Free Downloads & Table of Contents
Climate Change: Connections and Solutions, Grades 6-8, a $19.95 value, is available to download for free thanks to funding from the Hewlett-Packard Company!
Download the entire unit for FREE.
Preview the introduction, overview, and table of contents.
Students take on roles as part of an interactive carbon cycle model. Students then witness a demonstration of the greenhouse effect and explore its role in global climate change.
Students graph data to examine atmospheric carbon dioxide trends during the past 45 years. They will predict future carbon dioxide emissions based on the graph. The activity closes with a discussion of ways to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
In small groups, students learn about potential impacts of climate change on living things in a variety of ecosystems. Students communicate these impacts to the class through skits.
Students collect information about their daily lives to calculate their carbon footprint using an online carbon calculator. They compare their results to average carbon footprints around the world. Students also discover ways to decrease their carbon emissions.
In small groups, students read about various sources of energy used for electricity production. Students identify the pros and cons of these energy sources and take a position, either encouraging or discouraging the class to use particular energy sources.
In pairs, students read about the impacts of climate change experienced by people living in different environments around the world. As a class, students discuss how these climate change impacts are connected.
Students begin with a simulation to understand the limits imposed by environmental regulations. They compare 2 structural solutions to regulate carbon emissions, then play a cap and trade game to find ways to reduce emissions in the most cost-effective manner.
In this simulation, students experience how resources are distributed and used by different people based on access to wealth, paying attention to the environmental and social impacts of resource consumption. Students discuss the impacts of their consumption on climate change.
Students compare energy use and CO2 emissions by country and per capita in developing countries (China and Bolivia) and developed countries (Germany and United States). They discuss energy impacts and suggest policies for addressing global climate change related to energy use at a “World Climate Change Summit.”
Scientific concepts and past and current trends related to climate change
Individual carbon footprints and personal solutions to climate change
Energy sources for transportation and electricity
Impacts of climate change on human health and migration
Examples of climate change solutions undertaken by governments and businesses
An assortment of 4 assessments
Why Use Climate Change?
Climate change is a complex and interconnected global issue that cuts across many disciplines. This curriculum is aligned with national science and social studies standards and may be used in other classes as well. Appropriate disciplines are suggested for each lesson.
The 2-week unit begins with an introduction to climate change. During the first week, the foundation is laid for understanding some of the forces behind climate change. Students learn basic scientific phenomena related to climate change, beginning with the carbon cycle and the greenhouse effect and concluding with an analysis of different fuel types.
The second week widens and deepens students’ understanding of climate change with an exploration of its connections to various social, economic, and environmental factors. By the end of this 2-week unit, students will understand and be able to communicate complex and interconnected issues related to climate change.
Each week of the curriculum is a stand-alone unit and can be taught independently of the other week.
Key Concepts Covered:
- Carbon cycle
- Carbon dioxide trends
- Carbon footprint
- Climate change policy
- Emissions trading
- Energy use and conservation
- Environmental justice
- Environmental regulations
- Equity, poverty, and scarcity
- Global connections
- Greenhouse effect
- Greenhouse gases
- Personal and structural solutions
- Regional climate impacts
- Renewable and nonrenewable energy sources
- Temperature trends
- Explain the science behind the greenhouse effect and rising global temperatures
- Investigate current and historic carbon dioxide trends
- Understand the impacts of climate change on living communities
- Assess personal carbon emissions
- Analyze the benefits and consequences of using various fuel sources
- Understand the impacts of climate change on societies and environments in different parts of the world
- Explore environmental justice issues related to climate change
- Describe economic solutions to climate change
- Debate climate change policy from multiple viewpoints
- Brainstorm and discuss personal and structural solutions to climate change
Student Skills Developed:
- Critical thinking
- Systems thinking
- Written and oral communication
How to Use Climate Change
Climate Change: Connections and Solutions, Grades 6-8 can be used as a short unit on global issues and climate change or as an engaging contextual framework within which core subjects are taught. Climate Change is often compatible with existing curriculum requirements and topics and extends students’ learning through an interdisciplinary approach to issues.
The classroom examples below show how Climate Change: Connections and Solutions can be used to address a variety of classroom challenges and increase student involvement.
- School: Capitol Hill Day School, Washington, D.C.
- Grades: 6-8 Classroom Size: 12
- Subject: Environmental Science
- School: Seattle Girls School, Seattle, WA
- Grade: 7 Classroom Size: ~18
- Subject: Social Studies and Science
- School: Southeastern Regional Vocational Technical High School, South Easton, MA
- Grades: 9-12 Classroom Size: ~15
- Subject: Environmental Science and Studies
I would have been able to do more but these students wanted to look at every website and discuss everything they were learning….What a thrill to see kids excited about learning.
- Middle School Teacher, Cocoa, FL
> It was a very strong unit for creating a general understanding of climate change and its implications.
-Middle School Global Issues and Environmental Education Teacher, Doha, Qatar
> I really loved the curriculum. [It was] just the right blend of scientific knowledge, thought provoking questions, and hands-on activities.
- Middle School Teacher, Greenwood Village, CO
Facing the Future offers the following workshop to help you learn more about Climate Change: Connections and Solutions:
Climate Change: Connections and Solutions
This session walks through Climate Change: Connections and Solutions. Participants will engage in hands-on examples of several lessons on topics including carbon dioxide trends, fuel sources, environmental justice issues, and economic solutions to climate change. The fully-planned out units are aligned with national science and social studies standards and include daily activities, student handouts, lesson extensions, reflection questions, additional resources, action project ideas, student readings, and assessments of student learning.
If you are interested in having Facing the Future present at your next event email or call us at 206-264-1503.
Additional Professional Development Opportunities
To learn more about our upcoming workshops, webinars, and conferences, please visit our Workshop Calendar. If you are interested in having Facing the Future present at your next event, please contact us.
To complement Climate Change:Connections and Solutions, this section contains background information and additional resources to help educators and students learn more about global issues and sustainability.
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