ALEX Lesson Plan

     

Global Warming: Fact or Fiction?

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  This lesson provided by:  
Author:Hannah Bradley
System: Dothan City
School: Carver Magnet School
The event this resource created for:ASTA
  General Lesson Information  
Lesson Plan ID: 34516

Title:

Global Warming: Fact or Fiction?

Overview/Annotation:

During this lesson, students will create two line graphs: one that shows how carbon dioxide levels have changed over time, and one that shows how global temperatures have changed over time. Students will read current news article(s) detailing the human activities and natural processes that could change global temperatures. Students will interpret their graphical data, as well as information in the article, to determine if there is any relation between carbon dioxide levels and global temperatures. 

This lesson results from a collaboration between the Alabama State Department of Education and ASTA.

 Associated Standards and Objectives 
Content Standard(s):
Science
SC2015 (2015)
Grade: 6
Earth and Space Science
14 ) Analyze and interpret data (e.g., tables, graphs, maps of global and regional temperatures; atmospheric levels of gases such as carbon dioxide and methane; rates of human activities) to describe how various human activities (e.g., use of fossil fuels, creation of urban heat islands, agricultural practices) and natural processes (e.g., solar radiation, greenhouse effect, volcanic activity) may cause changes in local and global temperatures over time.

Insight Unpacked Content
Scientific And Engineering Practices:
Analyzing and Interpreting Data
Crosscutting Concepts: Stability and Change
Disciplinary Core Idea: Earth's Systems
Evidence Of Student Attainment:
Students:
  • Analyze data to describe how various human activities may cause changes in local and global temperatures over time.
  • Interpret data to describe how various human activities may cause changes in local and global temperatures over time.
  • Analyze data to describe how various natural processes may cause changes in local and global temperatures over time.
  • Interpret data to describe how various natural processes may cause changes in local and global temperatures over time.
Teacher Vocabulary:
  • Natural processes
  • Human activities
  • Global temperatures
  • Mean surface temperature
  • Global warming
  • Solar radiation
  • Greenhouse Effect
  • Volcanic activity
  • Fossil fuels
  • Combustion
  • Urban heat islands
  • Agriculture
  • Natural systems
  • Carbon dioxide (gases)
  • Greenhouse gases
  • Concentration
  • Atmosphere
  • Climate change
Knowledge:
Students know:
  • Natural processes and/or human activities may have affected the patterns of change in global temperatures over the past century, leading to the current rise in Earth's mean surface temperature (global warming).
  • Natural processes may include factors such as changes in incoming solar radiation, the greenhouse effect, or volcanic activity.
  • Human activities may include factors such as fossil fuel combustion, the creation of urban heat islands, and agricultural activity.
  • Natural processes and/or human activities may lead to a gradual or sudden change in global temperatures in natural systems (e.g., glaciers and arctic ice, and plant and animal seasonal movements and life cycle activities).
  • Natural processes and/or human activities may have led to changes in the concentration of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere over the past century.
  • Patterns in data connect natural processes and human activities to changes in global temperatures over the past century.
  • Patterns in data connect the changes in natural processes and/or human activities related to greenhouse gas production to changes in the concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
  • Reducing the level of climate change and reducing human vulnerability to whatever climate changes do occur depend on the understanding of climate science, engineering capabilities, and other kinds of knowledge, such as understanding of human behavior and on applying that knowledge wisely in decisions and activities.
Skills:
Students are able to:
  • Organize given data on various human activities, natural processes, and changes in local and global temperatures to allow for analysis and interpretation.
  • Analyze the data to identify possible causal relationships between human activities and natural processes and changes in local and global temperature over time.
  • Interpret patterns observed from the data to provide causal accounts for events and make predictions for events by constructing explanations.
Understanding:
Students understand that:
  • Human activities and natural processes may affect local and global temperatures over time.
AMSTI Resources:
AMSTI Module:
Understanding Weather and Climate

NAEP Framework
NAEP Statement::
E8.7a: The atmosphere is a mixture of nitrogen, oxygen, and trace gases that include water vapor.

NAEP Statement::
E8.7b: The atmosphere has a different physical and chemical composition at different elevations.



Alabama Alternate Achievement Standards
AAS Standard:
SCI.AAS.6.14- Interpret data (e.g., tables, graphs) to determine changes in local and global temperatures over time; identify human activities (e.g. the use of fossil fuels) and natural processes (e.g. volcanic activity) as causes of these changes in temperatures.


Local/National Standards:

 

Primary Learning Objective(s):

Students will be able to create and analyze line graphs relating atmospheric carbon dioxide levels to global temperature trends.

Students will be able to describe how human activities and natural processes may affect global temperature trends over time. 

Additional Learning Objective(s):

Students will be able to create a line graph from a given data table.

 Preparation Information 

Total Duration:

61 to 90 Minutes

Materials and Resources:

Pencil (one per each student)

Ruler (one per each student)

Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Graph (see attachment)

Global Temperatures Graph (see attachment)

Analyzation & Reflection Handout (see attachment)

Notebook paper (one sheet per student)

Technology Resources Needed:

Student digital devices-laptop/tablet (if available)

Interactive whiteboard or projector

"The Scientific Truth About Climate Change" Video Clip (9:35 minutes)

This video will begin with an ad.

Articles Detailing Possible Causes of Climate Change

"Causes of Climate Change"-from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

"How Do We Know that Humans Are the Major Cause of Global Warming?"-from the Union of Concerned Scientists

"Is Current Warming Natural?"-from the NASA Earth Observatory

For Extension Activity: "Zerofootprint Youth Calculator"

In this website, students will have to create a nickname, and enter their birth date (to ensure they are old enough to use the website). Students will then answer a variety of questions (i.e. how do they travel to school, how frequently do they eat meat) to determine their carbon footprint. 

Background/Preparation:

Students should have experience in creating a line graph from a given data table. Students should have a basic understanding of the greenhouse effect, and how this process may affect global and local temperatures. 

The teacher should understand that global carbon dioxide levels have changed over time, which mirrors the increase in global temperature trends. There are possible natural processes (i.e. solar radiation, greenhouse effect, volcanic activity) and human activities (i.e. fossil fuels, urban heat islands, agricultural practices) that may be affecting the overall global temperature trends. 

  Procedures/Activities: 

Before Strategy/Engage-15 minutes

1. Students will view "The Scientific Truth About Climate Change" Video Clip (9:35 minutes). Students can view this video clip on their personal digital device, or teacher can play the video on the interactive whiteboard. 

2. As students are watching the video, they should answer the question: "Do you think 'global warming' is actually happening on our planet? Why or why not?"

3. After viewing the video clip, the teacher will begin a discussion by asking students to vote (can raise hands or use electronic method) on whether they think climate change is "fact" or "fiction". The teacher will ask students to describe the reasoning behind their vote. 

During Strategy-Explore & Explain-50 Minutes

1. Students will use information from the data table to create a line graph showing how atmospheric carbon dioxide levels have changed over time (see "Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Graph" for detailed instructions). 

2. Students will use information from the data table to create a line graph showing how global temperatures have changed over time (see "Global Temperature Graph" for detailed instructions). 

Note: The data for the tables came from the following websites:

"NASA Global Climate Change": This website contains current information about atmospheric carbon dioxide levels. This would be a good resource to show students as well.

"Global Temperatures" from Earth Policy Institute: This website contains several graphs and data tables relating to atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, global temperatures, and sea ice levels. 

3. After completing the graphs, students should hold their graphs side by side and answer the questions #1 and #2 on the "Analyzation and Reflection Handout".

4. On notebook paper, students should create a T-chart, labeling the left column "Human Activities", and labeling the right column "Natural Processes".

5. Students will read the article(s) and create a list of possible human activities and natural processes that could cause an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide levels and global temperatures. 

Note: The teacher could use all three articles or just choose one or two for the students to read. The students may access the articles using a digital device, or the teacher may make a printed copy for students to read. 

After Strategy-Explain & Extend: 20 minutes

1. Students will examine and analyze their three evidence pieces: atmospheric carbon dioxide graph, global temperature graph, and T-chart. Students will use this information to answer the questions on the "Analyzation and Reflection Handout". 



Attachments:
**Some files will display in a new window. Others will prompt you to download.
  Assessment  

Assessment Strategies

The teacher will informally assess students by asking critical questions during the Before Strategy to ensure students have a basic understanding of global temperature trends. 

The teacher will informally assess students as they create the two line graphs to ensure students are graphing the data correctly.

The teacher will formally assess students during the After Strategy as students complete the "Analyzation and Reflection Handout". The teacher can use this formal assessment as a grade, or use this handout to facilitate a class discussion on the topic of climate change.

Acceleration:

Students who easily complete the Primary Learning Objective can visit the website: "Zerofootprint Youth Calculator". In this website, students will have to create a nickname, and enter their birth date (to ensure they are old enough to use the website). Students will then answer a variety of questions (i.e. how do they travel to school, how frequently do they eat meat) to determine their carbon footprint. 

After calculating their carbon footprint, students can brainstorm ways they can reduce their carbon footprint (i.e. ride the bus to school instead of the car, reduce the number of times they eat meat each week, etc.). 

Intervention:

Students who struggle with the graphing portion of this lesson may be partnered with a student who excels in math in order to receive support as they create each of the graphs. The teacher should provide support as well as these students work to complete the graphic portion of this lesson.

For students who struggle with reading comprehension, the teacher should preview the articles and choose an article that correlates to the student's reading ability. The teacher may also find articles on a lower reading level on the internet or in resource books.


View the Special Education resources for instructional guidance in providing modifications and adaptations for students with significant cognitive disabilities who qualify for the Alabama Alternate Assessment.