Evidence of Climate Change
The driving question for "Evidence of Climate Change" is "How would we know if Colorado's climate is changing and how will it affect me?" Students warm up to the topic by discussing media coverage of climate change in Colorado, their own opinions about the topic and evidence supporting their hypothesis. Featuring video and power point presentations, data analysis and group presentations, the lesson concludes with each student writing a newspaper article summarizing the class findings. This lesson is designed for middle school science students, but is adaptable to older students.
• Students will understand that scientists use a variety of data to make conclusions
• Students will understand how the steps of the scientific method are used in real world situations
• Students will understand that climate change is occurring in Colorado
• Students will be able to describe some ramifications of climate change in Colorado
News stories in the local papers talk about climate change occurring in CO. What are your thoughts on this subject? What evidence would you use to support your hypothesis?
(Do a think pair share and have kids report out)
Show 2 Climate Videos
Clip #1: Colorado and a Warming Planet (see attached)
Clip #2: Hotter, Drier Colorado (see attached)
1. Model how to fill out the Part A: Individual and Group Observation sheet with the class
2. Divide each class into 8 groups and assign them one of the following topics:
- Snow Pack
- Yearly Precipitation
- Average Yearly Temperature
- Frequency of Forest Fires
- Peak River Flow Days
- Changes in Latitudinal Location of Bird Species
3. In groups have students fill in the topic and their hypothesis on the Part A: Individual and Group Observation sheet
4. Then have students analyze the data and fill in the rest of the Part A: Group Data Analysis sheet
5. Assign a recorder, a presenter, facilitator, time keeper within the group
6. Give students time to prepare their presentations
7. Hand out the Part B: Summary of Group Data sheet
8. Have each group present; at the conclusion of each presentation have students fill in the appropriate part of the
Part B worksheet
9. Summarize all of the findings with the class
10. Show 3rd Colorado Climate Video: Listening to Colorado's Ecology
11. Hand out Part C: Conclusion worksheet and have students write a newspaper article summarizing the class findings
Students will complete a newspaper article about Climate Change.
See materials section Part C for prompt and rubric.
Source:University of Colorado
Resource Type:Lesson Plan
Level:Intermediate / Middle
Grade: 4 5 6 7 8 9
Web Pages Used
"Even though the lesson is based on Colorado data it is an excellent lesson on climate change and the videos are extremely well done for explaining carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere over time and the impacts." (Posted By: Kathy Worobec)
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