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Author

Yale Program on Climate Change Communication

Grades

9th, 10th, 11th, 12th

Subjects

Science, Social Studies, Civics, English Language Arts, Mathematics

Resource Types

  • Lesson Plan
  • Worksheet
  • Activity - Classroom, 120 minutes
  • Interactive Media

Regional Focus

North America, United States

Format

PDF

Climate Change Communication Investigation

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Synopsis
  • In this activity, students will collect survey data using questions from the Yale Climate Opinion Maps and compare the data results with the local data collected by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication. 
  • Students will design a survey, make hypotheses, graph their data, evaluate the accuracy of their data, identify sources of error, and formulate a plan to educate the community about climate change. 
Teaching Tips

Positives

  • The Student Page is an extremely well-designed fillable pdf that leads students through the activity in a step-by-step manner.
  • The questions require students to think critically about the process of surveying and analyzing data.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Though the Student Page is a fillable pdf, the two blank graphs are not fillable and must be completed on paper.
  • Students should be familiar with sources of error.

Differentiation

  • After the activity, students could design a plan to educate the community about an element of climate change. Students could make posters to put in public buildings, record a short audio piece to play on a public radio station, or make an infographic that can be shared digitally.
  • In small groups, students could share their hypotheses and results and discuss the similarities and differences.
  • Other resources on this topic include this activity on how to design a survey and write a report on the data, this interactive tool on Americans' opinions on climate change, and this TED video on how to effectively talk about climate change.
Scientist Notes
The resource provides students with deep insights into the belief systems and behavioral patterns about climate change in the USA. The scope of the study, method, datasets used for the opinion maps, charts, and other materials are appropriate. This resource is recommended for teaching.
Standards
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ETS1: Engineering Design
      • HS-ETS1-1 Analyze a major global challenge to specify qualitative and quantitative criteria and constraints for solutions that account for societal needs and wants.
      • HS-ETS1-2 Design a solution to a complex real-world problem by breaking it down into smaller, more manageable problems that can be solved through engineering.
      • HS-ETS1-3 Evaluate a solution to a complex real-world problem based on prioritized criteria and trade-offs that account for a range of constraints, including cost, safety, reliability, and aesthetics, as well as possible social, cultural, and environmental impacts.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Civics
      • D2.Civ.10.9-12 Analyze the impact and the appropriate roles of personal interests and perspectives on the application of civic virtues, democratic principles, constitutional rights, and human rights.
      • D2.Civ.12.9-12 Analyze how people use and challenge local, state, national, and international laws to address a variety of public issues.
      • D2.Civ.7.9-12 Apply civic virtues and democratic principles when working with others.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Reading: Science & Technical Subjects (6-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.11-12.3 Follow precisely a complex multistep procedure when carrying out experiments, taking measurements, or performing technical tasks; analyze the specific results based on explanations in the text.
    • Writing (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.11-12.7 Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.
    • Writing: History, Science & Technical Subjects (6-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.WHST.11-12.7 Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.
  • Common Core Math Standards (CCSS.MATH)
    • Statistics & Probability: Interpreting Categorical & Quantitative Data (9-12)
      • CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.HSS.ID.B.6 Represent data on two quantitative variables on a scatter plot, and describe how the variables are related.
    • Statistics & Probability: Making Inferences & Justifying Conclusions (9-12)
      • CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.HSS.IC.A.1 Understand statistics as a process for making inferences about population parameters based on a random sample from that population.
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