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Climate Change in Context

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Keywords: Environmental Science, Service Learning, Spider Web, Jig-Saw, Science, Chemistry, Biology
Subject(s): Biology, Business, Civics, Social Studies, Health and PE, Home Economics, Geography, Service Learning, Chemistry, Science, Life Science, Earth Science, Physics, Math
Grades 8 through 12
NETS-S Standard:
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Research and Information Fluency
  • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
  • Digital Citizenship
  • Technology Operations and Concepts
View Full Text of Standards
School: Grace Holistic Center for Education, Yorkville, IL
Planned By: Taryn Chaifetz
Original Author: Taryn Chaifetz, Yorkville
Students will be split into groups and read articles from the EPAís student climate change website on the specific effects climate change has on ecosystems. This includes agriculture, sea level change, etc. They will put information from the articles into a spider web individually from the article and add information from the excursion video. Then they will compare and contrast the information in their groups to make a summary web on a dry erase board. Each student will also write a hypothesis about how their climate change property will affect Food Webs they made the week before. Each group member will have a chance to present to class members as they move from board to board.

After students share, they will then gather into groups to develop strategies to combat each of these problems based on their hypotheses. Students will gather evidence and develop at least one experiment to demonstrate either what is happening with their problem or how they will correct it. Data from this experiment will be shown in an Excel Data table or from Vernier Equipment analysis in the outside environment. Results must be interpreted using scientific concepts they have learned and continued to learn throughout class. Students will then develop brochures and presentations that could be given to a board about changes that need to be made, including cost estimates. Students must also find a real way to bring this to the community after presenting it to the class. This can including handing out flyers about the information, presenting at a town hall meeting, to a company, etc.

Example of Guided Student Hand-out Below:

Name: ___________________________

Date: ____________________________

Climate Change Spider Web Summary: Agriculture

Example: Hurricanes and other tropical storms get their energy from warm ocean water. As the top layer of the ocean gets warmer, hurricanes and other tropical storms grow stronger, with faster winds and heavier rain. Because of higher temperatures and increased evaporation, climate change causes other types of storms to get stronger, too. (https://www3.epa.gov/climatechange/students/impacts/signs/weather.html)

Read the attached article quietly, by yourself. Follow the same directions for the example, but including descriptive words for your entire article. The first person finished from your group should go get a tablet and sign it out. When the group is done. Watch the expedition video and add more words to your individual webs as appropriate. You will have to answer some questions in the video to continue. When your group finishes watching the video, obtain a dry erase board and markers. Compare and contrast your groupís webs and make a summary web by deciding on one word to put in the middle and appropriate words from each memberís web. Draw the summary web on the dry erase board. Each group member be prepared to present the summary to other group members.

Write two hypotheses at the bottom answering the following questions: How would this climate change affect the food webs you made last week? How would these climate changes affect the food web you learned about in your expedition?

Video-Go to: https://www3.epa.gov/climatechange/students/expeditions/index.html - Choose Midwest United States

Hypothesis 1:




(Hypothesesmay be discussed as a group, but must be written individually. You may use the back of the paper if you need more room.)

6 Dry Erase Boards and Markers

This particular lesson is connected to many within a broad-based STEM curriculum. Students are consistently out in the Environment doing real tests combining Environmental Science with Engineering, Biology, Chemistry and Physics which the Vernier Equipment as well as the SmartBoard would be very useful for.
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
ELA: Students are given multiple ways to understand the EPA articles as well as further research they will do throughout their project. Students also get ample training on how to evaluate sources using a program called Wading through the Web.

Social Studies/History: Students are required to study the affect of human activities on the environment, as well as social changes that would result from their suggested solutions.

Math: Students must collect quantitative data from their experiments and graph it to show their results.
As noted, students will continue to research solutions to their climate change issue. They will then present it to the class and an appropriate community member.
Links: http://www.vernier.com/products/packages/environmental-science/
Materials: Whiteboards, Mobile Labs, Video Cameras, Digital Cameras, Wildlife, Point and Shoot, Networked Projectors, Portable, Auditorium, Projector Screens, Digital Voice Recorders, Microphones, Calculators, Graphing, Middle School, Scientific, Wacom Tablets, Microscopes, CDs and DVDs, Printers, Camera/Video Accessories, Camera Bags, Flash/USB Drives, Batteries, Memory Cards, Computer Accessories, LCD Monitors, Keyboards, Headsets, Mice, Science, Elementary, Middle, High, Books, Office Suite, Word Processor, Art Tools, Spreadsheet, Database, Web Page, Slideshow, Clip Art, Worksheets, Cause and Effect
Other Items: 1 Vernier Deluxe Package, $1,579 each
1 Interactive Whiteboard (Smartboard), $~$3,000 each