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Think Big! Collective Action for Climate Change

Elementary, Middle, Secondary

Description

In this lesson plan, the students learn the difference between individual action and collective action through a variety of activities that range from videos to small group work.

In the first activity the students watch a 5 minute video that takes them around the world visiting other young people who have taken individual actions to fight climate change.  From India to Jordan, the students see that individual actions can make a difference while the narrator encourages them to fix things where they live.  The message of the video is to invent, collaborate or campaign to make improvements where you live. After watching the video, the students will brainstorm a list of possible actions that could fight climate change.

In the second activity, the students will learn the difference between collective action and individual action.  They will sort their ideas from activity #1 into individual or collective actions.

In the third activity, the students will use materials provided in the resource to look at specific examples of collective action that have been taken the world.

In the fourth activity, the students will learn about their spheres of influence and how they can be used to help create change.

In the final activity, the students will create a collective action plan in small groups and share their ideas with the class.

General Assessment

What skills does this resource explicitly teach?

The goal of this resource is to raise awareness in the students in order for them to take action against climate change.  It does not explicitly teach skills in order to achieve this.

Strengths

  • all materials are included
  • very good lesson plan that is easy to follow with supporting documents
  • interesting and motivating activities

Weaknesses

  • no assessment tools or evaluation suggestions included

Recommendation of how and where to use it

This resource would be a great initiative for a classroom to tackle as a community project.  It could be used as an introduction to the idea of a collective action.  The students could then choose one of the presentations as an action project to work towards the Global Goals in their community.

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Themes Addressed

  • Air, Atmosphere & Climate (1)

    • Climate Change
  • Citizenship (2)

    • Community-Building and Participation
    • General Guide to Taking Action

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives Very Good

The students explore actions from around the world that have been taken by other youth in order to fight climate change.  They then begin the process of finding their own collective action plan in order to fight climate change in their own manner.

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

Students work together in small groups to create a Collective Action Plan for Climate Change.

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

The students are given the opportunity to choose a direction for their action plan.  This would be based on their own beliefs and values.

Values Education:

Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.

Empathy & Respect for Humans Good

This concept is not directly addressed but could become a focus depending on the action plans created by the students.

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
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

The students are encouraged to take action in their own area and "to fix things where they live"

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 Very Good
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
Open-Ended Instruction :

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

Integrated Learning Very Good
  • English Language Arts
  • 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 Good

Appendix 4 provides some direction and questions to guide them while preparing their collection action plan.

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 Good
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
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

This resource does not provide any assessment tools to help evaluate the students' performance.

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 Good

The resource suggests students to share ideas throughout and allow time for different groups to share their ideas with one another for feedback.

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

We can consider the video highlighting the different actions taken around the world and the included resources to be case studies.  This does allow the students to explore real life situations where youth are making a difference.

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

The final activity in the resource does allow the students freedom of choice in terms of their plan and chosen target of their actions.

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.