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This six-lesson resource aims to increase understanding and awareness of climate change and its impacts around the world. Through a variety of engaging activities students learn about renewable energy in a global context and are encouraged to take positive action to reduce their carbon footprints. Targeted for a middle to early high school audience, it uses many short video clips to both motivate students and reinforce material, Activities make effective use of case studies, interactive games, role play, hands-on project ideas, and many interesting approaches to building action skills.
Unit One: Climate Change (4 X 1 hr)
This unit focuses on climate change and how it affects people around the world, especially the poor. Students consider different views held concerning climate change and think about ways to take action and make a difference. Lesson materials include a pre-test on weather versus climate, videos of flooding in both the UK and Bangladesh, a mind map on words and phrases associated with climate change, a research template, (with relevant video links and photo cards) to examine the causes and effects of climate change, and a matching exercise on differing points of view. Students are also asked to write a story about living in 2050 if the effects of climate change continue to escalate. A number of interesting suggestions for personal action are included.
Unit Two: Energy (4 X 1 hour)
This unit focuses on what energy is, where it comes from, and how it is used. A key theme is the link between energy consumption and climate change. Lessons include examining photo cards and videos on climate change, a demo on carbon dioxide in soft drinks, a kinaesthetic activity tracing the “energy journey” from mining to electricity, a video clip on the production of oil and coal, and a carbon dioxide game which provides an engaging way to explain the greenhouse effect. Suggestions for action are included.
Unit Three: Carbon Footprints (5 X 1hour)
After completing this unit students will have a better understanding of what is meant by a carbon footprint and be able to suggest behavioral changes to make them smaller. Students are also asked to identify three steps that could be taken to decrease energy use at school. Lessons include the use of watt meters to determine efficiencies of various appliances, an interactive game examining energy use in the home, and a research project that explores how to save energy both at home and at school. Action suggestions include creating posters for energy saving actions, creating a pledge footprint tree for saving energy at school, and planning and carrying out a survey of energy use at school.
Unit Four: Renewable Energy (5 X1hour)
This unit focuses on non-renewable vs renewable energy sources. After watching video clips, examining photo cards and reading fact sheets, students identify 5 sources of renewable energy and they build a circuit using solar panels. Additional hands-on projects suggested include building an eco-home and a solar cooking activity. Students are also asked to take on roles of various stakeholders in a mock public forum to consider the merits of a planned wind farm in their community. Action suggestions are included.
Unit Five: Solar Around the World ( 4 x1 hour)
After examining case studies and video clips, students recognize the need for improved efficiencies in electricity production in developing countries. They examine how access to solar power can change the social, environmental and financial well being of the people. Students are then asked to organize and host an assembly on climate change that addresses the benefits of solar power around the world.
Unit Six: Reflection ( 3 X 1 hour)
Students are asked to reflect on what they have learned, use and apply this knowledge and to inform and encourage others to take action. Students use a mind map to link key themes, and group actions that will promote personal changes, school changes and home changes. Further action ideas are provided and each student is asked to carry out one of these.
This resource could be used as a supplement to science classes, an eco-club project, or a self-contained class project related to climate change and renewable energy options for the future.
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||Good|
Unit One exposes students to the many points of view on the effects of climate change. The resource does, however, does promote solar power in remedying all of these.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives: |
|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.
Although not examining all aspects of the issue, it promotes dialogue, discussion, and action. It encourages open-ended solutions and research activities do a good job relating environmental and social issues.
|Respects Complexity: |
The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.
|Acting on Learning||Good|
While many of the action project ideas are identified as suggestions, they are well developed and a significant component of the resource.
|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
|Values Education: |
Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.
|Empathy & Respect for Humans||Very Good|
Powerful case studies promote empathy and respect for those whose lives are disrupted due to climate change events. The fact that they come from the perspective of children and young adults provides added impact.
|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|
Although there are no out-of doors experiences, the resource does promote environmental stewardship and caring for the planet.
|Personal Affinity with Earth: |
Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.
Student performing home and school audits/ surveys brings local focus. Teachers can easily find catastrophic weather events in nearby locations and link them to climate change.
|Locally-Focused Learning: |
Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community.
|Past, Present & Future||Good|
Video, photo cards and case studies describe past and present situations. Students are asked to reflect on the future if the status quo remains. The future is seen as positive if electricity generation moves away from fossil fuels to the more cleaner options of re-newable sources.
|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. The activities are based on a wide range of educational methods including discussions, role play, games, research projects, experiential learning and creative writing.
Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.
Although primarily a science resource, there are learning opportunities for addressing outcomes in math, geography, social studies, language arts, and art.
|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.
The resource provides a good variety of activities, but no accommodations are suggested for people with learning difficulties.
|Differentiated Instruction: |
Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.
Two units Have "hands-on " learning opportunities relating to electricity production and consumption. Two design projects, building an eco-home and a solar cooking apparatus, are also included.
|Experiential Learning: |
Authentic learning experiences are provided
|Cooperative Learning: |
Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.
|Assessment & Evaluation||Poor/Not considered|
Poor- although reflection questions and possible answers are provided, there are no tools or rubrics provided for evaluating student work.
|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.
|Case Studies||Very Good|
|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|
|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.|