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Climate Breakdown

Secondary

Description

This resource provides an interdisciplinary study of the climate crisis.  It includes a wide range of learning activities supported by links to an impressive array of resources.  Topics include:

  • The facts about climate change
  • Our response to the climate crisis
  • Population demographics and climate justice
  • Climate footprints around the world
  • Human contributions to the climate crisis: travel, energy use, economic systems, food systems
  • Feedback loops, tipping points & the climate emergency
  • How to address the climate emergency
  • The need for radical action.

Each lesson begins with a hook to connect students to the relevant topic. The videos, slides, graphics, case studies and other resources that students use to complete the activities are current and describe individuals and events they are familiar with.  Short video tutorials accompany the lessons to provide teachers with an overview of the objectives and strategies for achieving them.

Teachers should be aware that the resource promotes mass, peaceful disobedience and as a culminating activity, students debate the need for radical action to address climate change.

General Assessment

What skills does this resource explicitly teach?

  • Analyzing climate footprints
  • Reading critically to determine what is factual & what isn't
  • Preparing and presenting oral arguments

Strengths

  • The resource is very current and up to date.
  • The students will connect with many of the examples used
  • The lessons begin with very effective 'hooks'
  • There is a wide range of support materials for students to use
  • All the materials required to complete the activities are provided
  • There is a good deal of support for teachers

Recommendation of how and where to use it

It will take one to two weeks to complete all lessons and activities which is the recommendation of the author.  Some teachers may however, wish to select individual lessons.  Many of the activities and student resources are excellent and will be of interest to teachers in a number of different subject areas.

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.

  • Step 1Select a province
  • British Columbia
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Environmental Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Environmental Science 11: Human practices affect the sustainability of ecosystems
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Environmental Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Environmental Science 12: Human activities cause changes in the global climate system
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Physical Geography 12: Interactions between human activities and the atmosphere affect local and global weather and climate
  • Manitoba
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Senior 2 Science: Weather Dynamics
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • World Geography: A Human Perspective - World Population: Characteristics, Distribution, and Growth
        • World Geography: A Human Perspective - World Resources, Energy, and Environment
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Citizenship and Sustainability: Area of Inquiry: Consumerism
        • Citizenship and Sustainability: Area of Inquiry: Social Justice and Human Rights
        • Global Issues
        • Global Issues
  • New Brunswick
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Physical Geography 110: The Atmosphere
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Environmental Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Introduction to Environmental Science 120: Investigating Environmental Issues
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • World Issues 120:Interdependence
  • Newfoundland & Labrador
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Environmental Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Environmental Science 3205: The Atmosphere and the Environment
  • Northwest Territories
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Experiential Science 10, Terrestial Systems: Climatology and Meteorology
  • Nova Scotia
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Geography 10: Data Interpretation and Utilization
        • Geography 10: Spaceship Earth
  • Nunavut
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Experiential Science 10, Terrestial Systems: Climatology and Meteorology
  • Ontario
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science (Academic):Earth and Space Science: Climate Change
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • 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
        • Regional Geography (Univ./College Prep.) Dynamics and Change
        • Regional Geography (Univ./College Prep.) Natural and Human Systems
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Global Connections
        • The Environment & Resource Management (Univ/College Prep.) Community Action
        • The Environment & Resource Management (Workplace Prfeparation)
        • World Issues: A Geographic Analysis (Univ. Prep.): Social Change and the Quality of Life
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Equity and Social Justice: From Theory to Practice (Univ./College Prep.) Addressing Equity and Social Justice Issues
  • Prince Edward Island
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • 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 Global Issues: What are the issues?
  • Quebec
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science & Technology
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Environmental Science & Technology: The Living World
        • Science & Technology:The Living World
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Contemporary World: Environment
  • Saskatchewan
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 10: Climate and Ecosystem Dynamics
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Environmental Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Environmental Science 20: Atmosphere and Human Health
  • Yukon Territory
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Environmental Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Environmental Science 11: Human practices affect the sustainability of ecosystems
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Environmental Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Environmental Science 12: Human activities cause changes in the global climate system
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Physical Geography 12: Interactions between human activities and the atmosphere affect local and global weather and climate

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives Satisfactory

While the majority of the lessons reflect scientific consensus and different points of view,  the resource is somewhat biased in how best to address the climate crisis.

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 Very Good

With its attention to population demographics and why some people are more affected by climate change than others, the resource does an excellent job in presenting the economic, social and environmental dimensions of the climate crisis. 

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

The resource provides a range of tools for student use that illustrate quite clearly the complexity of climate change.

Respects Complexity:

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

Acting on Learning Satisfactory

The resource emphasis is on providing information and promoting analysis and discussion.  Civil disobedience is modeled as means of taking 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

  • 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 Good

Students are required to state their own perspective on some of the issues raised.

Values Education:

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

Empathy & Respect for Humans Very Good

Lessons dealing with population dynamics, climate footprints and climate justice illustrate how the effects of climate change impact poor nations and individuals more than affluent ones.

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 Satisfactory

While the focus is on how climate change is impacting humans, concern for the future of the planet as a whole is made clear.

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 Good

Many of the sources of information reflect elements of current and popular culture familiar to the students.  They are frequently required to provide examples from their own experience of the ideas being discussed.

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

In addition to specific timeline activities, several lessons require students to consult data (provided) that illustrate changes over time in temperature, CO2 concentration, sea ice and sea level. 

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 Satisfactory

The majority of the activities are open-ended. However students are 'steered' towards what is described as 'radical action' as the most effective means of addressing the climate crisis.

Open-Ended Instruction :

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

Integrated Learning Very Good

In the context of the climate crisis, students explore themes and concepts from climate science, social justice, population dynamics & demography, human development, economics, world geography & others.

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
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

Students will view videos, read articles and case studies, answer questions orally and in writing, analyze graphs, charts and diagrams, participate in simulations & games, conduct research, prepare and deliver oral presentations and participate in a class debate. Some students may struggle with the reading level and content.

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

While the resource materials do a good job in connecting its content to the real world and the students' own experience, the learning does not involve direct experience outside of the classroom.

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

Think-pair-share and other group learning settings are included.  Cooperative learning skills are not explicitly taught.

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

Several lessons conclude with writing assignments that can serve as both summative and formative evaluation tools.  The culminating activity provides direction for student self assessment

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 Satisfactory

Students are presented with a number of news articles, TED talks and other video presentations describing real events, places and people.

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

In some of the research and homework assignments student can determine the focus and method of reporting.

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.