Initial Publication Date: September 18, 2020

Support Data-Literacy and Interpretation

Consider using the eight strategies listed in the NGSS Science and Engineering Practices tosupport instruction around these processes:

1. Asking questions (for science) and defining problems (for engineering)
2. Developing and using models
3. Planning and carrying out investigations
4. Analyzing and interpreting data
5. Using mathematics and computational thinking
6. Constructing explanations (for science) and designing solutions (for engineering)
7. Engaging in argument from evidence
8. Obtaining, evaluating, and communicating information

Among scientists, the fact that Earth's climate is changing and that these changes are impacting our environment is not controversial. It is often the solutions that are controversial. Because these solutions have huge implications for our current policies and systems, misinformation (intentional and unintentional) has led to a misunderstanding that science is controversial. By focusing on the tangible observations and processes that scientists make and use vs. the controversies around solutions, younger learners can ground their learning in concrete experiences which are so critical at this age. Since so much misinformation about climate change circulates through the media, you can offer a much-needed opportunity for students to learn about the subject in an organized, formalized way that will help them build scientific mastery amid a sea of opinions, misinformation, and hearsay. Teaching students to understand and interpret data allows them to form opinions for themselves as they get older, and sift the opinions from the facts.