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Next Generation Climate Lesson 2 - What factors have caused the rise in the global temperature over the last century?

Will Steger Foundation/Climate Generation

In this activity, students explore factors that have caused the rise in global temperature over the last century. Educators have the opportunity to assess how modeling activities (the game), analogies (the cake), and mathematical models (graphs) develop and change student mental models.

Activity length: Three 50-minute periods

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

ngssSee how this Activity supports the Next Generation Science Standards»
Middle School: 2 Disciplinary Core Ideas, 5 Science and Engineering Practices
High School: 2 Disciplinary Core Ideas, 4 Science and Engineering Practices

Notes From Our Reviewers The CLEAN collection is hand-picked and rigorously reviewed for scientific accuracy and classroom effectiveness. Read what our review team had to say about this resource below or learn more about how CLEAN reviews teaching materials
Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy | Technical Details

Teaching Tips

  • Check out the Climate Generation website featuring this lesson for supplemental materials and more information: https://www.climategen.org/take-action/teach-climate-change/curriculum/download-sample-lessons/
  • The large-group activity could be completed indoors (gym, cafeteria) if weather or logistics does not permit an outdoor activity.
  • The research that the students are required to do as far as their claim, evidence and reasoning (CER), would do well in collaboration with school's librarian/media specialist.

About the Science

  • Activity addresses factors that are causing the climate to change and distinguishes between natural and human causes.
  • Comments from expert scientist:
    Scientific strengths:
    - breaks down the reason why climate change happens in the first place (humans produce GHG, suns radiation gets trapped)
    - Love the tagging game!!!

    This definition is may be confusing and should be clarified in class:
    greenhouse effect: A phenomenon in which the atmosphere of a planet traps radiation emitted by its sun, caused by gases such as carbon dioxide, water vapor, and methane that allow incoming sunlight to pass through but retain heat radiated back from the planet’s surface.

About the Pedagogy

  • Terrific kinesthetic modeling of the greenhouse effect. The game looks complex but really isn't.
  • Activity teaches scientific principles while having fun at the same time.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Link for video for Lesson 2 is here: http://www.climategen.org/ngconline/.
  • Educators may need to find additional resources as background reading if unfamiliar with common models of climate change.

Related URLs These related sites were noted by our reviewers but have not been reviewed by CLEAN

Next Generation Science Standards See how this Activity supports:

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