.

Acting on Learning Good

Students are guided through the process of taking a position and acting on it through a formal letter-writing process. The action is informed, personally motivated and well supported by the resource.

Acting on Learning:

Learning moves from understanding  issues  to working towards positive change — in personal lifestyle, in school, in the community,  or for the planet

  • Satisfactory: action opportunities are included as extensions 
  • Good: action opportunities are core components of the resource
  • Very Good: action opportunities for students are well supported and intended to result in observable, positive change
Values Education Very Good

Reflecting on and responding to what is being learned is a point of emphasis throughout the lessons. 

Values Education:

Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.

Empathy & Respect for Humans Satisfactory

The lesson and simulation concerning international climate negotiations raise issues relating to equity among different populations and nations. 

Empathy & Respect for Humans: Empathy and respect are fostered for diverse groups of humans (including different genders, ethnic groups, sexual preferences, etc.).
Personal Affinity with Earth Good

The urgency and extent of the problem climate change is causing for the earth and its inhabitants is made clear and relevant.

Personal Affinity with Earth:

Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.  

  • Satisfactory: connection is made to the natural world
  • Good: fosters appreciation/concern for the natural world
  • Very Good: fosters stewardship though practical and respectful experiences out-of-doors 
Locally-Focused Learning Good

The nature of the discussion surrounding climate policy and negotiations is highly relevant to students given both its importance and prominence in the media.  The role-play and letter-writing activities further connect students personally to the learning. 

Locally-Focused Learning:

Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community. 

  • Satisfactory: learning is made relevant to the lives of the learners
  • Good: learning is made relevant and has a local focus
  • Very Good: learning is made relevant, local and takes place ‘outside’ , in the community 
Past, Present & Future Satisfactory

The resource encompasses a time period from Kyoto through the present and it supports student action towards a better future. 

Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.

Pedagogical Approaches

Principle Rating Explanation
Open-Ended Instruction Very Good

The resource avoids advocating any one position on climate policy.  The lessons address different perspectives and students draw their own conclusions.

Open-Ended Instruction :

Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.

Integrated Learning Good

This is a resource that will support outcomes in environmental science, geography, international relations & world issues.

Integrated Learning:

Learning brings together content and skills  from more than one  subject area

  • Satisfactory: content from a number of different  subject areas is readily identifiable
  • Good:  resource is appropriate for use in more than one subject area
  • Very Good:  the lines between subjects are blurred 
Inquiry Learning Satisfactory
Inquiry Learning:

Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.   

  • Satisfactory: Students are provided with questions/problems to solve and some direction on how to arrive at solutions.
  • Good: students, assisted by the teacher clarify the question(s) to ask and the process to follow to arrive at solutions.  Sometimes referred to as Guided Inquiry
  • Very Good:  students generate the questions and assume much of the responsibility for how to solve them.  . Sometimes referred to as self-directed learning.

 

Differentiated Instruction Satisfactory

There are a number of different teaching/learning strategies employed (video, games, role play, project work)  However the amount of reading required to complete activities will prove difficult for some students.

Differentiated Instruction:

Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.

  • Satisfactory:  includes a variety of instructional approaches
  • Good: addresses  the needs of visual, auditory &  kinesthetic learners
  • Very Good: also includes strategies for learners with difficulties
Experiential Learning Satisfactory

There are experiential learning opportunities found in 3 of the 8 lessons.

Experiential Learning:

Authentic learning experiences are provided

  • Satisfactory: learning takes place through ‘hands-on’ experience or simulation
  • Good: learning involves direct experience in a ‘real world context’
  • Very good: learning involves ‘real world experiences’ taking place’ beyond the school walls.
Cooperative Learning Satisfactory

Students work individually and in groups.  The resource promotes effective communication skills and includes one 'jigsaw' activity.

Cooperative Learning:

Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.

  • Satisfactory:  students work in groups
  • Good: cooperative learning skills are explicitly taught and practiced
  • Very Good: cooperative learning skills are explicitly taught, practiced and assessed
Assessment & Evaluation Poor/Not considered

Assessment tools and suggestions are not included. However, students do demonstrate what they have learned in a number of formats (individual & group presentations, model construction, role play) and these performances can assist in assessment.

Assessment & Evaluation: Tools are provided that help students and teachers to capture formative and summative information about students' learning and performance. These tools may include reflection questions, checklists, rubrics, etc.
Peer Teaching Satisfactory
Peer Teaching:

Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.

  • Satisfactory: incidental teaching that arises from cooperative learning, presentations, etc.
  • Good or Very Good: an opportunity is intentionally created to empower students to teach other students/community members. The audience is somehow reliant on the students' teaching (students are not simply ‘presenting')
Case Studies Poor/Not considered

While students are presented with authentic scenarios and data to consider and work with, the information is representative as opposed to being derived from a specific case or situation. 

Case Studies:

Relevant case studies are included.  Case studies are thorough descriptions of real events from real situations that students use to explore  concepts in an authentic context.

Locus of Control Good

Students have a good deal of latitude in how they report and demonstrate their findings and their viewpoints.

Locus of Control: Meaningful opportunities are provided for students to choose elements of program content, the medium in which they wish to work, and/or to go deeper into a chosen issue.