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Understanding Global Change Interactive
https://www.biointeractive.org/classroom-resources/understanding-global-change

Jessica Bean, Mark Nielsen, University of California Berkeley Museum of Paleontology

Climate Literacy
About Teaching Climate Literacy

Sun is primary energy
About Teaching Climate Literacy
Other materials addressing Sun is primary energy
Climate is complex
About Teaching Climate Literacy
Other materials addressing Climate is complex
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
About Teaching Principle 5
Other materials addressing 5a
Our understanding of climate
About Teaching Climate Literacy
Other materials addressing Our understanding of climate
Humans affect climate
About Teaching Climate Literacy
Other materials addressing Humans affect climate
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:
7.3 Environmental quality.
Other materials addressing:
3.6 Humans live within Earth's ecosystems..

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

  • The teacher's guide (under Educator Materials) is well-organized and thorough: it introduces the activity's key concepts, learning goals, materials, teaching tips, and an example instructional sequence.
  • The example instructional sequence is very helpful, since it may take a lot of class time to explain how to use the system model at the end of the activity. The example suggests that students pair up to create their own models, though the activity could be done as individual work or in groups of 3-4.
  • The interactive activity may be best used as a capstone activity or assessment tool concluding a unit on how changes in our earth systems occur.
  • Instructors should try the interactive before using it in class to ensure it works as needed in their browser or on their computers.
  • The activity can be adapted to different levels based on complexity of model and detail expected in connections. Adaptable for advanced middleschoolers and undergraduates.

About the Science

  • In this activity, students learn about climate system relationships and build their own system model. The activity shows how essential climate processes and phenomena are connected.
  • The background information does a good job introducing examples of climate processes and how they affect each other. The science itself is covered very simply and the model is very conceptual - no real data are used or cited.
  • The activity and information are peer-reviewed and affiliated with universities, though no scientific references are provided.
  • Passed initial science review - expert science review pending.

About the Pedagogy

  • Students should know how to use arrows to represent cause-and-effect relationships in a diagram and understand system relationships well enough to map the interactions between the components of that system.
  • The activity seems broadly appealing since students can customize their models by using a different background (e.g., underwater scene, aerial shot of their hometown, a forest) and focus on themes within climate change (e.g., the human impact, impacts on endangered species).
  • The interactive would be a strong assessment or end-of-unit activity since it requires background knowledge.
  • If adapted to the middle school level, it might need extra guidance on which variable(s) students should use/select to build their system.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • Firefox or Chrome must be used for interactive to work, there is limited usability with Safari.
  • The student model can be downloaded as powerpoint slides, poster, or image.
  • If the internet is not available, students can still complete the activity offline with the Desktop App.
  • The Ocean Acidification Model (ZIP) file provided on the web page did not work. Instructors may want to create their own example.

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

Additional background information and ideas for how to create instructional units using this interactive can be found on the CLEAN site: Understanding Global Change

Next Generation Science Standards See how this Simulation/Interactive supports:


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