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Sunny Schools Resources

Secondary, Elementary, Middle

Description

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.

General Assessment

What skills does this resource explicitly teach?

  • Analyzing one's carbon footprint
  • Detecting bias
  • Persuasive writing skills
  • Interpreting patterns and trends in data
  • Working cooperatively with others to carry out a plan
  • Identifying main themes
  • Correctly using materials to collect data
  • Proposing solutions for a problem
  • Selecting and integrating information from a variety of electronic sources

Strengths

  • Resource is thorough, well-organized, easy to use and up-to-date
  • Quick links are provided for many relevant, motivating and engaging video clips and videos
  • Photo cards bring both local focus and empathy for people in the developing world
  • Many useful links for both teachers and students
  • Well organized work sheets and templates for data collection and research
  • Unique interactive, kin-aesthetic games, playground games, and project designs to reinforce concept development
  • A glossary for terms is provided
  • Opportunities for experiential learning
  • Detailed case studies with photo cards and video clips
  • A varied list of action project suggestions
  • Promotes community awareness
  • Group work allows for shared dialogue and incidental peer teaching

Weaknesses

  • Resource is written for a UK audience and teachers may have to find relevant issues of flooding/ climate change effects locally
  • Students need opportunities to clarify and express their values
  • Assessment tools and rubrics need development
  • Action plans are mainly suggestions and could use more detail on implementation
  • Does not address aboriginal perspectives

Recommendation of how and where to use it

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.

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.

  • Step 1Select a province
  • Alberta
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 9
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Environmental Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Environment and Outdoor Education: Environmental Investigations
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Electrical Principles and Technologies
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 10-4( Knowledge and Employability Science): Investigating Matter and Energy in Living Systems
        • Science 10: Energy Flow in Global Systems
        • Science 14: Investigating Matter and Energy in Living Systems
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Social Studies 10-1(Perspectives on Globalization) CitizensResponse to Globalization
        • Social Studies 10-1(Perspectives on Globalization) Globalization & Sustainable Prosperity
        • Social Studies 10-2 (Living in a Globalizing World) Globalisation and Sustainable Prosperity
        • Social Studies 10-2 (Living in a Globalizing World) Personal Response to Globalization
  • British Columbia
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    • Grade 7
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 7:The electromagnetic force produces both electricity and magnetism
  • Manitoba
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    • Grade 6
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Electricity
    • Grade 7
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      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • People & Places in the World: Global Quality of Life
    • Grade 9
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Senior 1 Science: Nature of Electricity
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Senior 2 Science: Weather Dynamics
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Citizenship and Sustainability: Area of Inquiry: Environment
        • Global Issues
  • New Brunswick
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    • Grade 6
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      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • World Cultures: World Issues
  • Newfoundland & Labrador
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    • Grade 6
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Electricity
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • World Issues
    • Grade 9
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Electricity
    • Grade 10
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 1206: Weather Dynamics
    • Grade 11
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 2200: Weather Dynamics
  • Northwest Territories
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    • Grade 6
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      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Energy and Control: Electricity
    • Grade 9
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Electrical Principles and Technologies
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 10-4( Knowledge and Employability Science): Investigating Matter and Energy in Living Systems
        • Science 10: Energy Flow in Global Systems
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Social Studies 10-1(Perspectives on Globalization) CitizensResponse to Globalization
        • Social Studies 10-1(Perspectives on Globalization) Globalization & Sustainable Prosperity
        • Social Studies 10-2 (Living in a Globalizing World) Canadian Response to Globalisation?
        • Social Studies 10-2 (Living in a Globalizing World) Globalisation and Sustainable Prosperity
        • Social Studies 10-2 (Living in a Globalizing World) Personal Response to Globalization
        • Social Studies 10-4 (Living in a Globalizing World) Canadian Response to Globalization
        • Social Studies 10-4 (Living in a Globalizing World) Personal Response to Globalization
        • Social Studies 10-4(Living in a Globalizing World) Globalisation and Sustainable Prosperity
  • Nova Scotia
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 6
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 6: Electricity
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Social Studies 6: World Issues
    • Grade 9
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 9: Characteristics of Electricity
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Atlantic Canada in the Global Community: Environment
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 10: Weather Dynamics
    • Grade 12
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      • Environmental Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • AP Environmental Science: Energy Consumption and Resources
        • AP Environmental Science: Global Change
  • Nunavut
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 6
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Energy and Control: Electricity
    • Grade 9
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Electrical Principles and Technologies
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 10-4( Knowledge and Employability Science): Investigating Matter and Energy in Living Systems
        • Science 10: Energy Flow in Global Systems
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Social Studies 10-1(Perspectives on Globalization) CitizensResponse to Globalization
        • Social Studies 10-1(Perspectives on Globalization) Globalization & Sustainable Prosperity
        • Social Studies 10-2 (Living in a Globalizing World) Canadian Response to Globalisation?
        • Social Studies 10-2 (Living in a Globalizing World) Globalisation and Sustainable Prosperity
        • Social Studies 10-2 (Living in a Globalizing World) Personal Response to Globalization
  • Ontario
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 5
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science & Technology
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Conservation of Energy & Resources
    • Grade 6
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      • Science & Technology
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Electricity & Electrical Devices
    • Grade 7
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science & Technology
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Interactions in the Environment
    • Grade 8
    • Grade 9
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Issues in Canadian Geography (Academic): Interactions in the Physical Environment
        • Issues in Canadian Geography (Applied): Interactions in the Physical Environment
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science (Academic):Physics: The Characteristics of Electricity
        • Science (Applied):Physics: Electrical Applications
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science (Academic):Earth and Space Science: Climate Change
        • Science (Applied)::Earth and Space Science: Earth's Dynamic Climate
  • Prince Edward Island
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 6
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Electricity
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • World Issues
    • Grade 9
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 9: Content Knowledge
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 431A: Earth and Space Science, Weather Systems
  • Quebec
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 5
    • Grade 7
    • Grade 8
    • Grade 9
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • The Contemporary World: Environment
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science & Technology
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Environmental Science & Technology: The Earth and Space
        • Environmental Science & Technology: The Living World
        • Science & Technology: The Material World
        • Science and the Environment: The Earth and Space
  • Saskatchewan
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 6
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 6: Physical Science: Understanding Electricity
    • Grade 9
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 9: Physical Science: Characteristics of Electricity
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 10: Climate and Ecosystem Dynamics
  • Yukon Territory
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 7
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 7:The electromagnetic force produces both electricity and magnetism

Themes Addressed

  • Air, Atmosphere & Climate (1)

    • Climate Change
  • Citizenship (2)

    • Community-Building and Participation
    • Ecological Footprint
  • Energy (3)

    • Alternative Energy
    • Energy Generation
    • Energy Use
  • Human Rights (1)

    • Social Justice

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
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:
  • 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 Satisfactory

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

  • 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 Satisfactory
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.  

  • 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 Satisfactory

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. 

  • 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

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.

Pedagogical Approaches

Principle Rating Explanation
Open-Ended Instruction Good

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.

Open-Ended Instruction :

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

Integrated Learning Good

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

  • 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

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.

  • 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

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

  • 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

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 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 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.