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The 2-week unit begins with an introduction to climate change. In week one, a foundation is laid for understanding some of the forces behind climate change. Students first explore the basic scientific phenomena related to climate change, beginning with the carbon cycle and the greenhouse effect and conclude with an analysis of different fuel types.
The goal of the second week is to deepen the students’ understanding of climate change and its connections to various social, economic, and environmental concerns. By the end of this unit, students will understand and be able to communicate complex and interconnected themes related to climate change.
Lesson 1: Through an experiment, students explore Earth’s greenhouse effect and graph results of 3 scenarios to draw conclusions about how greenhouse gases affect air temperature.
Lesson 2: Students graph data to examine seasonal and long-term atmospheric carbon dioxide trends during the past 45 years and predict future carbon dioxide emissions.
Lesson 3: In small groups students learn about potential impacts of climate change on living things and communicate these impacts to their school community through informative posters or other media.
Lesson 4: Students gather information about their personal energy use to calculate their carbon footprint.
Lesson 5: In small groups, students read about various sources of energy used for electricity production. Students identify the pros and cons of these energy sources and take a position, either encouraging or discouraging the class to use particular energy sources.
Lesson 6: In small groups, students examine the climate of countries in different environments. Students then predict what might happen to the climate of a particular country as the earth continues to warm.
Lesson 7: Students begin with a simulation to understand limits imposed by environmental regulations. They compare 2 structural solutions to regulate carbon emissions, then play a cap and trade game that explores ways to reduce emissions in the most cost-effective manner.
Lesson 8: In a simulation, students experience how resources are distributed and used by different people based on access to wealth, paying attention to the environmental and social impacts of resource consumption.
Lesson 9: Students compare energy use and Co2 emissions by country and per capita in developing and developed countries. They discuss energy impacts and suggest policies for addressing global climate change related to energy use.
This resource explicitly teaches:
The following tool will allow you to explore the relevant curriculum matches for this resource. To start, select a province listed below.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives||Very Good|
While this is clearly a scientific unit presenting a scientific view, other non-scientifc opinions are well represented.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives: |
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions||Very Good|
Although the scientific dimension is emphasized, at least 2 units along with supplementary readings examine the effects of climate on various cultures throughout the world. Other dimensions addressed include the environmental and social impacts of resource consumption and climate justice.
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions: |
Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.
|Respects Complexity||Very Good|
There are 9 unit lessons with supplementary activities. The complexity of climate change is well respected and presented throughout the units.
|Respects Complexity: |
The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.
|Acting on Learning||Good|
There are a few action-orientated projects and extensions explored within the unit for students to make positive changes in their communities. However many of the activities have the potential to extend student action into the community.
|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
|Values Education||Very Good|
Each unit ends with a series of reflective questions.
|Values Education: |
Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.
|Empathy & Respect for Humans||Very Good|
The effects of climate on various cultures throughout the world is discussed. Students explore the environmental and social impacts of their resource consumption and climate justice.
|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||Satisfactory|
One of the units talks about the effects of climate change on living organisms.
|Personal Affinity with Earth: |
Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.
Each unit starts with a question such as: what is an ecosystem? or what is the difference between climate change and global warming? However, these questions do not relate directly to the reality of the students.
|Locally-Focused Learning: |
Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community.
|Past, Present & Future||Very Good|
One unit explores the long-term atmospheric carbon dioxide trend over the past 45 years.
Severals units talk about present effects of climate change.
Finally, one unit talks about possible cleaner futures.
|Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.|
|Open-Ended Instruction||Very Good|
Most of lessons have a multiple answers.
Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.
|Integrated Learning||Very Good|
Disciplines such as math, economics, geography, technology and language arts are incorporated into the scientific discussions.
|Integrated Learning: |
Learning brings together content and skills from more than one subject area
Students are provided with intriguing questions, materials to use, & make their own decisions on how to find answers.
|Inquiry Learning: |
Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.
A variety of learning activities are included in the lessons.
• Critical thinking
• Systems thinking
• Written and oral communication
Accommodations are not suggested for people with learning difficulties.
|Differentiated Instruction: |
Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.
|Experiential Learning||Very Good|
Authentic experiences are provided.
|Experiential Learning: |
Authentic learning experiences are provided
|Cooperative Learning: |
Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.
|Assessment & Evaluation||Satisfactory|
Each unit provides capture information for students' learning. Reflective and review questions are also provided.
|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.|
Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills but only to their classroom peers.
|Peer Teaching: |
Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.
|Case Studies||Very Good|
Relevant case studies or experiences are effectively used.
|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|
Most of learning is teacher directed but sufficient opportunities are made available for students to choose program content.
|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.|