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Photo by Annie Spratt via Unsplash

Database Provider

Topic

Narrative Writing

Grades

6th, 7th, 8th

Subject

English Language Arts

Duration

110 minutes

Regional Focus

Polar Regions

Format

Google Docs, Google Slides

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This lesson plan is licensed under Creative Commons.

Creative Commons License

Arctic Youth Climate Stories

Created By Teachers:
Last Updated:
Apr 16, 2024
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SubjectToClimate

Synopsis

In this lesson, students learn some of the impacts climate change is having on the Arctic, hear youth perspectives about the impacts of climate change, and write their own personal climate stories.


Step 1 - Inquire: Students do a gallery walk of infographics about climate change impacts on the Arctic and brainstorm how climate change might affect the people who live there.


Step 2 - Investigate: Students watch a video of an Alaskan youth sharing the impacts of climate on his community, write down key words or phrases that stand out as they watch, and brainstorm a list of components that can be included in a climate story.


Step 3 - Inspire: Students write their own personal climate stories, revise their stories, share their climate stories in small groups, and discuss the differences between their personal climate stories and Nelson’s climate story as a class.

Accompanying Teaching Materials
Teaching Tips

Positives

  • This lesson can be used in any middle school writing class and tailored to the specific skills the class is working on.

  • This lesson helps students connect climate change to people.

  • This lesson highlights a local community in the Arctic and demonstrates the impact storytelling can have.

  • This lesson encourages students to participate in the writing process, including the planning and publishing stages.

  • This lesson allows teachers to integrate skills specific to their students.

Additional Prerequisites

  • The Inquire section gallery walk is about the student-made infographics from the previous lesson. Alternatively, teachers can use the infographics from the Teacher Slideshow.

  • Students should understand the basics of writing a story. This includes, but is not limited to, characters, setting, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution.

  • When teaching this lesson teachers should have a baseline understanding of how climate change works and understand some of the impacts in the Arctic.

  • In this lesson the term, “story” is consistently used, despite one of the primary standards referring to the term, “narrative.” If students ask to clarify the difference, one way a middle school ELA teacher can differentiate personal narratives from stories is that a personal narrative is a true story whereas a story can be fictionalized.

  • For their writing, students will need a basic understanding of the ways climate change is affecting their own communities.

Differentiation

  • The final draft of the writing can be used as a summative assessment for this lesson.

  • It may be helpful to share a map and show where the Arctic is located if students are unfamiliar.

  • Students may need more specific and individual guidance when planning out their writing. Rubrics can be customized for individual students and their learning goals.

  • Teachers can give students more time for writing the personal climate story.

Scientist Notes

Students are instructed in this lesson on the effects of climate change on the Arctic region. Temperature increases are hastening the melting of permafrost, glaciers, and sea level rise. This has an effect on the polar ecosystems and human populations. The contrast between how climate change affects the northern and southern regions of the Arctic is also covered in the lesson, along with suggestions for how students may learn and share their experiences to promote climate action. This lesson passed our science review process after all the materials were fact-checked.

Standards

Primary Standards

  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Writing (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.6.3 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.6.5 With some guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.7.3 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.7.5 With some guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on how well purpose and audience have been addressed.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.8.3 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.8.5 With some guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on how well purpose and audience have been addressed.

Supporting Standards

  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Writing (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.6.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.7.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.8.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
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