Environmental Literacy and Inquiry Working Group at Lehigh University
Activity takes one to two lesson periods (possibly homework assignment).Discuss this Resource»
Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»
Middle school students will need a lot of support in this activity.
About Teaching Climate Literacy
Other materials addressing 4d
Other materials addressing 4f
7.3 Environmental quality.
2.7 Effects of changes in Earth's energy system .
3.6 Humans live within Earth's ecosystems..
Excellence in Environmental Education Guidelines
Other materials addressing:
C) Collecting information.
Other materials addressing:
A) Processes that shape the Earth.
Notes From Our Reviewers
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Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy |
- Review timeline with students prior to starting lesson.
- When downloading geological timeline, make students aware of the slider bar on the bottom of the timeline to extend the eras and time periods. It is difficult to see the slider in certain browsers.
About the Science
- The CO2 record shows that Earth's climate and carbon cycle are closely intertwined over the last half billion years and high CO2 levels have been responsible for warmer climates.
- Use in conjunction with the following video: http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/ancient_earth/Snowball_Earth
- Comments from expert scientist: Gets students actually playing with data (CO2, temperature through time). The graph paper provided for the exercise is skewed (the coordinate system is off, stretched at the most recent time interval). Also, the graphics are very 1990s.
About the Pedagogy
- Activity includes student and teacher materials in pdf format as well as background readings and assessments.
- Lesson, as with others in this series, is well-organized and supports navigating around the timeline, but doesn't support understanding the timeline.
- Activity might be difficult to use for a non-expert teacher because it lacks a clear interpretation of the sequence of the geological past and interpretation of how the CO2 concentration impacts the climate of the past.
Technical Details/Ease of Use
- Educator needs to register (no cost) to gain access to teacher materials and assessments.
- No preconceptions or misconceptions are listed in this activity - so educators might preview the lesson in the teachers' guide prior to implementing to assure appropriateness for their students.
- All necessary materials are technically correct but additional materials are necessary to make this activity engaging and effective for non-expert teacher use.
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