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Earth: It's Everybody's Home

A Look at How Young People are Protecting our Planet

Elementary, Middle

Description

In this climate education activity, students use Google Earth tools to explore our natural world and learn more about youth activists for climate change worldwide.

Students will:

  • explore what it means to be an activist and then watch a short film featuring different youth climate activists. 
  • discover the Google Earth website while learning in more detail about youth climate activists and their specific work and complete a series of reflection questions
  • search the Google Earth application while learning how different environments worldwide have changed over the last 30 years. They will also have the opportunity to discover how their local environment has changed in the same timespan. 
  • As a culminating activity, the students will discuss different actions they can take to combat climate change.

General Assessment

What skills does this resource explicitly teach?

The resource focuses on building awareness and developing a call to action for the students rather than teaching skills.

Strengths

  • Interactive resource that allows the students to travel virtually 
  • Interesting activities
  • Well supported with extension activity suggestions

Weaknesses

  • no evaluations or assessment tools provided

Recommendation of how and where to use it

This resource would be ideal for a Science classroom exploring the idea of climate change and as an extension activity for a Social Studies class. 

Relevant Curriculum Units

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        • 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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        • Exploring connections strengthens our understandings of relationships to help us make meaning of the world.
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Themes Addressed

  • Air, Atmosphere & Climate (1)

    • Climate Change
  • Ecosystems (3)

    • Appreciating the Natural World
    • Biodiversity
    • Habitat Loss

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives Good

The students explore varying climate issues that youth around the world are taking strides to make better.

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
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

The students are given the opportunity at the end of the lesson to reflect on their learning and choose an action that they may want to replicate in their own community or create their own.

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

As the students can choose an action of their own, they are able to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs and values around the topic of climate change.

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 for this lesson.

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

The resource activities foster an appreciation/concern for 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

The learning is made relevant to the lives of the learners as they can see the change in their own community via the time lapse Google Earth exercise.

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 Good

As the students can see the change in their own community via the time lapse Google Earth exercise, it helps to promote an understanding of the past, a sense of the present and the idea that action can be taken to help fight climate change in their own community.

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 reflection questions after each activity provide an opportunity for the students to clarify their own thoughts and feelings.

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
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 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 Very Good

The use of Google Earth in a few of the activities allows for the students to explore the world from their classroom and to see first-hand changes in the landscape.

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 provided.

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

These opportunities are not present in this resource.

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 presentations of youth activists and their work can be considered case studies for the students to explore the concept of taking action on climate change.

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

A few ideas to extend the learning are suggested in the resource. 

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.