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Get Real on Climate

Climate Change Lesson Plans for Grades 9-12

Secondary

Description

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:

  • explore the nature of climate change, its consequences and possible solutions;
  • debate controversial aspects of climate change;
  • learn about individual, community-level, national and international opportunities to mitigate climate change;
  • discover why children are vulnerable to the effects of climate change;
  • conduct research into climate change;
  • represent different countries in a ‘mock’ international conference on climate change
  • design and implement a survey on climate change;

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. 

General Assessment

Strengths

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.

Weaknesses

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.

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.

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  • Alberta
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 9
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Environmental Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Environment and Outdoor Education: Environmental Investigations
    • Grade 10
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 10: Energy Flow in Global Systems
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Social Studies 10-1(Perspectives on Globalization) CitizensResponse to Globalization
        • Social Studies 10-2 (Living in a Globalizing World) Personal Response to Globalization
        • Social Studies 10-4 (Living in a Globalizing World) Personal Response to Globalization
  • British Columbia
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    • Grade 12
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      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Geography 12:Resources and Environmental Sustainability
        • Geography 12:Weather and Climate
  • Manitoba
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    • Grade 9
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      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Canada in the Contemporary World: Opportunities and Challenges
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Senior 2 Science: Weather Dynamics
  • New Brunswick
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    • Grade 9
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      • Social Studies
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        • Canadian Identity: Citizenship
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      • Science
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        • Weather Dynamics
    • Grade 12
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      • Environmental Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Environmental Science 120: An Overview of Environmental Science
        • Environmental Science 120: Investigating Environmental Issues
      • Social Studies
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        • World Issues 120: Issues Facing the Global Village
        • World Issues 120: Players in the Global Community and Their Relationship
  • Newfoundland & Labrador
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    • Grade 10
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 1206: Weather Dynamics
    • Grade 11
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      • Science
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        • Science 2200: Weather Dynamics
    • Grade 12
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      • Environmental Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Environmental Science 3205: Introduction to Environmental Science
        • Environmental Science 3205: The Atmosphere and the Environment
  • Northwest Territories
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    • Grade 10
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 10: Energy Flow in Global Systems
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Social Studies 10-1(Perspectives on Globalization) CitizensResponse to Globalization
        • Social Studies 10-2 (Living in a Globalizing World) Personal Response to Globalization
        • Social Studies 10-4 (Living in a Globalizing World) Personal Response to Globalization
  • Nova Scotia
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    • Grade 9
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      • Social Studies
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        • Atlantic Canada in the Global Community: Environment
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        • Science 10: Weather Dynamics
    • Grade 12
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      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Global Geography: Planet Earth
  • Nunavut
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    • Grade 10
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 10: Energy Flow in Global Systems
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Social Studies (Applied): Cooperation
        • Social Studies 10-1(Perspectives on Globalization) CitizensResponse to Globalization
        • Social Studies 10-2 (Living in a Globalizing World) Personal Response to Globalization
  • Ontario
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    • Grade 9
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Issues in Canadian Geography (Applied): Managing Canada's Resources and Industries
      • Science
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        • Science (Applied): Biology: Sustainable Ecosystems and Human Activity
    • Grade 10
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      • Civic Studies
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        • Civics and Citizenship (Open): Civic Awareness
        • Civics and Citizenship (Open): Political Inquiry and Skill Development
    • Grade 11
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      • 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
        • Geographics: The Geographer’s Toolkit (Workplace Prep) Global Connections
        • Geographics: The Geographer’s Toolkit (Workplace Prep) Human-Environment Interactions
        • Physical Geography: Patterns, Processes, and Interactions (Univ./College Prep.) Understanding and Managing Change
        • Physical Geography: Patterns, Processes, and Interactions(Univ./College Prep.) Human-Environment Interactions
        • Physical Geography: Patterns, Processes, and Interactions(Univ./College Prep.) Global Connections
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Global Connections
        • Canada & World Issues: A Geographic Analysis (Univ. Prep.): Human-Environment Interactions
        • Geomatics :Geotechnologies in Action (Univ./College Prep.) Human-Environment Interactions
        • The Environment & Resource Management (Workplace Prfeparation)
      • Political Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Canadian and World Politics (Univ. Prep.) Participation in the International Community
  • Prince Edward Island
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    • Grade 10
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 421A: Weather Dynamics
        • Science 431A: Weather Systems
    • 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 : Inquiry- What are the issues?
        • Geography 631A: What are the issues?
  • Yukon Territory
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    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Earth and Space Science: Energy Transfers in Natural Systems

Themes Addressed

  • Air, Atmosphere & Climate (1)

    • Climate Change

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Bias Minimization 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.

Bias Minimization: Presents as many different points of view as necessary to fairly address the issue(s).
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:

The resource effectively addresses multiple dimensions of problems and solutions. These should include the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.

Respects Complexity Good

Students must answer very complex questions - questions to which even our most respected leaders struggle with.

Respects Complexity: The complexity of problems is respected. A systems-thinking approach is encouraged.
Action Experience 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. 

Action Experience: Provides opportunities for authentic action experiences in which students can work to make positive change in their communities.
  • Poor = action activities poorly developed
  • Satisfactory = action opportunities are extensions instead of being integral to the main part of the activity
Action Skills Satisfactory

One of the activities, Activity 2: Face the Facts explicitly teaches students strategies for coming to agreement on difficult questions.

Action Skills: Explicitly teaches the skills needed for students to take effective action (e.g. letter-writing, consensus-building, etc.).
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: Actively encourages a personal affinity with non-humans and with Earth. For example, this may involve practical and respectful experiences out-of-doors.
Locally-Focused Satisfactory

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: Encourages learning that is locally-focused/made concrete in some way and is relevant to the lives of the learners.
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.

Pedagogical Approaches

Principle Rating Explanation
Open-Ended Instruction Good

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.

Open-Ended Instruction :

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

Interdisciplinary and Multidisciplinary Learning Good

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).

Interdisciplinary and Multidisciplinary Learning: Multidisciplinary= addresses a number of different subjects Interdisciplinary= integrated approach that blurs subject lines Good: The resource provides opportunities for learning in a number of traditional 'subject' areas (eg. Language Arts, Science, Math, Art, etc.). Very Good: The resource takes an integrated approach to teaching that blurs the lines between subject boundaries.
Discovery Learning Satisfactory

The learning activities encourage students to discuss with their peers and come to their own conclusions on climate change based on their own research.

Discovery Learning:

Learning activities are constructed so that students discover and build knowledge for themselves and develop largely on their own an understanding of concepts, principles and relationships. They often do this by wrestling with questions, and/or solving problems by exploring their environment, and/or physically manipulating objects and/or performing experiments.

  • Satisfactory = Students are provided with intriguing questions, materials to use & some direction on how to find answers. The learning involves unique experience & provides some opportunity for an 'ah-hah' event
  • Good = Students are provided with intriguing questions, materials to use, & make their own decisions on how to find answers. The learning involves unique experience & provides definite opportunity for an 'ah-hah' event.
  • Very Good = Students choose what questions to investigate as well as the materials/strategies to use to answer them.
Values Clarification Satisfactory
Values Clarification: Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.
  • Poor = Students are not explicitly given an opportunity to clarify their own values.
  • Satisfactory = Students are given a formal opportunity to clarify their own values. The range of perspectives in the resource is limited, therefore, students do not have an appropriate amount of information to clarify their own values.
Differentiated Instruction Satisfactory

Activities cover a range of learning styles. However, acommodations are not provided for students with learning difficulties.

Differentiated Instruction: Activities address a range of learning styles/different intelligences. They teach to both cognitive and affective domains. Accommodations are suggested for people with learning difficulties.
Experiential Learning Satisfactory
Experiential Learning: Direct, authentic experiences are used.
  • Satisfactory = simulation
  • Good = authentic experience
  • Very Good = authentic experience related to the primary goal of the lesson
Cooperative Learning Good

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.
  • 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 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.
Peer Teaching Satisfactory

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.
  • 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
Case Studies: Relevant case studies are used. Case studies are thorough descriptions of real events in real situations that can be used to examine 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.