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Understanding Climate Change in Grade 11 and 12 Geography

Secondary

Description

This resource identifies locations within Ontario's high school geography curriculum where teachers can address climate change.  Teaching suggestions, case studies, learning activities, guiding questions and additional resources related to climate change have been linked to appropriate curriculum outcomes for each individual course.

 

General Assessment

What skills does this resource explicitly teach?

This resource suggests many links and ways that teachers can include the topic of Climate Change in their Geography Class. Therefore, the abilities taught will depend on the activities selected by the teacher but overall the resource aim for students to develop a common understandings in a climate change context.

Strengths

  • A wide variety of authentic experiences are suggested in the teacher’s guide as well as on the websites suggested inside the guide.
  • Activities are related to science, language arts and technology, and allow the students to reflect on a variety of perspectives and to create links between various phenomenons affecting Climate Change.
  • The resource encourages teachers to look at Climate Change at a local/regional scale before moving on to a bigger picture.
  • The background information includes a variety of issues and website links for additional information. The activities are also well rounded in that they provide opportunities to explore many issues regarding Climate Change.
  • The resource includes a variety of links to other resources on the topic and allows the teachers the freedom to select the most appropriate approach for their classroom.

Weaknesses

  • No evaluation tools are included.

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: Commitment to Action
        • Environment and Outdoor Education: Environmental Investigations
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Environmental Chemistry
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Biology
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Biology 30: Population and Community Dynamics
  • British Columbia
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Environmental Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Environmental Science 12: Human activities cause changes in the global climate system
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Specialized Science 12: Climate change impacts biodiversity and ecosystem health
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Physical Geography 12: Interactions between human activities and the atmosphere affect local and global weather and climate
  • Manitoba
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Citizenship and Sustainability: Area of Inquiry: Environment
        • Global Issues
  • New Brunswick
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Physical Geography 110: Meteorology
  • Newfoundland & Labrador
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Canadian Geography 1202: Natural and Human Systems
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Environmental Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Environmental Science 3205: The Atmosphere and the Environment
  • Northwest Territories
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Biology
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Biology 30: Population and Community Dynamics
  • Nova Scotia
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 10: Weather Dynamics
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Environmental Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • AP Environmental Science: Global Change
        • Environmental Science: Atmospheric Pollution
  • Nunavut
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Environmental Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Environmental Studies 35: Northern Climate
  • 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 (Academic): Interactions in the Physical Environment
        • Issues in Canadian Geography (Academic): Managing Canada's Resources and Industries
        • Issues in Canadian Geography (Applied): Geographic Inquiry and Skill Development
        • Issues in Canadian Geography (Applied): Interactions in the Physical Environment
        • Issues in Canadian Geography (Applied): Managing Canada's Resources and Industries
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Impacts of Change
        • Forces of Nature: Physical Processes and Disasters (Univ./College Prep.)
        • Forces of Nature: Physical Processes and Disasters (Univ./College Prep.): The Physical Environment: Sustainability and Stewardship
        • Forces of Nature: Processes and Disasters (Univ./College Prep.) Geographic Inquiry and Skill Development
        • Forces of Nature: processes and Disasters (Univ./College Prep.): Systems: Interactions and Interdependece
        • Introduction to Spacial Technologies (Open): Geographic Inquiry and Skill Development
        • Introduction to Spacial Technologies (open): Spacial Technologies and Change
        • Introduction to Spacial Technologies (open): Spacial Technologies, Society and Interdependence
        • Introduction to Spacial Technologies: (Open):Using Spacial technologies to Support Sustainability and Stewardship
        • Regional Geography (Univ./College Prep.) Dynamics and Change
        • Regional Geography (Univ./College Prep.): Geographic Inquiry and Skill Development
        • Regional Geography (Univ./College Prep.): Sustainability and Stewardship
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Geography
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Living in a Sustainable World (Workplace Prep.) Sustainability of Natural Resources
        • The E
        • The Environment & Resource Management (Univ./College Prep) : Ecological Systems: Interactions and Interdependence
        • The Environment & Resource Management (Univ./College Prep.): Methods of Geographic Inquiry and Communication
        • The Environment & Resource Management (Univ./College Prep.): Spacial Organizationties
        • The Environment & Resource Management (Univ./College Prep.):Sustainability and Stewardship of Natural Resources
        • The Environment & Resource Management (Univ/College Prep.) Community Action
        • The Environment & Resource Management (Workplace Preparation): Methods of Geographic Inquiry and Communication
        • World Geography: Urban Patterns & Population Issues (University/College Prep.) Geographic Inquiry and Skill Development
        • World Geography: Urban Patterns & Populations (Univ. / College Prep.): Sustainability and Stewardship
        • World Geography: Urban Patterns & Populations (Univ./College Prep.) Systems: Interdependence of Ecumenes
  • Prince Edward Island
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 431A: Life Science, Sustainability of Ecosystems
  • Quebec
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 11
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Contemporary World: Environment
        • Contemporary World: Wealth
  • Saskatchewan
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 10
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Science 10: Climate and Ecosystem Dynamics
  • Yukon Territory
    • Step 2Select a grade level
    • Grade 12
      • Step 3Select a subject
      • Environmental Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Environmental Science 12: Human activities cause changes in the global climate system
      • Science
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Specialized Science 12: Climate change impacts biodiversity and ecosystem health
      • Social Studies
        • Step 4Relevant matches
        • Physical Geography 12: Interactions between human activities and the atmosphere affect local and global weather and climate

Themes Addressed

  • Air, Atmosphere & Climate (3)

    • Acid Rain
    • Climate Change
    • Weather
  • Ecosystems (1)

    • Interdependence
  • Energy (1)

    • Energy Use
  • Land Use & Natural Resources (1)

    • Sustainable Urbanization

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives Very Good

The resource includes a variety of links to other resources on the topic and allows the teachers the freedom to select the most appropriate approach for their classroom.

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 Very Good

The background information includes a variety of issues and website links for additional information. The activities are also well rounded in that they provide opportunities to explore many issues regarding Climate Change.

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 Good

This resource is mainly a tool of suggestions for teachers to be able to incorporate Climate Change into their Geography course. It is up to the teacher to take a problem solving approach though the resource does suggest some activities which do take a problem solving approach.  

Respects Complexity:

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

Acting on Learning Satisfactory

Some activities that are suggested engage students in authentic experiences such as examining their own ecological footprints. The resource also includes link to website containing some ideas for students to take positive actions in their community but this is not the principal activities and teaching approaches suggested in the guide.

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 teaching suggestions section includes a variety of activities for students to express their opinion on the topic. Students are encouraged to look at Climate Change at a local/regional scale making it more relevant to their life and increasing the probability that they will take at heart this issue.

Values Education:

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

Empathy & Respect for Humans Poor/Not considered
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 Satisfactory

The resource discusses Climate Change and offers good background information and it suggest some outdoor activities. Yet, when introducing the topic of climate change, it may be interesting to start with an outdoor activity which look at the environment of the community and identifies elements contributing to climate change and climate change phenomenon.

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 resource encourages teachers to look at Climate Change at a local/regional scale before moving on to a bigger picture. For instance, students are encouraged to look at their own ecological footprint before looking at the one of their community and so on.

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 resource includes some background information and links to find out more on the history of Climate Change. The activities look at the current phenomenon of Climate Change and do empower students to develop a better understanding of its concepts and that they can make a difference.

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

The resource starts with suggestions of focus questions for the students to inquire about and offers various website links. Teaching suggestions are included and allows students to explore the topic on their own, to become experts and to share their knowledge with their peers.

Open-Ended Instruction :

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

Integrated Learning Good

Activities are related to science, language arts and technology, and allow the students to reflect on a variety of perspectives and to create links between various phenomenons affecting Climate Change.

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

It is suggested that students are to work in teams on various focus questions to and they are offered various website links to inquire for more information. Teaching suggestions are included and allows students to explore the topic on their own, to become experts and to share their knowledge with their peers.

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

The guide includes a wide range of possible activities that students could do as well as links to additional resources for more suggestions of activities. It is therefore the teacher who is in charge of selecting a variety of activities that will suit the different learning style of the students.

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

A wide variety of authentic experiences are suggested in the teacher’s guide as well as on the websites suggested inside the guide such as an analysis of the impact of different activities (e.g., resource industries) and the impact of local behaviour on global change, students can calculate their footprint as it is now, perhaps comparing it to what it was earlier and students consider the likely impact of climate change as they examine the physical features of a region and current settlement patterns along with the tourist attractions.

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 in group and are encouraged to act as experts on the topic but no group work strategies are explicitly taught in the resource.

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 Satisfactory

The resource includes the Curriculum Expectations for the province of Ontario but since the choice of activities is left to the teachers it makes it complicated to include an evaluation tool for the activities. However, a self-evaluation and teacher evaluation tool could be provided for an overall evaluation of students’ progress and understanding of the topic.

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 some activities that allow students to become expert on a certain aspect of the topic which they then have to share with their peers.

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

Though it is left to the teacher to select local case study, the resource includes many suggestions of topics and websites for case studies and teachers are encouraged to move from local to global.

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 resource allows a lot of freedom for teachers to decide on the content and the activities that will be done in class and students can select questions or topics which they would like to explore further.

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.