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The resource consists of three learning activities originally designed to help students prepare for a high school climate change competition held in conjunction with Copenhagen 2009. Although the competition has passed, these activities provide teachers with relevant and effective tools for exploring climate change in the classroom. Students will:
Activity 1. Climate Chat: Students explore their awareness and feelings toward climate change and its consequences.
Activity 2. Face the Facts: Students discuss their reaction to key climate change facts.
Activity 3. Going to Copenhagen: Working in groups, students conduct research and represent the interests of different counties during a mock ‘Copenhagen-style’ conference the class will host on climate change.
Through the following lessons, students will:
This resource provides a very relevant and interesting project for today's youth using project-based learning.
The resource is very explicit in the development of the activities, as well as the background information needed by the teacher. In addition, it guides the students through their research and discussions. It is a very well planned resource.
In order to complete this project, a certain amount of technology must be available at the school or to the students. It also assumes students are well versed in filming and editing video material. It could probably be a bit more explicit in guiding students through this activity.
The last activity, filming a video to be sent to the Copenhagen Conference on Climate is no longer relevant.
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||Good|
Students must discuss their opinions on the topic of climate change. They must also conduct research and come to their own conclusions about the causes and effects of climate change. The resource guides students on how and where to start their search, but students are not limited to the resources cited. The reference resources cited cover various organizations that are world-renowned.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives: |
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions||Good|
Students must research how climate change affects species, food supply, weather patterns, the world's poor, etc. The environmental and social dimensions and to some extent the economic dimension are explored.
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions: |
Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.
Students must answer very complex questions - questions to which even our most respected leaders struggle with.
|Respects Complexity: |
The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.
|Acting on Learning||Satisfactory|
Students must research a complex question, then present their findings and conclusions to their peers in a mock UN conference. In addition, they must create a video addressing the world's leaders on why they need to come to a real deal and sign a new fair and binding climate change agreement at the COP15.
|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: |
Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.
|Empathy & Respect for Humans||Satisfactory|
By completing Activity 3 in particular, students will empathise with the nation they represent.
|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||Poor/Not considered|
|Personal Affinity with Earth: |
Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.
The project is relevant for residents of the Earth, as it addresses an international conference on climate change. However, it does not look at how climate change might affect the students' local communities.
|Locally-Focused Learning: |
Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community.
|Past, Present & Future||Good|
The research component includes looking into the history of climate change science. It also encourages students to look at how innovative some communities are at tackling this issue. The tone of the resource is positive.
|Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.|
Students must answer complex questions based on their own research. There is no "right" answer. Different groups of students conducting the same research will come up with different solutions to the problem.
Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.
The resource presents itself as a Social Studies project. It has strong links to science (environmental science). It also links to Math (Activity 1: students must display their findings in a chart or graph). Towards the end of the project, students must complete an entry form that contains several short essay questions, as well as create a video; thus linking Language Arts, Performing Arts, and Media & Technology).
|Integrated Learning: |
Learning brings together content and skills from more than one subject area
The learning activities encourage students to discuss with their peers and come to their own conclusions on climate change based on their own research.
|Inquiry Learning: |
Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.
Activities cover a range of learning styles. However, acommodations are not provided for students with learning difficulties.
|Differentiated Instruction: |
Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.
|Experiential Learning: |
Authentic learning experiences are provided
Throughout the activities, students are expected to work collaboratively. The activities provided explicitly teach various strategies for sharing one's opinions and coming to a consensus on a complex question.
|Cooperative Learning: |
Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.
|Assessment & Evaluation||Satisfactory|
Two rubrics are included. The first is an auto- and peer assessment of the collaborative work of students. The second rubric is directly related to the presentation given by the students during the mock conference.
|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.|
Students must work in small groups throughout the project, thus learning from each other. During the mock conference, they must also present to their 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||Poor/Not considered|
|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||Satisfactory|
Although most of the activities are structured, students do have a choice in the final product (video).
|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.|