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Teaching Resources for Climate Change

Classroom Activities


Introduction to Global Warming

To begin this minds-on analysis and discussion activity, students learn about the correlated increases in global temperatures and CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere. Next, students evaluate an example that illustrates that correlation does not necessarily imply causation.

Then, students analyze several types of evidence to test the hypothesis that increased CO2 in the atmosphere has been a major cause of the increase in global temperatures. This activity concludes with a very brief discussion of how global warming has contributed to harmful effects (e.g., increased flooding) and possible student actions to reduce these harmful effects.

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Food and Climate Change – How can we feed a growing world population without increasing global warming?

In this analysis and discussion activity, students learn how food production results in the release of three greenhouse gases – carbon dioxide (CO2), nitrous oxide (N2O), and methane (CH4). Students analyze carbon and nitrogen cycles to understand how agriculture results in increased CO2 and N2O in the atmosphere.

Students interpret data concerning the very different amounts of greenhouse gases released during the production of various types of food; they apply concepts related to trophic pyramids and they learn about CH4 release by ruminants.

Finally, students propose, research, and evaluate strategies to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases that will be released during future production of food for the world’s growing population.

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Resources for Teaching and Learning about Climate Change

This annotated list includes resources that can help your students to develop a scientifically accurate understanding of the causes and consequences of global warming and climate change. This list also includes resources for learning about how to reduce greenhouse gases and how to cope with the harmful effects of climate change. When learning about climate change, it is important for students to engage with proposals to mitigate and adapt to climate change, so they can feel energized, instead of powerless. Given the nature of the topic, the approach is interdisciplinary. These resources are appropriate for middle school, high school and/or college students.