Climate Change: A Warming Planet
- Grade Level:
- Fifth Grade-Eighth Grade
- Climate Change, Earth Science, Environment, Physical Science
- 45 minutes
- Group Size:
- Up to 24 (4-8 breakout groups)
- National/State Standards:
- Standard 6: Students assess the interrelated cycles and forces that shape Earth’s surface, including human interaction with Earth. (ASDOE Elementary Science Standards: Grade 5-8, pp. 42-73)
OverviewOur world is always changing. Look out your window long enough and you might see the weather change. Look even longer, and you'll see the seasons change. The Earth's climate is changing, too, but in ways that you can't easily see. Round-n-round the Earth goes, where change may happen nobody knows! This program will help students understand the changes occurring in the Earth’s climate, its impact on local ecosystems and help them discover ways to help.
Students will be able to:
1. Understand that gases in the Earth’s atmosphere affect climate.
2. Learn how an increase in temperature can affect humans and ecosystems.
The Earth's climate is getting warmer, and the signs are everywhere. As global temperatures continue to rise, we'll see more changes in our climate and our environment. These changes will affect people, animals, and ecosystems in many ways. Less rain can mean less water for some places, while too much rain can cause terrible flooding. More hot days can dry up crops and make people and animals sick. In some places, people will struggle to cope with a changing environment. In other places, people may be able to successfully prepare for these changes. The negative impacts of global climate change will be less severe overall if people reduce the amount of greenhouse gases we're putting into the atmosphere and worse if we continue producing these gases at current or faster rates.
1. Board game
3. Checker cab
4. Playing Cards
5. Energy Stars
6. Power point program
Introduce Inquiry Questions?
What is global climate change? What is climate?
Ask: Have you ever heard the term climate? If so, what’s the difference between weather and climate? Write the term on the board and explain so that students understand its meaning. Explain that weather is what is happening outside at any particular moment in time. It may include daily or even hourly accounts of temperature, rainfall, cloud cover, humidity, and other variables. In contrast, climate is what we might generally expect to happen based on long-term weather patterns.
Ask: Have you ever heard the term global climate change? If yes, explain where or how they heard the term? If not, what do you think it means? Write the term on the board and explain how to understand its meaning. Global climate is the average climate over the entire planet. Tell the students the reason scientists are concerned is that Earth's global climate is changing. The planet is warming up fast—faster than at any time scientists know about from their studies of Earth's entire history. Show power point slides of different climate.
Watch Video (20mins)
Before the video, ask students to look for climate change affects, how we are contributing to the negative impacts of climate change on us, and the relationship between what we are doing. Have students watch the video “Climate Change” After the video, check student’s comprehension by asking the following questions.
1. What is carbon dioxide (CO2)?
2. What does (CO2) have to do with climate?
3. Who is affecting by climate change in the video?
4. What happen when we cut down trees?
“Save the Environment” Board Game
Divide students into groups. Each group must choose a captain. The captain will be the group speaker. The captain will roll the die first. Whatever number appears on the die, move the checker cab that many boxes. If you land on a green box, your captain will look for that number on the playing cards and read it out loud to the group. The card will indicate whether you collect energy stars or move back. The group should talk about what the captain just read out. If it's something we can do to help save the environment, then collect the number of energy stars as indicated on the playing cards from the teacher. The teacher will be in charge of giving out energy stars.
After the student lands on a box give the next student the die to roll. If you move back and land on the green box, you do not read the playing cards. The next student rolls the die. Whichever team gets the most energy stars, wins the game. Once groups have reached the “Finish” box, or if their die number takes them beyond the “Finish” box, the game is over. The purpose of this game is for everyone to understand and learn what was discovered from the playing cards.
Have a class discussion about how we are negatively affecting the earth because of climate change. Ask the following questions:
1. In the game, what were three ways that we contribute to climate change? (i.e. leaving lights on; pollution from driving cars; and not recycling.)
2. What can we do to stop global warming? (Responses may include an attempt to reduce how much carbon we emit into the atmosphere, invest in green energy technology, public awareness campaign, etc.)
Conclusion with Inquiry Questions
What is climate? What is global climate change?
Do your part to reduce your carbon footprint. Reduce, reuse, and recycle.