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This lesson gives students first-hand experience in analyzing the link between atmospheric temperature and carbon dioxide by looking at ice core data spanning hundreds of thousands of years. It will help them understand the earth's carbon cycle, its relationship to the greenhouse effect and its role in regulating the earth's climate.
After class discussions describing ice cores, examining diagrams on the production of greenhouse gases, and watching a video on climate change, students graph ice core data collected at the Vostok Research Station in Antarctica . They draw graphs of carbon dioxide concentrations and temperature over time. They then answer questions based on the graphs.
As an extension activity, students watch a video of the science behind core sampling, and write a paragraph explaining how examining ice cores helps scientists to better understand today's climate.
This resource supports the teaching of those learning outcomes in science associated with global warming, climate change, fossil fuels, and (green) energy. It could also be used in geography classes to emphasize the link between human activity and the economic and environmental problems caused by climate change. Those math outcomes involving graphic representation and interpretation of data are addressed by this resource. The cross-curricular approach makes it a very useful resource for launching Earth Day.
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||Satisfactory|
Some background information is given on the reasons why the planet is warming, a video on climate change basics is shown, and students graph data on the earth's carbon dioxide levels and temperature changes over the past several hundred thousand years. Students will draw their own conclusions based on the interpretation of the graphs.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives: |
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions||Satisfactory|
The resource links human activity with the rise of carbon dioxide levels and global warming .This has many environmental consequences associated with sustainable ecosystems, and extreme weather. Choices to limit greenhouse gas production and implement green energy projects have economic implications.
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions: |
Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.
|Respects Complexity: |
The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.
|Acting on Learning||Satisfactory|
Although no authentic action plan is given, the resource does promote an awareness of planet stewardship and the video suggests several potential lifestyle changes which will be required to decrease greenhouse gas emissions.
|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 have opportunities for some incidental discussion on their beliefs and values.
|Values Education: |
Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.
|Empathy & Respect for Humans||Satisfactory|
|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|
The underlying message is that the warming of the planet has many dangerous implications for the future. Students are asked to take a role in decreasing greenhouse gas emissions.
|Personal Affinity with Earth: |
Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.
Students, through guided inquiry, will see the link between their own energy consumption habits, the production of greenhouse gases, and the effect that these have on global warming. They will see that changes start with individual action in their own community.
|Locally-Focused Learning: |
Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community.
|Past, Present & Future||Good|
Both the video clip and the ice core sample data give a good picture of the past and present. The future is seen as positive if action is taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, so current trends will not continue.
|Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.|
A combination of structured and guided inquiry is used. Students develop their own thoughts and opinions after interpreting real-life data.
Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.
This is primarily a science and environmental science resource, but there are opportunities to address outcomes in math and geography.
|Integrated Learning: |
Learning brings together content and skills from more than one subject area
|Inquiry Learning: |
Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.
Teacher-led class discussions, reading background information, watching videos and using data management skills to interpret and analyze real -life data are included in this lesson.
|Differentiated Instruction: |
Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.
Real-life ice core sample data is represented and interpreted.
|Experiential Learning: |
Authentic learning experiences are provided
|Cooperative Learning: |
Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.
|Assessment & Evaluation||Satisfactory|
Questions are included with the graphing exercise (with suggested answers), but there are no rubrics to evaluate student work, or for peer or self evaluation.
|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: |
Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.
Students are using real-life data stretching hundreds of thousands of years. This ice core sample data offers a case study in itself.
|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||Satisfactory|
|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.|