Activity 2: Clearing the Air
This activity addresses climate science and helps students understand why people have different ideas and opinions about the issue. The first slide presentation provides information about the scientific evidence supporting climate change, the potential effects of climate change in the Southeast United States, and reasons why people don’t all agree on the subject. The second slide presentation shares ways that communities are addressing climate change. Students use the information from the presentations to evaluate and improve common conclusions that people draw about climate change, and the students participate in a role-play to negotiate solutions to address climate change. A fact-or-fiction quiz is included to motivate interest in sorting through common misunderstandings about climate change.
Full Activity (with student pages included)
- Fact or Fiction Student Page
- Analyzing Perspectives Student Pages
- Climate Change Role Cards Student Page
- Role-play Guide Student Page
Presentations and Teacher Notes
- Explaining the Evidence presentation
- Explaining the Evidence teacher notes
- Exploring Solutions presentation
- Exploring Solutions teacher notes
- Climate Change: Evidence and Causes – Short booklet that provides clear answers to 20 common questions and background basics to climate change science.
- Climate Change: Evidence, Impacts, and Choices – National Research Council booklet summarizing the current state of knowledge about climate change.
- Climate Change Indicators in the United States – The U.S. EPA worked with many government agencies, academic institutions, and other organizations to compile this report which includes a key set of indicators related to the causes and effects of climate change.
- Digital Coast – This NOAA sponsored website provides data, tools, and trainings that communities can use to begin addressing sea level rise. You can watch visualizations for specific locations, or read stories about how communities are planning and adapting.
- Skeptical Science: Getting Skeptical about Global Warming Skepticism – This website reviews peer-reviewed literature to address common misconceptions about climate change.
- Southeast Region Technical Report to the National Climate Assessment – Report summarizing the scientific literature that addresses climate impacts in the Southeast United States.
- Teaching Controversy – Article discussing why teachers should focus on helping students understand climate change and supporting scientific research.
- Weather vs Climate Video – A 2-minute video that uses examples to explain the difference between weather and climate.
- Yale Project on Climate Change Communication – Reports, videos, and other resources that help explain research related to public knowledge and perceptions of climate change.
- Climate Impact Map – Interactive map to see past and future differences in weather temperatures from 1980, the present, to the end of the century, by location.
I thought this activity had some of the best information on why we were doing this module. My students and I were able to start a dialogue about the important relationships between forests and climate change concerns based on the wonderful graphs and data tables provided in the slide presentation.
This activity was challenging, but I consider that to be appropriate in this case. My students were expected to rise to a more challenging reading level, and I think they were successful at doing so!
I will use this activity again as part of the review before the AP Environmental Exam.
Students really loved this activity. Role-playing activities are one of the most engaging for my kids!
I wasn’t sure how the role playing would go with my kids, but I was pleasantly surprised by how engaged they were with it.
The discussion we had in class was EPIC! The kids were so into the topic that they forgot their “persona” and took over for themselves and playing devil’s advocate.