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In this interactive lesson students examine adaptation and mitigation as strategies to minimize the impacts of climate change and prevent possible global catastrophe. Following an on-line lesson guide, students will:
• examine evidence of changing weather patterns around the world and consider if similar changes are taking place locally
• learn how climate models are predicting future increases in global temperatures and more extreme weather events based on current human behavior
• explore the connection between increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and rising global temperatures
• analyze data and case studies that detail the promise and limitations of adaptation and mitigation in minimizing the impacts of global warming
• apply what they have learned about adaptation and mitigation strategies to develop an action plan that will address climate change in their own community
Students are provided with clear instructions at each step, direct links to information in a variety of media formats (including video, animation, data presentations, case studies) and an electronic notebook for highlighting key points and responding to questions. There is also a teacher’s guide with tips on how to plan and implement the lesson.
The PBS Learning Media platform allows teachers to monitor student progress and understanding as they work through the various lesson components.
The lesson will contribute to any discussion of climate change by demonstrating the seriousness of both the current situation and the challenge ahead. Its optimistic presentation of 'next steps' and promotion of student action adds an important contribution to the discussion. The lesson will also be of interest to teachers looking for a quality 'at-home learning' lesson on climate.
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 are provided with information explaining the climate crisis from a variety of sources. Both strengths and limitations of prospective strategies for going forward are acknowledged.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives: |
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions||Good|
The interplay of the social, economic and environmental dimensions of climate change are well demonstrated in the lesson.
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions: |
Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.
The lesson does a good job in illustrating the complexity of the climate crisis and the challenges we face in averting catastrophe.
|Respects Complexity: |
The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.
|Acting on Learning||Good|
Students are asked to create an action plan for their local community based on what they have learned regarding adaptation and mitigation. Tools and support are provided.
|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
Students are called on to express their opinions at several points in the lesson. Students' values should be reflected in their action plans.
|Values Education: |
Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.
|Empathy & Respect for Humans||Satisfactory|
Attention is given to those parts of the world least culpable in and most vulnerable to climate change.
|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|
Considerable emphasis is placed on demonstrating the damage already done to the natural world and what could happen without effective action.
|Personal Affinity with Earth: |
Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.
Throughout the lesson students are asked to consider what they have learned in the context of their own community.
|Locally-Focused Learning: |
Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community.
|Past, Present & Future||Good|
The lesson does a good job of illustrating how we arrived at a climate crisis and what climate modelling says about the future. The message that with the right choices catastrophic global warming can be avoided is made clear.
|Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.|
As a culminating activity, students develop an action plan based on what they have learned about how to address the climate crisis. The lesson documents both the strengths and limitations of the various strategies it presents and does not advance any single approach.
Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.
The lesson addresses content outcomes in science, technology and social studies.
|Integrated Learning: |
Learning brings together content and skills from more than one subject area
The learning is very much guided by questions provided in the student materials.
|Inquiry Learning: |
Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.
The interactive design of the lesson and the range of media tools provided will appeal to different learning styles. The teacher's guide offers some suggestions on how to address learners with difficulties.
|Differentiated Instruction: |
Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.
|Experiential Learning||Poor/Not considered|
Experiential learning opportunities are not included.
|Experiential Learning: |
Authentic learning experiences are provided
|Cooperative Learning||Poor/Not considered|
This is an interactive lesson design in which individual students work on-line with a range of media tools. Teachers could deliver the lesson in class and provide for cooperative learning.
|Cooperative Learning: |
Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.
|Assessment & Evaluation||Satisfactory|
Suggestions for formative and final assessments are 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||Poor/Not considered|
Peer teaching is not included in the lesson design. Teachers could arrange for the presentation of action plans to different audiences.
|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|
Much of the information made available to students is in the form of actual case studies.
|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||Poor/Not considered|
The core and supplemental learning tasks and materials are prescribed in the lesson.
|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.|