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Mitigation or Adaptation

Secondary, Middle

Description

This lesson examines the difference between mitigation and adaptation in addressing climate change. Beginning with a discussion of the different risks due to our changing climate students come up with their own ideas for effective action that they will compare to current climate solutions identified in a 'card sorting' activity.

Working in pairs, students must determine whether the solution presented on each card (supplied) is an example of mitigation, adaptation or both. They must also explain how each practice  reduces risks posed by climate change. With an understanding of the differences between the two strategies students then consider the concept of scale by ranking all of the solutions in order - from those an individual can accomplish to those demanding the involvement of many different groups.

As a culminating activity students revisit their original ideas for addressing climate change to categorize them as examples of mitigation, adaptation or both and to reflect on the need for both approaches.

While focusing closely on mitigation vs adaptation, the lesson also provides students with background information concerning the causes and consequences of anthropogenic climate change.

 

General Assessment

Strengths

  • The resource is thorough and easy to use
  • The resource offers background information on climate change to better inform both teachers and students
  • All materials and information needed to complete activities are included
  • Student thoughts and ideas are encouraged

Recommendation of how and where to use it

The lesson and core activity focus specifically on mitigation and adaptation as solutions.  As such it would best serve as one component in the study of climate change.

Students should have an understanding of the science behind climate change prior to engaging in this lesson.  Links to the necessary background are included.

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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  • British Columbia
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    • Grade 12
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      • Environmental Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Environmental Science 12: Human activities cause changes in the global climate system
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Specialized Science 12: Climate change impacts biodiversity and ecosystem health
  • Manitoba
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    • Grade 10
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Senior 2 Science: Weather Dynamics
  • New Brunswick
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    • Grade 7
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 7 Earth Surface Processes:Learning and Living Sustainably (STSE)
    • Grade 9
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 9 Ecosystem Dynamics: Learning and Living Sustainably (STSE)
    • Grade 12
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      • Environmental Science
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        • Introduction to Environmental Science 120: Investigating Environmental Issues
  • Newfoundland & Labrador
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    • Grade 12
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      • Environmental Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Environmental Science 3205: The Atmosphere and the Environment
  • Nova Scotia
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    • Grade 8
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 8: Climate Change
    • Grade 10
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      • Science
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        • Science 10: Sustainability of Ecosystems
    • Grade 12
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      • Environmental Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • AP Environmental Science: Global Change
  • Nunavut
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    • Grade 10
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Experiential Science 10, Terrestial Systems: Climatology and Meteorology
  • Ontario
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    • Grade 9
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      • Geography
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        • Issues in Canadian Geography (Academic): Liveable Communities
        • Issues in Canadian Geography (Applied): Liveable Communities
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      • Science
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        • Science (Academic):Earth and Space Science: Climate Change
        • Science (Applied)::Earth and Space Science: Earth's Dynamic Climate
    • Grade 12
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      • Geography
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        • Living in a Sustainable World (Workplace Prep.) Ecosystems and Human Activity
        • Living in a Sustainable World (Workplace Prep.) Community Action
  • Prince Edward Island
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    • Grade 12
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      • Environmental Science
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        • Environmental Science 621A: Environmental Challenges and Successes
  • Quebec
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    • Grade 10
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      • Science & Technology
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        • Environmental Science & Technology: The Earth and Space
  • Saskatchewan
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    • Grade 10
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 10: Climate and Ecosystem Dynamics
  • Yukon Territory
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    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Environmental Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Environmental Science 12: Human activities cause changes in the global climate system
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Specialized Science 12: Climate change impacts biodiversity and ecosystem health

Themes Addressed

  • Air, Atmosphere & Climate (1)

    • Climate Change
  • Energy (1)

    • Alternative Energy
  • Food & Agriculture (1)

    • Food Security
  • Human Rights (1)

    • Gender Equality
  • Land Use & Natural Resources (1)

    • Sustainable Urbanization

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives Good

There is no bias towards a single approach to climate action.  Students are required to evaluate each proposed solution.

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

In assessing each adaptation and mitigation strategy proposed  students are made aware of the multiple dimensions that characterize both problem and solution.

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 Good

The lesson respects the complexity of climate change and its challenges by identifying what is involved in mitigation & adaptation and illustrating the need for both.

Respects Complexity:

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

Acting on Learning Satisfactory

Based on what they have learned, students are required to propose mitigation and adaptation strategies to address climate change in their own communities.

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

Respecting student observations, analyses and recommendations are core components of the lesson design.

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 addressed in the 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 Satisfactory

The comparison of the impacts of global warming at 1.5 and 2 degrees and the card sorting activity, connect students to the natural world and the threats posed by climate change.

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

Efforts made to draw on the students' ideas and experiences along with the task of identifying solutions to climate change impacts in their community create a local focus to the learning.

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 Satisfactory

Some attention to evidence of and changes in global warming over time is provided in the introduction.

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 Good

Students are asked to consider and rank according to scale all of the 'answers' to global warming that are presented in the lesson  They determine which, if any of these will be most effective in addressing climate issues in their own community

Open-Ended Instruction :

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

Integrated Learning Satisfactory

While reading, analyzing and sharing ideas are requirements in completing the lesson, the content is primarily related to science.

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

Students are presented with a task (sorting actions as examples of mitigation or adaptation) which they complete by investigating and sharing ideas with their classmates.

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

The lesson design includes, whole group, small group and individual  activities and instruction. 

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 Poor/Not considered

There are no hands-on activities or direct experiences provided.

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 Good

Much of the learning occurs in cooperative settings. Skills for sharing and building on the ideas of others are 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

An assessment activity is 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 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 Good

Case studies are included to provide more detail and authentic examples of the mitigation and adaptation strategies provided in the card sorting activity.

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

This is not provided for 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.