National Center for Science Education
This learning activity takes four to six 50 minute classes.Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»
This Activity builds on the following concepts of Climate Literacy.
Click a topic below for supporting information, teaching ideas, and sample activities.
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Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy |
- This lesson is largely conceptual in nature and should be used to establish an common understanding of the scientific process (including peer review) and how scientific knowledge is integrated into our everyday lives. Although it does provide an understanding of certain climate-related topics, it does not teach explicit earth systems or climate change lessons.
- This lesson is broken up into sections A-E. Consider taking one class period per section and assign leftover material as individual or group homework.
- Teachers may want to consider guiding students through Project Drawdown (https://drawdown.org/) or other solution-based resources to help them avoid feeling hopeless or overwhelmed at the end of this unit.
- From the lesson set: "It's recommended that students work through the NCSE Nature of Science lesson sets at some point during the year. However, if this is not possible, be sure to introduce students to FLICC, a framework for understanding science denial, prior to presenting this lesson set."
- To really understand graphing, modeling, and peer-review, students and teachers will need more background than the lesson provides. Read through this unit and consider what your students will need to understand and work work through it. Some classes may need extensive preparation.
About the Content
- This introductory lesson defines common vocabulary like misconception, peer review, greenhouse gases, anthropogenic, consensus, and logical fallacies through the FLICC framework.
- This lesson uses evidence from reputable organizations like NASA and NOAA, and guides students in graphing and interpreting climate data. All primary resources are cited at the conclusion of the lesson.
- Passed initial science review - expert science review pending.
About the Pedagogy
- This unit provides a great "hook" to engage students. Students are first introduced to the concept of outlier, scientific consensus, and peer review by evaluating a non climate related case study. Students then use a mix of videos, internet investigation, class discussion, simulations, question generation, and graphing to understand how data and graph interpretation are used to create and answer scientific questions.
- Students should already have a foundational understanding of climate change and how earth systems (including the water/carbon/nitrogen cycle) and choice of energy production relate to climate change. All modules involving climate data or simulation are related back to the central principle of critical evaluation.
- The investigations are well-structured and thorough.
- This resource engages students in using scientific data.
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