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Students analyze and discuss photos to learn about the impact of climate change. Beginning with an activity that explores the students' own understanding and views on climate change, the lesson then focuses attention on the resilience of the people who are most affected and the environmental movements that have been formed to address climate change.
The concluding exercise requires that students create a web of interdependence to illustrate the collective effort they feel is needed to address climate change in their community and around the world.
Students have an opportunity to develop the skills associated with analyzing photos -what may we infer from photos and what are the cautions in making those inferences.
The topic of climate change is a critical issue. The resource is self contained in that it provides all the materials needed to realize the lesson objectives. The lesson plans have many of the strengths associated with student- directed learning
Greater attention could be given to teaching students the skills involved in photo analysis.
Climate Change in Photos was designed as an Earth Day Activity. The resource would best be used in combination with other teaching resources to explore issues related to climate change. Its use presumes that there will have been some pre-activity that explores the causes of climate change and some post-activity that looks at our efforts at the local and global level to take necessary action.
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
The focus of the lesson is on analyzing photos that illustrate the impact and the response to climate change. The analysis is undertaken by students in small groups and their interpretation is presented to the other groups in the class. While one may argue that the selection of photos may reflect a particular perspective, student analysis of those photos allows for a variety of perspectives.
|Consideration of Alternative Perspectives:
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions
Analyzing the impact of climate change as represented in the photos provides an excellent opportunity for students to recognize the environmental, economic and social consequences of the changing climate.
|Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions:
Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.
The lesson concludes with an exercise in which students create a web of interdependence intended to illustrate the collective effort needed to address the issue of climate change in their community and around the world.
The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.
|Acting on Learning
The goal of the lesson plan is to raise student awareness of the impact of and possible response to our changing climate. The concluding exercise in which students create a web of interdependence requires each student to indicate what they can do to address climate change or build resilience in their community. It may be hoped that students will act on their own and others suggestions.
|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
The lesson plans present an opportunity, if not a requirement, for students to clarify their values as to personal and collective responsibility as they discuss the issue of climate justice. The photos draw attention to the fact that those who may suffer worse from the consequences of climate change are those who contributed least to the crisis. Students are also reminded of Martin Luther King Jr's concept of "an inescapable network of mutuality" and asked to consider its significance for climate change. Finally, students participate in a "web of Interdependence" exercise that asks them to consider what they can do to address climate or build resilience in their community.
Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.
|Empathy & Respect for Humans
The first four photos help students recognize the impact of climate change on the people most affected and may be expected to engender empathy for these people. The photos reveal that climate change most severely affects communities in the southern hemisphere. People in this part of the world are disproportionately poor, use the least amount of fossil fuel resources and contribute only a small amount to climate change.
|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
While the photos illustrate the environmental destruction that often accompanies climate change, the emphasis of the lesson plan is on the impact of climate change on people and what people are doing to meet the challenges presented and build resilience.
|Personal Affinity with Earth:
Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.
The photos illustrate that climate change is a global phenomena but the concluding exercise asks students to consider what they can do in their communities in response to the challenges presented and therefore the lesson plan is consistent with the message to "think globally and act locally."
Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community.
|Past, Present & Future
The lesson plan raises student awareness of the current impact of climate change and the response of those concerned and asks that students contribute to a better future by identifying what they might do to meet the challenges presented.
|Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.
The lesson is built around student analysis of a series of photos illustrating the effects of and the response to climate change. Student analysis is guided by a number of suggested questions but the perspective that emerges is that of the students, individually and collectively.
Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.
The presentations made by the students regarding their analysis of the assigned photos and the discussion that follows may be expected to help students understand the complexity of climate change in terms of causes, effects, and possible responses. Student recognition of this complexity should lead to a recognition that a variety of disciplines must be engaged if our response is to be effective. The format of the lesson plan helps but does not guarantee that this understanding will emerge and therefore will require delivery by a teacher who assists students in recognizing this complexity.
Learning brings together content and skills from more than one subject area
Students are provided with raw data - the photos - and a set of questions to guide their inquiry regarding the implications of the photos. It is the student "reading" of the photos and their interpretation of the connections between the photos that drives the lesson plan.
Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.
The lesson plans centre on student interpretation of the implications of a set of photos. The analysis is done within groups and therefore favours those students who are visual learners but also presents an opportunity for others to improve their skills in this regard. Student discussion as to the links between the photos will also favour those who are system thinkers rather than linear thinkers but again all students can benefit from the exercise.
Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.
The photos used in the lesson plan are intended to "simulate" a real life experience. Students are asked to look and learn.
Authentic learning experiences are provided
Students work in groups to analyze photos illustrating the effects of and response to climate change and to present their conclusions to the class. The discussion within the groups and the class presentation should be helpful in enlarging student understanding of the issue.
Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.
|Assessment & Evaluation
The concluding exercise, The Web of Interdependence, may be used to judge student their understanding of the effects of and possible responses to climate change but no summative assessment tools are provided.
|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.
Student discussion within the assigned groups and between the groups as to what can be extrapolated from the photos provides the context for the intended learning about climate change.
Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.
The climate change photos represent a 'series" of case studies about the impact of climate change in the real world and a record of the efforts of people to agitate for needed action to check or ameliorate the effects of climate change.
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
The topic and the means by which it will be explored are determined by the resource but the use of photos to explore the topic allows for an open-ended discussion, the direction of which will be determined to a degree by the students.
|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.