Getting Started to Create Your Own Climate & Energy Units
Download the following resources for step-by-step guidance to build your own units:
The NGSS provides a three-dimensional instructional model arranged by grade-level Performance Expectations (PEs) and consisting of the Disciplinary Core Ideas (DCIs), which are the core ideas (content), the Science and Engineering Practices (SEPs), which layout how core ideas are taught, and the Crosscutting Concepts (CCCs), which weave the storyline of the units together.
The CLEAN Collection is a free online searchable database containing over 700 classroom-ready and data-rich lesson plans, activities, labs, demos, videos, and visualizations on climate and energy science.
All "Selected by CLEAN" resources come from trusted sources and have been rigorously reviewed by both research scientists and teaching experts to ensure their scientific accuracy and educational value. Some issues like climate change and energy production are rapidly evolving and the CLEAN Collection is supplemented and reviewed regularly.
The first step in planning units using NGSS is to identify the PE, or bundle of PEs, that meet your grade-level and discipline curricula requirements. The next step is to identify which specific DCIs, SEPs, and CCCs "unpack" the PE(s) selected in order to create a coherent storyline for your unit.
Since educators are most experienced in planning and teaching units by content area, the DCIs are a logical starting point when creating NGSS-aligned units. The SEPs and CCCs are also entry points for developing units using NGSS.
Phenomena can connect to multiple NGSS DCIs and be used at both the lesson and unit level. A unit level phenomenon, or anchoring phenomenon, takes students the entire unit to be able to explain the science behind it in their own words. A lesson-level phenomenon builds students' understanding of the bigger science concept.
For more in-depth information about phenomena, see the Phenomena for NGSS teaching and learning website.
Instructional Strategies, each with a unique process and set of expected learning outcomes, including:
- Arts Integration
- Argument-Driven Inquiry
Any one of these strategies has the potential to provide the structure and depth necessary to meet the NGSS. Select strategies that work well in your class. In choosing the right strategy, pair it to the science core ideas and the grade level of your class. For example, project-, place-, and phenomenon-based learning are especially powerful with students in middle school grades. For high school grades, students' learning thrives with argument-driven inquiry and phenomena-based, problem-based, and solutions-focused strategies.
Planning Template and its corresponding Flowchart provide step-by-step and visual guidance to develop instructionally-sound and science-content-rich units. The lesson template and flowchart are available as downloads, which you can use to build your own CLEAN-based and NGSS-aligned units.