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Topics

CER Writing, Climate Change

Grades

6th, 7th, 8th

Subjects

Science, Earth and Space Sciences, English Language Arts

Duration

55 minutes

Regional Focus

Global

Format

Google Docs, Google Slides

What’s the Best Solution to Climate Change?

Created By Teacher:
Last Updated:
Oct 4, 2022

Synopsis

In this lesson, students learn about climate change, choose one solution to climate change, and write a claim-evidence-reasoning paragraph explaining why they believe it is the best solution to climate change.

 

Step 1 - Inquire: Students watch a video on the basics of climate change.

 

Step 2 - Investigate: Students take notes while watching four videos of solutions to climate change.

 

Step 3 - Inspire: Students select one of the solutions to climate change and write a paragraph explaining why they believe it is the best solution to climate change.

Accompanying Teaching Materials
Teaching Tips

Positives

  • This lesson is terrific for teaching paragraph structure.
  • The color coding of the sentences in the paragraph is really helpful, especially for concrete thinkers.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Project Drawdown is an excellent organization that quantifies solutions to climate change. This is great background reading before the lesson. If you sort the solutions by scenario 1 (2°C temperature rise by 2100, then reduced food waste is the #1 solution. If you sort the solutions by scenario 2 (1.5°C temperature rise by 2100), then onshore wind turbines are the #1 solution. These two solutions (food waste and renewable energy) are two of the four solutions presented in this lesson.
  • Encourage the students to use as many hard facts as possible in their supporting sentences. These include dates, names, places, and specific events.
  • You can use 2-3 videos of solutions to climate change if you do not want to use all of them.
  • This lesson can be paired with the StC Lesson Plan What's the Worst Impact of Climate Change?

Differentiation

  • Most students will benefit from color coding their sentences. Encourage them to keep their text highlighted as they write. They can even keep their paragraphs highlighted after they finish.

  • Weaker students may write only five sentences. Stronger students may expand more in their supporting sentences.
  • If students are struggling with their closing sentences, ask them to read their claim sentences aloud. Sometimes this helps guide their thinking.
  • Stronger students who finish early can read their paragraphs to one another, discuss the writing process, and discuss the climate crisis.
Scientist Notes

Although there is no silver bullet to addressing climate change, combining multiple solutions and prioritizing the best ones are important strategies to combat present and future climate risk. This lesson introduces students to explore the best solutions to address climate change. Data in the resources, accompanying materials, and videos are accurate. Accordingly, this lesson has passed our science review.

Standards
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • MS-ESS3-5 Ask questions to clarify evidence of the factors that have caused the rise in global temperatures over the past century.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Writing (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.6.1 Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.7.1 Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.8.1 Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.
Inquire
10 minutes
  • Teacher introduces the lesson.

    • The goal of this lesson is to write a 5-8 sentence paragraph. The paragraph will make a claim and support it with evidence.
    • The topic for the lesson will be the solutions to climate change.
    • Students open their own document where they will take notes on the videos.
  • Students watch Causes and Effects of Climate Change. This video is a brief overview of climate change so students have some context and background information.
  • Students do not take notes on the first video. It is an overview of climate change focusing on greenhouse gas emissions.
Investigate
25 minutes
  • Students watch four videos. Videos are 2-4 minutes each. Students take notes in their documents while they watch the videos. Students consider which topic they would like to write about as they watch.

  • Students can take notes on the following:
    • Hard facts - who, what, where, when, why, how.
    • Key vocabulary.
    • Emotional reactions to the videos, which will help them decide which solution to choose.
  • Teacher explains how to write the paragraph.
  • Teacher explains how to write a claim sentence, sentences with supporting evidence, and a closing sentence.
  • Teacher shares the following tips:
    • Follow the color coding in the example paragraph.
    • The more hard facts in the supporting evidence sentences, the stronger the argument. Include events, places, names, dates, etc.
    • This shorthand for paragraph structure:
      • Say what you will say (claim sentence)
      • Say it (supporting evidence sentences)
      • Say what you said (closing sentence)
Inspire
20 minutes
  • Students write their paragraphs in their own documents.

  • There is, of course, no right answer. These solutions are all necessary to avoid the worst effects of climate change.

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