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Resources for Teaching About Climate Change

Developed by James Ball, Iain Braithwaite, Michelle Lee, Robert Prior, Milica Rakic, Dale Simnett, and Roberta Tevlin.

Climate Change is moving fast and our window of opportunity to act decisively is shrinking. As science teachers, we can contribute to the solution by making sure that Climate Change is being taught, and taught well. We have been working this summer to develop ready-to-use resources to help you and your colleagues.

Grade 10 Science
The Climate Change Unit in grade 10 Science is an obvious place to start. We are aware that a lot of schools do not give this unit as much time as the other three. We hope to change this and have been putting together a set of ten lessons that can be used by any teacher. The lessons include easy demos, simulations, short videos, and student-centered discussions. They also contain explanations and extra information for teachers. The lessons are provided in both Google Doc and Google Slide formats. Each lesson contains some hopeful information, so that students (and their teacher) don’t fall into despair.

We plan to release the first five lessons in October. These lessons deal with the science behind Climate Change.
  • The Earth is Getting Warmer
  • How Do We Know?
  • Feedback Loops – How is it all Connected?
  • The Ocean is Changing
  • The Sea Level is Rising
The next lessons should be ready in November. These lessons consider what needs to be done by governments, businesses, individuals, and so on.
  • Disinformation
  • Mitigation
  • Adaption
  • Social Change
  • Optional Projects
Grade 11 Physics
This resource will be organized as a full or half class lesson that connects each of the five units to aspects of Climate Change. The lesson in the Force unit will look at the forcing factors that affect global temperatures and in the Energy unit students will look at the Earth’s energy balance. A Google Slide for each lesson will be provided.

Grade 12 Physics
This resource is organized as Topics with background information for each unit that could be discussed throughout the course. Two examples of connections are Universal Gravitation (measuring change in g due to water distribution change) and Blackbody Radiation (clothing for a warmer planet). The time required for some Topics can range from a few minutes to the whole period, depending on what you want to do with it. Google Docs will be provided.

Call for volunteers
In order to make these lessons really useful, we need other teachers to try them out, either the whole thing or just parts of a resource. We need teachers who will let us know what worked and what didn’t and how they modified the lessons. If you are interested in being part of this or would just like early access to these lessons, please fill out this Google form and we will get back to you.

Thanks in advance from James Ball, Iain Braithwaite, Michelle Lee, Robert Prior, Milica Rakic, Dale Simnett, and Roberta Tevlin.
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