Our students are more connected to the world than any generation before them. As such, they care deeply for our Earth and its future. When you get them on the subject of global warming, they can sometimes feel sadness and even a sense of panic. “What can we do?” are their thoughts. Certainly, it’s a subject that we can address in creative PBL and inquiry-based lessons, especially all our Science teachers in the audience.
What are some other equally powerful lessons for teaching students about global warming? Most of all, how can we teach them about it in a way that places hope, and not fear, into their hearts?
7 Ways to Talk About and Teach Global Warming
Much of our inspiration for this vital topic comes from NPR.org. Bertha Vasquez, an earth science teacher, decided to increase her discussion on climate change when she realized that her student population lived a mere 8 feet above sea level. She realized by the time they were adults waves could very well be “lapping at their front doors.”
Her conclusion was simple: essentially, kids learn by doing and too much talk can paralyze them into fear. She started by logging into Eyes on the Rise and allowing the kids to put in their address. Immediately they could tell where they lived above sea level. By seeing that some of their classmates were more in the flood zone than others, compassion and empathy overtook their own fears. We’re all in the same boat, they realized. So let’s talk about doing. Here are some great lessons on Global Warming to get us rolling.
- mrsoshouse.com: Global Warming and Climate Change
- NASA for Educators: Global Climate Change
- Nuffield Foundation: Activities for Responding to Climate Change
- PBL Netherlands EAA: Energy and Climate Change
Scientific demonstrations are meant to allow kids to make up their own minds. What else stands out in our students’ minds as a teaching tool? A bit of flipped learning with videos, of course! Below are some interesting experiments and musings on global warming. Use them for debate and discussion, or as part of your own lessons on the subject.
Richland Community College
Climate 101 with Bill Nye
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