Climate Change: Seeing, Understanding, Teaching is a four-day immersive teacher professional development course held in Denali National Park. Developed through three partner organizations, the course aims to develop teachers’ skills for integrating climate change content into their classrooms. The development and management of the course is provided by the Arctic Research Consortium of the United States (ARCUS). The other partners are the National Park Service and Alaska Geographic.

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For over five years, this program has built successful connections between teachers, researchers, science and classrooms through the inclusion of teacher leaders in workshop leadership; dedicated program staff; and a workshop community culture. During the course, the teachers and the researchers travel to 'hotspots' in the park that stir conversation about the dynamics and causes of change in the subarctic. A goal of the course is to weave climate education into existing curriculum. Throughout the course, participants gain skills in communicating science to their students, increase their climate literacy, and learn how to facilitate classroom discussions that move us all towards making a positive impact on the future of climate change. To learn more about the program, check out Alaska Geographic Field Courses.

This collection focuses on all the Learning Resources that are related to the course, including capstone lessons created by the course participants.


Climate Change Course Resources
Displaying 1 - 15 of 15

Overview

There are a lot of articles about global climate change, some of them are based on science and data while others are based of opinions. This lesson will promote critical thinking about global climate change. Students will research articles that are about climate change, summarize the article, and decide if the article provides evidence (facts) or is composed of opinions.

Lesson
Arctic
Less than 1 period
Middle School and Up
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Overview

The lesson will be in two parts:

  • Part one will involve the students making layers of sediment with clay also including particles (such as beads to represent pollen, etc.) and then they will make core samples using a drinking straw as a coring tool.

Lesson
Arctic
Less than a week
Middle School and Up
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Overview

The overview of this lesson is to introduce and bring attention to climate change. Students will experiment with other means of transportation to reduce their carbon footprint. Elementary students should be exposed to a more positive side of climate change. Having exposure to what students can do to make the world a better place is the direction of this lesson.

Lesson
About a week
Elementary and Up
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Overview

"Looking down from up on the moon, it’s a tiny blue marble. How’d have thought the ground we live on, could be so fragile?"

Lesson
Arctic
More than a week
Elementary and Up
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This is an article detailing the alarming rate at which the Arctic is changing. The article goes through the specific examples of Sea ice, Greenland, Wildfires and Permafrost. This is a readable article for advanced middle school and high school students, and an excellent resource for teachers.

Article
Arctic
About 1 period
Middle School and Up
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In this investigation, students will measure production of CO2 from surface water and consider the role of surface waters in the global carbon cycle and climate change. They will gather data on using Vernier CO2 sensors. This lesson presents a wonderful opportunity for student-designed experiments.

Lesson
Arctic
Less than a week
Middle School and Up
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This is a good lesson to get students thinking about the complexity of the systems involved in providing our society with energy, the consequences of energy use and efficiency. Students are encouraged to explore the data sets on their own, ask their own questions about energy use and present their findings to each other.

Lesson
Less than a week
Middle School and Up
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Students will explore the concept of albedo and how it relates to melting ice and climate change. This is a hands-on activity where students measure the reflectivity of various surfaces as a model for how light interacts with different parts of the Earth’s surface. This is adapted from lessons created by Jamie Esler and SERC earthlabs.

Lesson
Less than a week
Middle School and Up
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Learning about feedback mechanisms is an important part of understanding how climate change will play out in the near and long term. Students are also exposed to the idea that scientists create simple models of complex climate systems and that feedback mechanisms play a crucial role in climate modeling.

Lesson
About 1 period
Middle School and Up
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Overview

By rolling a die, students will simulate a molecule of carbon’s movement with in the carbon cycle. This is a fun, active way to introduce students to the carbon cycle and/or to review the cycle and identify carbon sinks and sources.

Lesson
About 1 period
Middle School and Up
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Overview

This lesson is for students to be able to read an informative piece of writing and identify factual statements and statements of opinions. In this lesson, we will be focusing on local and national articles relating to climate change.

Lesson
About a week
Middle School and Up
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Overview

The students will analyze T.S. Elliot’ s “The Waste Land” and make connections between Elliot’s premonition of global drought.

Lesson
Arctic
About 1 period
High school and Up
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Overview

“A sense of place is the sixth sense, an internal compass and map made by memory and special perception together.” – Rebecca Solnit

Lesson
More than a week
Middle School and Up

Overview

This elementary aged lesson can provide a basis for future extensions and research regarding climate change and enhanced green house gases. The purpose is to brainstorm and discuss what students currently know about climate. (It could be based on the model- “What we know, What we want to know, What we learned”.)

Lesson
About 1 period
Elementary and Up
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Overview

This lesson allows learners to analyze and evaluate how the science of climate change and global warming are portrayed in various online media outlets.

Lesson
Arctic
About 1 period
High school and Up
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