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A 20-Year Dive Into Climate Change History

Secondary

Description

In this guided inquiry, students examine the question, "is climate change increasing the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events?” Taking on the role of investigative reporters, they listen to a collection of interviews and review scientific reports from climate change experts. In doing so, students will see how opinions have changed ,and consensus has developed during the past decade. The goals are for students to develop an understanding of the relationship between climate and weather and to arrive at their own determination of the relationship between climate change and extreme weather based on the results of their investigation.

Teachers can choose from the following activities:

Where do you stand? Students explore the difference between weather and climate by organizing photos of weather-related phenomena under the appropriate heading.

Listening with a Question in Mind: Students listen to a number of interviews with meteorologists and climate scientists to determine the different positions on the relationship between extreme weather events and climate change.

One Quote One Position: After reading scientific reports by climate experts, students choose one quote that summarizes the opinion of each author.

Changing Minds Timeline: Based on the interviews and the scientific reports, students determine how opinion on the connection between climate change and extreme weather has changed within the scientific community over time.

Capture the Essence of Opinion: Using the scientific reports and written transcripts of the interviews, students highlight specific words and text in various colours and prepare a collage that illustrates the different opinions and views expressed.

Where are we Now? In this culminating activity, students review the recent National Climate Assessment to determine what gaps in knowledge from their research into the question of climate change as a cause of extreme weather have been resolved.

The resource includes links to all of the materials, interviews and reports necessary for students to successfully complete this inquiry.

 

General Assessment

What skills does this resource explicitly teach?

Deciphering meaning in scientific text.

Strengths

  • The resource addresses an important question and one that is relevant to the student's own experience.
  • The resource is thorough and easy to use.
  • All materials needed to complete the activities are provided.

Weaknesses

  • The resource would be improved with the inclusion of an action component in which students might apply what they have learned for the benefit of their community.

Recommendation of how and where to use it

This resource will support teaching units that address the impacts of climate change.  It will also prove to be a useful teaching tool for outcomes that focus on the nature and process of science.

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 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 10: Energy Flow in Global Systems
  • British Columbia
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 9
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 9: The biosphere, geosphere, hydrosphere, and atmosphere are interconnected, as matter cycles and energy flows through them.
  • Manitoba
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Senior 2 Science: Weather Dynamics
  • Newfoundland & Labrador
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 1206: Weather Dynamics
  • Northwest Territories
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Experiential Science 10, Terrestial Systems: Climatology and Meteorology
        • Science 10: Energy Flow in Global Systems
  • Nova Scotia
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 9
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Citizenship 9: Engaged Citizenship
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Geography 10: Atmospheric Environment
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 10: Weather Dynamics
  • Nunavut
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 10: Energy Flow in Global Systems
  • Ontario
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 9
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Issues in Canadian Geography (Academic): Geographic Inquiry and Skill Development
        • Issues in Canadian Geography (Applied): Geographic Inquiry and Skill Development
    • 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 9
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 9: Nature of Science
        • Science 9: Procedural Knowledge
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Interdependence: Atlantic Canada in the Global Community: Environment in the Global Community
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Geography of Canada 421A: Methods of Geographic Inquiry
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 431A: Earth and Space Science, Weather Systems
  • Quebec
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science & Technology
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Applied Science & Technology: The Earth and Space
        • Environmental Science & Technology: The Earth and Space
        • Science & Technology: The Earth and Space
        • Science and the Environment: The Earth and Space
  • Saskatchewan
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Geography 10: Climate
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 10: Climate and Ecosystem Dynamics

Themes Addressed

  • Air, Atmosphere & Climate (2)

    • Climate Change
    • Weather
  • Science and Technology (1)

    • Analysing Conventional Science

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives Very Good

Considering various opinions on the question, "is climate change increasing the frequency of extreme weather events" is a core component of the students' investigation.

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

The economic and social consequences of extreme weather events are made clear in the recordings and reports.  Does the evidence support climate change as the cause?  This is the question students investigate.

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

The evidence students examine in the form of reports and interviews reveals the complexities involved.

Respects Complexity:

The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.

Acting on Learning Poor/Not considered
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 Good

The goal of the inquiry is for students to form and articulate their own beliefs surrounding human-caused climate change and extreme weather.

Values Education:

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

Empathy & Respect for Humans Satisfactory

In exploring and discussing the effects of extreme weather, attention can and should be directed to those poorer nations and people who are often most affected.

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

The attention paid to extreme weather events can foster concern for climate impacts on the natural world.

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

While the reports and interviews provided may not describe local events, parallels can be drawn to similar extreme weather that has impacted the students' own communities.

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

The investigation highlights how information, evidence and consensus have evolved over a ten year period.

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

Although guided, the inquiry is structured to present a variety of perspectives over time which students must evaluate.

Open-Ended Instruction :

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

Integrated Learning Satisfactory

The activities incorporate themes and content from science, social studies and language arts.

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 Satisfactory

The resource proposes the question but supports a student-driven investigation.

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 Poor/Not considered

The activities largely depend on the analysis of written and spoken text.

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 Satisfactory

The nature of the inquiry places students in the role of investigative reporters.

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

Students work both individually and in small groups.  Some of the activities promote the use of a 'jig saw' format.

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

Assessment and evaluation tools are not included.

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

Limited peer teaching opportunities are provided.

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 Satisfactory

Actual extreme weather events are referenced and described in the information students review as part of their investigation.  

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 Poor/Not considered

Such opportunities are limited.

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.