Climate Change in My Community (CCWIL/Online Version/Saskatchewan)
Climate Change in My Community is one of a series of Inquiries that enable students to examine the impacts of climate change where they live, identify the mitigation and adaptation measures required to address these changes, and take action. These are called Climate Change Where I Live.
GreenLearning is currently creating online versions of all of our existing print Inquiries, all to be housed eventually in a dedicated CCWIL space in COOL 2.0. This Space will accomodate our expanding series of inquiries and regional versions, will assist students in conducting their inquiries by making it easier to search through the growing "mountain" of primary resource materials and experts, and will enable and support teachers who want to create their own versions — for example, creating a version better suited to an Applied class — and sharing these, through the CCWIL Space, with other teachers. This version of Climate Change in My Community is tailored to Saskatchewan.
Climate Change in My Community was developed by Dick Holland and Gordon Harrison of GreenLearning Canada.
Saskatchewan Grade 10 Science
Saskatchewan Grade 11 Environmental Studies
Step #1: Spark, Hypothesize & Plan
Essential to the launch of an inquiry is a genuine and rich Spark! that can help students see the scope of the inquiry and the need for research and analysis. The student instructions suggest a Spark! in the form of a question to think about (What would it be like if just before a major celebration, the power goes out due to an ice storm?); but you may want to think of an alternative that is more specific or local and suited to your classroom.
CCWIL is designed as an authentic inquiry, engaging students with primary resource materials and experts — engaged with their community — in examining climate change and the “solutions.”
The data and resources to support this inquiry are rich so that you can let students brainstorm widely and pursue the questions that match their interests and their lives.
Supporting students in this phase of inquiry:
* value student thinking — listen, observe and talk with students to assess interests, knowledge and needs;
* model wondering, questioning and make predictions, especially around this topic (including how you as a teacher might grapple with your daily life and your own GHG emissions, “I would like to take public transit to school but it’s too inconvenient — what if the school board had a policy of placing teachers in schools near where they live?”);
* facilitate student discussion and brainstorming, helping them develop clear inquiry question(s) (hypothesis).
Step #2: Explore & Research
A rich variety of "local" resources are provided to support your students' Inquiries. See Step #2 in the Student Instructions as well as the "Attachments" and "Web Pages" listed in this online version. This is aimed at students and will be much more helpful than the “Google gives me everything I need.” habit.
Supporting students in this phase of inquiry:
* assist students in finding information and in assessing that information;
* extend student thinking with open ended questions;
* help students to use this information to challenge their prior knowledge and beliefs;
* encourage students to share their ideas and knowledge.
Step #3: Analyze & Check
Supporting students in this phase of inquiry:
* facilitate discussions in which students make connections between prior knowledge and new discoveries, describe characteristics and note patterns, and, draw conclusions;
* challenge and extend students’ understandings and skills.
The key support from the teacher in this section is facilitation, helping the students dig deeper in their analysis, helping them see where the data takes them and helping them to prepare to report on and communicate their findings. Ensure that they are open to the possibility or rethinking their inquiry or their inquiry question as a result of what they find.
Step #4: Communicate & Act
In this stage the students will need the parameters to be set by the teacher. Try to find as authentic a situation as you can for their performance task. Many of the settings suggested have agreed to be host for student presentations (of all kinds).
• Use the student instructions to understand the pace and direction of the Inquiry. Specific tips for supporting students in conducting their inquiry are found in Teaching Process.
• Inquiry can be seen as a continuum ranging from largely student-centred to fully teacher directed. This online version is necessarily a hybrid, but it is adaptable to your needs and your classroom.
• This inquiry is flexible. Your students may wish to narrow their inquiry from "My Community" to food in my community, or, to transportation in my community. The model works, it's simply the resources (Web Pages and Attachments) and experts to support their inquiry — GreenLearning continues to create sub-versions of each inquiry with the resources to support.
Coming in the fall of 2015:
a) an Inquiry Teacher's Guide with detailed curriculum maps; tips for using climate change as an integrating theme for different courses; etc.;
b) tools for assessment (measuring student success at various stages of an inquiry including self and peer assessment);
c) learning activities on consumption, on quality of life (the "economics of happiness"), on climate change deniers, etc. — when students are engaged in an inquiry into climate change where they live, these questions on consumption and life style choices come up — these activities will engage them in examining these issues.
Instructions for Students
STEP #1. HYPOTHESIZE & PLAN YOUR INQUIRY:
Imagine Christmas, Eid, Thanksgiving or Passover, etc. with no electrical power in your apartment, condo or house.
* What would a holiday celebration be like without electricity?
* What would be different?
* How would you feel?
* What alternative arrangements could be made?
* How would it be worse in winter?
* Are people who live in cities more vulnerable than those who live in rural areas?
What have you Noticed, Observed, Wondered about: Discuss as a class the changes in weather/climate that you have noticed (nights in the summer seem to be hotter, the skiing season is shorter, the weather seems more extreme, water levels at a friend’s cottage are lower…).
After an initial discussion, Brainstorm how climate change is and might affect communities in general and your community (municipality) in particular; consider:
* the density of the population,
* general unpreparedness of urban dwellers to be without power and working infrastructure,
* the industries that operate in your area,
* the daily life of the people.
With regards to climate change and your community, what do you want to know — write your own Unique Inquiry Question or questions (could be a hypothesis or a prediction you want to test): Work in groups or individually to create your own specific climate question or questions. In coming up with your climate change questions, you might want to focus on one of these topics:
a. changes in recreation
b. health (respiratory and other)
d. agriculture in the surrounding area
e. family budget impacts
You could state your question as a hypothesis; for example, "If climate change continues as it is, then extreme weather events like floods will affect the economy of our community."
Plan How You Will Conduct Your Inquiry: In your groups (or individually), plan each step of your inquiry (scroll down further to see more on each of these Steps):
* Explore & Research
* Analyze & Check
* Communicate & Act
* Evaluate: plan as a class.
STEP #2: EXPLORE & RESEARCH
In your groups, gather and review information from various sources, including electronic and print resources.
a. Specific resources to use in your inquiry have been identified and added to the COOL 2.0 Database; see Attachments and Web Pages Listed.
b. You can use the Ask-an-Expert feature to gather data and information relevant to your inquiry; see Attachments and Web Pages Listed for experts on climate change and municipalities, especially specific municipalities.
c. You can also search the COOL 2.0 Database using such search words as CCWIL, municipality, community, climate change, city, impacts, adaptation, mitigation, etc.
d. You can also search the web for resources to support your Inquiry; again use search words like the ones listed above.
e. You can also contact your municipality to ask for reports, data and experts; start with the municipal environment or health office or your local municipal councillor. You could also contact a local environmental organization to get information.
Evaluate the information you collected: how does it connect to your first observations?, does it answer your question or test your hypothesis?, does it raise more questions (and how can you answer these?)?.
Reflect on and discuss your preliminary findings and observations to compare these to your previous knowledge. You may need to clarify and modify your focus question(s) and inquiry plan.
STEP #3: ANALYZE & CHECK
Compare, sort and classify your information.
Use your information to answer your inquiry questions and your hypotheses.
Describe characteristics and note patterns.
Draw conclusions about questions and hypotheses.
Share what you learned.
Project the impacts of climate change and describe and assess possible mitigation and adaptation measures, both ones that others have proposed (governments, industry, etc.) and ones you identified. Include personal actions.
Prepare your findings to report and communicate these.
STEP #4: COMMUNICATE AND ACT
Communicate what you learned and concluded in conducting your inquiry.
Reflect on your Inquiry — including the actions you (and others) might take — take action and communicate action.
Communicate and engage your community. You may wish to communicate your findings to your community, and even engage your community in action. Specific suggestions: Present your Inquiry report to your municipal council, and/or share your final project via local radio stations or mall displays, etc. Create a public service announcement (PSA), a mind-map, an info-graphic, or a poem / song and present this to an appropriate audience.
Source:GreenLearning Canada with the support of many teachers
Resource Type:Lesson Plan
Subject(s):Geography, Interdisciplinary Studies, Social Studies, Environmental Studies, Environmental Science,
Topic:Air, Atmosphere and Climate, Sustainable Development, Transportation,
Level:Intermediate / MiddleSecondary
Grade: 8 9 10 11 12
Web Pages Used
- Climate Change is Underway in Saskatchewan
- Distribution of Saskatchewan GHG Emissions by Sector
- CBC Media Panel on Climate Change—Extreme Weather and Municipalities
- Building Resilience to Climate Risks
- The Saskatchewan Citizens’ Hearings on Climate Change
- The Effects of Climate Change on Recreation and Tourism in the Prairies
- Summary of Stakeholder Consultations on the Saskatchewan Climate Change Regulations
- Climate Change in the Prairie Provinces
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