In this adapted scientific paper, students learn about how increased temperatures in cities disproportionately impact people of color and poor people.
Students read a scientific paper, watch related videos, and answer questions as they learn about the urban heat island effect and how it impacts people differently based on race and income level.
The paper is excellent practice for reading academic papers in the future.
The worksheet includes a glossary of key terms and there are links to additional resources provided.
The supplemental videos help provide additional context and information to the paper.
Teachers must fill in a form with their name, email, and school information to access the teacher's key, which includes answers to the discussion questions.
Students should be familiar with reading and interpreting maps and bar graphs.
It may be helpful for some students to use the audio version of the article (the first video on the webpage).
To help younger students process the article, have them answer the comprehension questions orally in groups before putting their responses in writing.
Just as some parts of the article are highlighted, have students practice annotating and highlighting parts of the article they consider most important.
As a follow-up activity, have students create questions for the scientists, swap with another student, and answer each other's questions by researching online.
Watch this video to learn more about how the urban heat island effect impacts communities of color.
Physics classes can use this paper to connect to lessons about heat transfer, thermodynamics, and properties of materials.
Biology classes can connect this resource to lessons about heat stroke, homeostasis, trees, evapotranspiration, the water cycle, green spaces, and ecosystems services.
Some neighborhoods in cities often have many more tree-lined streets and parks in close proximity. These features help reduce the effect of urban heat islands. However, neighborhoods where people of color or low income individuals primarily live do not have these, and so are disproportionately affected by urban heat islands. This resource investigates this and is recommended for teaching.
Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
MS-ESS3-2 Analyze and interpret data on natural hazards to forecast future catastrophic events and inform the development of technologies to mitigate their effects.
College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
Dimension 2: Geography
D2.Geo.2.6-8 Use maps, satellite images, photographs, and other representations to explain relationships between the locations of places and regions, and changes in their environmental characteristics.
Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
Reading: Science & Technical Subjects (6-12)
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.9-10.1 Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of science and technical texts, attending to the precise details of explanations or descriptions.
CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RST.9-10.2 Determine the central ideas or conclusions of a text; trace the text's explanation or depiction of a complex process, phenomenon, or concept; provide an accurate summary of the text.