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Food and Climate Change Curriculum
https://www.laneysiegner.com/for-schools/

Alana Siegner

Comprehensive curriculum/unit to teach how food systems affect climate change. Strong use of real data is embedded throughout. Full lessons, mini-lessons, and short videos are presented.

This series of 6 lessons each take one 45 minute class period.

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

ngssSee how this Curricula supports the Next Generation Science Standards»
Middle School: 1 Performance Expectation, 3 Disciplinary Core Ideas, 1 Cross Cutting Concept, 6 Science and Engineering Practices
High School: 1 Disciplinary Core Idea, 3 Science and Engineering Practices

Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

About Teaching the Guiding Principle
Other materials addressing GPb
About Teaching the Guiding Principle
Other materials addressing GPd
About Teaching the Guiding Principle
Other materials addressing GPf
Humans can take action
About Teaching Climate Literacy
Other materials addressing Humans can take action
About Teaching Principle 2
Other materials addressing 2d
About Teaching Principle 2
Other materials addressing 2f
Climate is complex
About Teaching Climate Literacy
Other materials addressing Climate is complex
About Teaching Principle 3
Other materials addressing 3e
Life affects climate; climate affects life
About Teaching Climate Literacy
Other materials addressing Life affects climate; climate affects life
Climate is variable
About Teaching Climate Literacy
Other materials addressing Climate is variable
Our understanding of climate
About Teaching Climate Literacy
Other materials addressing Our understanding of climate
About Teaching Principle 6
Other materials addressing 6d
Humans affect climate
About Teaching Climate Literacy
Other materials addressing Humans affect climate
About Teaching Principle 7
Other materials addressing 7d
About Teaching Principle 7
Other materials addressing 7e
About Teaching Principle 7
Other materials addressing 7f
Climate change has consequences
About Teaching Climate Literacy
Other materials addressing Climate change has consequences

Energy Literacy

Other materials addressing:
5.4 Economic factors.
Other materials addressing:
5.6 Environmental factors.
Other materials addressing:
5.7 Social Factors.
Other materials addressing:
Energy decisions are influenced by several factors.
Other materials addressing:
3.2 Food is a biofuel.
Other materials addressing:
3.6 Humans live within Earth's ecosystems..
Other materials addressing:
Biological processes depend on energy flow.

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

  • This curriculum works best in a school or community garden to make it more relevant to students. The lessons can be implemented without a garden, but having the garden for students helps them make connections and makes this curriculum easier to implement.
  • Teachers should try a few of the activities to see which will be most relevant for their students and which they are able to implement.
  • Teachers should be aware they may need to do some research and aid students in the final sustainability project, as this is more involved than the other activities.

About the Science

  • This curriculum is a short unit that can be used to teach about climate change in a school or community garden setting. The activities in Lessons 1-3 describe the science behind global warming and CO2 rise and make connections with agriculture and food science. The activities in Lessons 4-6 allow students to explore the role of climate change in their own school garden and how to make their own garden more sustainable.
  • Lesson 1 introduces the topic of greenhouse gases and the greenhouse effect, the difference between weather and climate and how these interact with the garden.
  • Lesson 2 explores carbon emissions and the carbon cycle and how these relate to the garden.
  • Lesson 3 explores the national climate assessment and how farms are enacting sustainability measures.
  • Lesson 4 allows students to explore climate change indicators in their garden.
  • Lesson 5 explores adaptation and mitigation and ways students can mitigate climate change.
  • Lesson 6 is a culminating project that asks students to enact a mitigation strategy at their school.
  • Passed initial science review - expert science review pending.

About the Pedagogy

  • This curriculum is a series of small lessons/activities that can be implemented in a school garden to address climate change. Different teaching strategies are utilized, including a lot of discussion questions that can be explored through think-pair-share or through journal entries, a jigsaw activity, guest speakers, videos, data collection in the garden, games, experiments, and a problem-based final project. Teachers are given options if they aren't able to implement all of the activities. The curriculum leads up to a final project that asks students to implement a sustainability strategy in their school or garden.
  • This activity allows students to do these activities in and around their own school and school garden. These place-based activities may help engage more underserved groups in participation. None of the content excludes any SES level. It can be utilized by urban, suburban and rural populations. Some activities involve "farming" for example, interview a farmer, which could be difficult for either urban or suburban students, but a video that shows a farmer being interviewed is provided so any student, no matter where they lived, can complete this lesson.
  • Learning outcome: The design of the activities will meet projected learning outcomes: food systems and climate impacts by having students complete a variety of activities.
  • Type of lesson: Multiple types of activities are conducted by students during this unit are: experimental, interviews, use of real data, hands-on, games, a scavenger hunt, self-assessments and a few worksheets. These activities involve group/team work (i.e. for a game) as well as individual lesson components.
  • It may be helpful for instructors to modify this for use in an elementary school environment, where instructors may have a community garden at their school available to them.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Data/Information accessibility: Real-time and non-real-time data is embedded throughout the module.
  • Technological requirements/software: No software and/or hardware required.
  • Organization/Design of activity: Quality scaffolding, organization, formatting, and overall design.
  • Cost: No direct costs (eg. Software).
  • Usability: This entire module/curriculum is ready to use day one.
  • Background/Supplemental materials: High quality background materials/supplemental materials are provided which are scientifically sound and referenced.
  • Preparation time/Teachers guide: Prep time is minimal (copying worksheets, setting up a game) and the quality teacher guides are provided throughout, including scripted pieces for the teacher.

Next Generation Science Standards See how this Curricula supports:


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