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Community Conversations for Climate Change

Elementary, Middle, Secondary

Description

In this two-part lesson plan, the students will work towards an understanding of climate change and then engage in a conversation with guests to the classroom to understand the changes to their area.

In part one of the lesson, the students participate in a class discussion around the need to protect outdoor spaces and introduce the term climate change. Then, with a partner, they prep questions on the themes of Food, Weather or Transportation changes that have occurred in their area for the class guest.  

In part two, the students ask the class guest their questions and take note of the answers. In a manner of their choosing, the students will express their findings from the conversation. The students are challenged to adopt a behavior from the past and repurposing it for the present to take action for Global Goal 13 Climate Action.

General Assessment

What skills does this resource explicitly teach?

This lesson plan does teach the "steps to success" for the guest visit.  These would be the necessary skills the students would need to display during the visit that would ensure the guest and the students have the best possible experience.

Strengths

  • Interesting activities for all ages
  • All materials are included
  • Good quantity and quality of examples provided in the appendixes
  • Easy to follow and implement

Weaknesses

  • There are no tools for assessment nor suggestions for evaluation of the learning

Recommendation of how and where to use it

This lesson plan would be ideally used to introduce the concept of climate change in a Science class or it could also be used as an introduction to the idea of change over time in a community in a Social Studies class.  The lesson plan could be used in April to coordinate with Earth Day.

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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        • Exploring connections strengthens our understandings of relationships to help us make meaning of the world.
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        • Exploring connections strengthens our understandings of relationships to help us make meaning of the world
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        • Earth Systems: Understandings of the living world, Earth, and space are deepened through investigating natural systems and their interactions.
        • Exploring connections strengthens our understandings of relationships to help us make meaning of the world.
        • Investigating change and the diversity of Earth’s systems helps us to develop understandings of the conditions necessary to sustain life.
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        • Science 4: All living things sense and respond to their environment
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        • Science 7: Earth and its climate have changed over geological time

Themes Addressed

  • Air, Atmosphere & Climate (1)

    • Climate Change
  • Citizenship (2)

    • Community-Building and Participation
    • General Guide to Taking Action
  • Ecosystems (1)

    • Appreciating the Natural World

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives Very Good
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

Through the interview with the class guest the students are able to explore each of the three dimensions of climate change.

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 Very Good

As a final activity the students are challenged to take a behaviour from the past and repurpose it for the present day as an action towards fighting climate change.

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
Values Education:

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

Empathy & Respect for Humans Poor/Not considered

This is not a goal of this resource.

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
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 able to communicate the changes they see happening in their hometown/community and listen effectively to members of their community through a Climate Change Conversation.

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

As a final activity the students are challenged to take a behaviour from the past and repurpose it for the present day as an action towards fighting climate change.

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

The community conversations are not steered towards one correct answer.

Open-Ended Instruction :

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

Integrated Learning Good
  • Science
  • Social Studies
  • English Language Arts
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 Good
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 Satisfactory
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 Good
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
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

There are no assessment tools or suggestions made for the evaluation of learning.

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 work together to generate a list of questions.

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

The visit from the class guest and the subsequent interview could be considered a case study as it is a depiction of real situations that are authentic.

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 Very Good

The students are given a lot of choice with this lesson plan.  After the interview and class visit, the students choose the format of how they will express their findings from the visit.

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.