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Changing Climate - Years 9 & 10

Exploring the Natural World

Secondary

Description

Students learn about the causes and effects of climate change and its impacts on both human and non-human communities. Special attention is paid to the values and emotions that we are all experiencing in this crisis and the power of the individual to make a difference.

Lesson One:

Students watch and discuss a short video that introduces the lesson’s topics that include greenhouse gases, the greenhouse effect, global warming and anthropogenic climate change. Students then use infographics, selected readings and discussion to delve deeper into each one and how they are related. They also discuss their personal thoughts and emotions in response to a number of images depicting the effects of climate and extreme weather events before exploring the concept of ‘deep time’.

Lesson Two:

With the help of video and selected readings students explore the relationship between burning fossil fuels, greenhouse gases and global warming. A focus is placed on understanding the connections between human production, consumption, pollution and a warming climate. Through images and discussion students also consider eco-anxiety and the power of ‘understanding the problem’ and ‘taking action’ in dealing with it.

Lesson Three:

Through video, case study analysis, role play and simulation, students drill down on the specific impacts that climate change is having locally and globally on the built and natural environment. They consider the urgency for action and evaluate current steps being taken in climate change adaptation.

Lesson Four:

Students reflect on a very powerful presentation laying out the challenges that lie ahead in repairing our planet. To help address the feelings of anxiety that exist among many, students examine the efforts of different “global change-makers”, evaluate their impacts, and collectively consider the concept of “Be the Change”. Using guidelines and templates provided by the resource, students adopt personal pledges to respond to the climate crisis.

Each lesson is supported by a detailed plan in both pdf and slide format. It includes objectives, step by step activities, implementation suggestions and links to all necessary materials that include a wide range of excellent visual and print resources. The resource is designed for both in-class and at-home learning.

 

General Assessment

Strengths

  • The resource will help students understand the issue of  climate change.
  • The activities are engaging and student centered.
  • The message of urgency is accompanied with optimism for the future.
  • The resources provided to support the students are excellent.
  • The resource is complete and easy-to-use.  Links are provided to all essential tools and support.
  • Providing students with opportunities to express their feeling and values is a core component.

Recommendation of how and where to use it

These lessons will serve as an excellent resource to support the study of climate change across the curriculum.  They can be implemented in both classroom and distance-learning settings.

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 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 10: Energy Flow in Global Systems
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 20: The Changing Earth
  • British Columbia
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Earth Science 11: The transfer of energy through the atmosphere creates weather and is affected by climate change
        • Science for Citizenship 11: Scientific understanding enables humans to respond and adapt to changes locally and globally
  • Manitoba
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    • Grade 10
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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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        • Canadian Identity: Citizenship
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      • Science
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        • Weather Dynamics
    • Grade 11
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      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Physical Geography 110: The Atmosphere
  • Newfoundland & Labrador
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    • Grade 10
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      • Science
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        • Science 1206: Weather Dynamics
    • Grade 11
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      • Science
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        • Science 2200: Weather Dynamics
  • Northwest Territories
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    • Grade 11
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 20: The Changing Earth
  • Nova Scotia
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    • Grade 9
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      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Atlantic Canada in the Global Community: Environment
    • Grade 10
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      • Geography
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        • Geography 10: Spaceship Earth
      • Science
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        • Science 10: Weather Dynamics
  • Nunavut
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    • Grade 10
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 10: Energy Flow in Global Systems
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 20: The Changing Earth
  • Ontario
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    • Grade 9
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      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Issues in Canadian Geography (Academic): Interactions in the Physical Environment
        • Issues in Canadian Geography (Applied): Interactions in the Physical Environment
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Civic Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Civics and Citizenship (Open): Civic Engagement and Action
      • Science
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        • Science (Academic):Earth and Space Science: Climate Change
    • Grade 11
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      • Environmental Science
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        • Environmental Science (Univ/College Prep.) Scientific Solutions to Contemporary Environmental Challenges
        • Environmental Science (Workplace Prep.) Human Impact on the Environment
      • Geography
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        • Forces of Nature: Physical Processes and Disasters (Univ./College Prep.): The Physical Environment: Sustainability and Stewardship
  • 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
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      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Geography of Canada 421A: Canada’s Global Connections
      • Science
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        • Science 431A: Earth and Space Science, Weather Systems
      • Social Studies
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        • Canadian Studies 401A: Canada's Global Connections
  • Quebec
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    • Grade 9
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      • Science & Technology
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        • Science and Technology: The Earth and Space
      • Social Studies
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        • The Contemporary World: Environment
    • Grade 10
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      • Science & Technology
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        • Environmental Science & Technology: The Earth and Space
        • Science & Technology: The Earth and Space
        • Science and the Environment: The Earth and Space
  • Saskatchewan
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    • Grade 10
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      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Geography 10: Climate
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 10: Climate and Ecosystem Dynamics
  • Yukon Territory
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Earth Science 11: The transfer of energy through the atmosphere creates weather and is affected by climate change
        • Science for Citizenship 11: Scientific understanding enables humans to respond and adapt to changes locally and globally

Themes Addressed

  • Air, Atmosphere & Climate (1)

    • Climate Change
  • Citizenship (1)

    • Sustainable Consumption

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives Good

The information provided in each lesson reflects the scientific consensus around our understanding of climate change.  In regards to impacts, many different perspectives are represented in the activities including those of the students.

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 Good

The connection among the environment, economy and society are communicated in the information and materials made available to the students.  Climate change is revealed as a multi-dimensional problem.

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 Very Good
Respects Complexity:

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

Acting on Learning Satisfactory

The resource promotes the power of the individual and encourages students to become agents of change.  They are guided in how to formulate an action plan but implementation is not 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

Reflection activities are a core component of the resource.  Each lesson requires students to consider and then articulate their personal reactions to and feelings about the information and issues presented.

Values Education:

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

Empathy & Respect for Humans Good

The simulation and role play activity in lesson 3 connects students to  those communities dealing with biggest impacts of climate change & facing the greatest threats.

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

Lessons encourage a sense of responsibility for the health of our planet by directing to students to consider the impacts of human behavior on the natural world.

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 Very Good

Students are consistently asked to apply what they are learning to their own community and experience.

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 Very Good

Through an understanding of 'deep time' (lesson 1) students can assess for themselves the impact of natural vs anthropogenic climate change past and present, as well as the potential for human solutions moving forward.

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

Students explore the climate crisis using factual information. A range of perspectives are represented in the various learning tools provided.

Open-Ended Instruction :

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

Integrated Learning Good

The resource addresses outcomes in science, social studies, citizenship and geography.

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

While students investigate issues on their own using the information sources and tools provided with each lesson, the resource does not follow an inquiry format.

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 Good

The lessons incorporate a wide range of learning activities that take place in individual, small and whole groupings.  Learning tools include readings, case studies, video, role play and simulation. Versions of this resource exist for different age groups (from K to 10)

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

Lesson three includes a role-play simulation and the activities in Lesson four are intended to prepare students to act on their learning within the larger community.

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

Some learning takes place in small groups.

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 suggestions or tools are not included.

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 Good

Relevant case studies are a common tool students use to explore issues and concepts.

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 are routinely given the opportunity to select the statements, images or messages in a lesson or activity that they wish to discuss.

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.