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This resource provides an inquiry-based approach to learning about the Earth’s changing climate over time, including causes, evidence and impacts and the role of humans. The lesson plans allow students to learn more about climate change through their own questions, hands-on experiments and observations. The five lesson plans provide age-appropriate content, teacher backgrounders, students handouts, slideshows, slideshow notes, and tangible classroom resources.
Lesson 1: Students will reflect on what they already know about climate change through a mind-mapping activity. They develop an understanding of the geological time scale by building a timeline in class, highlighting key events over the history of the Earth.
Lesson 2: Students will work in groups to familiarize themselves with one example of evidence of climate change. They then share their findings with a new group and learn from each other about other examples. Finally, students revisit their mind maps from Lesson 1 to show what they've learned.
Lesson 3:Through a slideshow, students will learn about the causes of climate change, they will then design their own experiment to test one variable related to climate change and the greenhouse effect. In part two, students will set up and conduct their experiments before analyzing their results and adding new learnings to their mind maps from Lesson 1.
Lesson 4: Students will explore renewable energy as a way of reducing greenhouse gas emissions before looking at examples of renewable natural gas. Students will discuss sustainable practices and brainstorm examples. They will then share their thoughts on renewable energy and climate change through a Talking Circle.
Lesson 5: Students will go for a walk in their community to identify factors and actions that affect the causes of climate change. Back in the classroom, students will brainstorm thoughts on questions about climate change and add them to their mind maps before reflecting on their learning in the module.
This resource would be excellent to introduce the concepts of climate change, renewable vs non-renewable energy, and greenhouse gas emissions or effects.
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|
The issue of climate change is well presented and is based on both scientific data and knowledge of First Nations communities. After reviewing the information, students form their own opinions and take an informed position.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives: |
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions||Good|
After reviewing all the information on climate change, energy and greenhouse gas emissions, students clearly see how environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue are connected.
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions: |
Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.
|Respects Complexity||Very Good|
|Respects Complexity: |
The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.
|Acting on Learning||Good|
Students are encouraged to commit to do an action for a week or two to help with reducing the causes of climate change. As an extension, the lesson proposes to re-check with students after the two weeks and follow-up with a journal entry or further commitment to action.
|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|
Throughout the lessons, students are consistently encouraged to share their own beliefs and values. As well, students learn how to do this properly during a Talking Circle in lesson 4.
|Values Education: |
Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.
|Empathy & Respect for Humans||Poor/Not considered|
This is not a focus of this resource
|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|
Students will go for a community walk to identify causes of climate change in their community.
|Personal Affinity with Earth: |
Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.
|Locally-Focused Learning||Very Good|
During the last lesson of this set of five, students head outside in their community and identify causes of climate change. They are then asked to commit to one action that they will change for a week or two to help the Earth.
|Locally-Focused Learning: |
Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community.
|Past, Present & Future||Very Good|
The lesson centers around climate change and therefore looks at the past in how it was caused, the present in where we are now, and actions to help our future.
|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|
Throughout the lessons, students are asked to reflect on their learning and share their opinions. There is no right answer and students can share without judgement.
Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.
|Integrated Learning: |
Learning brings together content and skills from more than one subject area
|Inquiry Learning||Very Good|
In Lesson 3, students get to decide one inquiry question they would like to answer and plan and conduct an investigation to answer their question.
|Inquiry Learning: |
Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.
The variety of activities in this resource addresses the needs of visual, auditory, and kinesthethic learners. However, it does not include strategies for learners with difficulties.
|Differentiated Instruction: |
Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.
|Experiential Learning||Very Good|
Students get to conduct their own hands-on experiment. They also participate in a community walk to assess the causes of climate change in their own community therefore taking learning beyond the school walls.
|Experiential Learning: |
Authentic learning experiences are provided
Students need to work in groups in order to be successful during this lesson plan.
|Cooperative Learning: |
Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.
|Assessment & Evaluation||Satisfactory|
Assessment ideas are provided in every lesson throughout this resource. However, no rubrics or checklists are 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.|
|Peer Teaching||Very Good|
Students participate in a jigsaw activity where they become experts on one evidence of climate change. They share their learning with their peers about that evidence of climate change.
|Peer Teaching: |
Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.
|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||Very Good|
Students consistently have a choice during the lessons in this resource.
|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.|