STAGE 1: ENGAGE WITH THE TOPIC OF CLIMATE CHANGE
The ‘Engage ’phase begins with lessons that mentally engage students with an activity or question. It captures their interest, provides an opportunity for them to express what they know about the concept or skill being developed, and helps them to make connections between what they know and the new ideas.
Engage Step 1.1: Getting started – a brainstorm, discussion
Suggested Subject Area: Literacy
To provide students with opportunities to:
You will need:
Procedure: A Brainstorm
Each day we behave in particular ways, use particular technologies and manage our school spaces using a variety of resources. We may use energy to keep warm or stay cool; water for drinking and watering; and cars and buses as ways to get from one place to another. The energy and resources we use can release a variety of gases into the atmosphere that trap heat from the sun and cause the earth to warm up.
The energy we use in our school, home and cars, the food we eat and the things we buy can all affect how much greenhouse gas we produce. The good news is that we can save energy and water, reduce our school’s running costs and remain comfortable, we can look at our diets and be healthier and we can look at how we make purchases and save money...and all these strategies can reduce greenhouse gases and reduce global warming.
Use the ‘pass the question’ strategy outlined below, to complete a brainstorm.
Each group reports to the class, synthesising ideas collated by the class. Display brainstorm lists around the classroom.
If questions emerge from this activity, record these and display them for reference throughout the unit.
Consider the words ‘climate change’ and ‘global change’. List other words that students associate with them. For example: global warming, carbon pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, weather, the Greenhouse Effect. Investigate definitions and any associations the words may have.
Issues surrounding climate change can have many confusing terms and technical jargon. Ask students what they think the difference is between:
Why is it important to make distinctions between these terms? Present them with a range of resources, such as the Glossary in Resource 1.1 and the internet. Ask them to compare their research with their original ideas.
Ask students to develop a concept map describing what they know about climate change, what it is, what it comprises, what it affects, and why it’s important.
Step 1: Give each student 10 small cards.
Step 2: On one card they write the word/phrase that is the subject for the topic (e.g. climate change)
Step 3: On the remaining cards they write/draw other words that they consider to be important in relation to the topic.
Step 4: The cards are arranged in a way that makes sense to the student.
Step 5: Students then show the way these ideas relate to each other by drawing lines or arrows between the related ideas. Words or connecting phrases are written on the line or arrow to make the connection clearer.
Step 6: Generalisations can then be formed on the basis of the connecting ideas on the concept map.
Concept maps are useful for assessment purposes. Students could complete one at the beginning of the unit and then reconstruct it during and at the end of the unit to demonstrate their changed understandings.
Improve understandings about climate change. Invite students to use the following web based source material to find additional information about climate change. Please note that You Tube videos may not be accessible to students at school.
View an animation at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H6uDiJng-uo (above) to explore the following concepts:
View excerpts and, in groups explore the concepts presented and list ideas on a retrieval chart documenting understandings about climate change.
Example Retrieval Chart: