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The first step to taking action to combat climate change is to understand the science behind it, how human activity is contributing to it, and what repercussions it will have for human beings and other living creatures.
This lesson is divided into two parts that can be taught over two class periods.
In part 1, students are introduced to the science of climate change and are asked to make connections between the causes and effects of climate change.
In part 2, students are introduced to mind mapping as a way to organize complex information and to are encouraged to make connections between various climate change concepts. This activity is a lead up to a 40-day environmental challenge.
Time Required: 1 Class Period
This lesson is designed to help students to:
• Develop a basic understanding of the science of climate change.
• Understand what factors contribute to climate change.
• Explore the impacts of climate change on human life and biodiversity, and the interconnectedness of ecosystems.
• Appreciate the pressing nature of the climate crisis and the importance of taking immediate and ongoing action.
1. Have students work in new groups to brainstorm how the many repercussions of climate change are interconnected, using handout B as a reference (to access handout B, refer to Our Changing Climate - Part 1).
2. Have the groups work to create mind maps that illustrate the links they identified between the various consequences of climate change, using either one of the mind maps provided in handouts C and D, or an online version. They should begin by writing the key concept or issue in the middle of the map and then creating branches from this to related issues and consequences.
3. Engage the class in a large group discussion about the urgent nature of climate change, the need to take action, and the range of ways that individuals can make a difference.
4. Distribute handout E, which provides an overview of the International Day of Climate Action and the Tread Lightly 40-Day Challenge, as well as handout F.
5. Engage the class in a large group discussion about what specific actions students and teachers could take on the International Day of Climate Action and throughout the 40-Day Challenge, as well as beyond.
Handout C: Blank Mind Maps Handout D: Example Climate Change Mind Map Handout E: Ideas for Taking Action Handout F: 40-Day Challenge Progress Tracker
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.