1. Climate Change Basics - How much do you understand about climate change?
For this task, you will familiarize yourself with some central concepts and terms that are key to effective teaching. Visit Global Warming 101 from National Geographic (NG) and watch the video. Feel free to explore the site and learn about some basic scientific concepts associated with the climate. NG did a wonderful job on this excellent three-minute video. How many terms can you identify?
2. Top 10 List - Go to Top Ten Things You Need to Know about Global Warming and read through the list. Which of these did you know? Which ones were most surprising?
3. Climate Change Misconceptions - What are the most common misconceptions students may have about global warming. Who knows? You may even fall victim to some of the ideas too! Visit and review the Common Misconceptions about Climate Change. Which ones surprised you the most?
4. Scientific Consensus about Anthropogenic Climate Change is a fundamental concept about the nature of science that students should appreciate and understand. Read each of the following articles:
5. What is the Greenhouse Effect and how does human activity influence it? Watch this video that animates and explains the process. Is Carbon Dioxide the only Heat Trapping Gas? What are the other prominent ones? A Climate Minute - The Greenhouse Effect - A high quality presentation that briefly and effectively describes the “Greenhouse Effect” and heat trapping gases.
6. Climate Chemistry - Students might struggle with climate change science because of its roots in chemistry. In Episode 2: Global Warming, It's All About Carbon, the chemistry and role of Carbon Dioxide is presented in a clear and engaging manner. Can you describe the carbon cycle? How does it get into the air? How does it get removed? This NPR production that will appeal to learners of all ages. It does a great job of tracing the movement of carbon atoms through the carbon cycle. The descriptions and animations are basic, simple, and effective.
7. Carbon Cycle is fundamental to understanding the problem of our changing climate. Carbon Cycle Animation is a simple yet effective animation that details the main ways that carbon moves into and out of the atmosphere. The carbon cycle describes how carbon atoms move between the geosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere. The descriptions and animations are basic, simple, and effective.
8. Evidence for Climate Change - Watch James Hansen: Why I must speak out about climate change an excellent Ted Talk where Dr. Hansen lays out the evidence for global warming and the historical development of the science.
9. Anthropogenic origins of Climate Change is an important piece of the climate change puzzle. Read Empirical evidence that humans are causing global warming at the Skeptical Science. Compare the two versions available depending on your level of scientific expertise. This kind of tailored explanation would be great in the classroom. Which version did you find most helpful and why?
10. Fossil Fuels used to generate electricity and power our cars are the main sources of carbon dioxide pollution. Read this article from Scientific America Global CO2 Emissions from Fossil-Fuel Burning Rise into High-Risk Zone and learn about just how BIG our emissions problem is today.
11. Renewable Energy Sources is part of the solution to our climate crisis. Download and watch this powerpoint presentation about renewable energy.
12. Teaching about Climate Change - There are lots of high quality resources available on the web to help teachers foster student understanding about climate change. Visit these sites and browse through each one carefully. Find the lesson plans, resources, and ideas that make the most sense for your students and your content area. Don’t be afraid tailor what you find to meet your needs.