• Draft Climate Change Curriculum
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#1 - Thursday Nov 13 08: Introduction to Climate Change --(8:39-9:59  &  1:15 to 2:30)


  • Personal page: How to use it. (ready by that time-Research team)
  • Pre-test (Research team)(15-20) (done after the video because it took me (Hedieh) longer to copy pretest in wiki pages)
  • Reading: Traditional Ecological Knowledge TEK TEK reading(in-class)
  • Sila Alangotok video (Inuit Observations on Climate Change 42 min) http://www.edu.gov.mb.ca/k12/docs/support/sila_video/ (14 min)
    • Video debrief: directed questions, focusing on important issues. Meg will ask them what they think, what is different, and what hit them about the video. The focus is on what the teacher wants them to pick up such as what are the evidences for climate change(can they come up with heir own questions? ).  This is a starter activity so the questions will not be recorded in the wiki.
      • Traditional ecological knowledge (TEK)
      • Ecosystems and impact (Canada North)
      • Western science (scientific methods-anything that cannot be tested can not be relied on for decision making)
  • Homework:
    • Responding to the executive summary climate change in Canada reading Executive Summary(appendix 3)
    • Write a letter to a newspaper editor in response to an editorial to say that there is not enough evidence to say that humans are the cause of current climate change. (the objective is to take a position and support it with evidence)(150-200 words)(personal journal) Instructions to students: agree or disagree with editorial; state personal position clearly, and defend own position with a solid point against the other position.


Sila Alangotok videosila alangotok video (video to be attached)
TEK reading (appendix 2) (attached)
Executive Summary of Climate Change in Canada's Arctic (attached)
Teachers' Guide TEK

Collaborative activities

Technologies for collaboration

Research Team

  • Pre-test (electronic or paper)
  • Intro to research
  • Intro to wiki (students will check their pages to ensure they have access)
  • Consent forms (Hedieh talks to Philip about the research.)(letters to Michaele and Philip and parents)
  • Exchange students (not part of the research but they can participate in the activities)
  • wiki is set up for group and individual use

#2 - Wednesday Nov 19 08: Climate Change in Canada shortened classes - Assembly Day


  • Jigsaw - home groups (groups of seven), divide into specialist groups (Nunavut, Western Arctic, BC, Prairies, Ontario, Quebec, Atlantic provinces)----
    • Garth will work with posters later in (jan 09) and he will cover socio-geo-health aspects + carbon tax vs. carbon trade
  • Specialists - collect info from posters (groups of four. get the information, collate it and practice a presentation) (30 minutes) (guiding questions)
    • Analysis (patterns, priority, indicators...)
    • a wiki page for each region that kids will use to prepare their presentation. Meg will  put the questions thta kids need to answer on that.
  • Home (each person will present for 5 minutes and students will take note. questions will be directed but Meg will revise the questions. Some of these questions will be addressing basic knowledge but the rest will require students to do some thinking on their own)(they will have a handout for presentation to include key points. Specialists are expected to know more about their region than other people in the home group)
    • each kid has to ask a question. one question per presentation.
  • For each region we can have a wiki page and students will fill them with their presentation  material (questions). after the groups have gone back to the home group students can put the question that have been asked during home group discussion in the wiki page.
  • Group reflection
    • Groups are setup (research team should set up the group pages). They pick a group name for themselves
    • What are the big things they learned from this class and what are the questions they still have?
    • No personal reflection that day.
    • they are making connections with what they have learned that day and reflecting on what they have learned and what they still have questions on.


  • 7 regional climate change paper posters http://www.adaptation.nrcan.gc.ca/posters/index_e.php kids will know that they have access to the maps online but they are not required to use them.
  • Question sheets for each poster (Meg will prepare new questions)
  • Home notes sheet for the 7 Canadian regions


Collaborative activities

  • Jigsaw
  • Group reflection

Technology for collaboration

  • wiki
    • Jigsaw (specialists notes)
    • Group reflection (private pages for the groups)

Research Team

  • Set up group reflection pages
  • Set up wiki pages for the seven region

#3 - Thursday Nov 20 08: Energy Saving and GHG Impacts

Lesson Activities

  • SEEDS Energy Savings Cards activity
    • intro cards & reality rating
      • overheads with info
    • Table groups
    • reality rating #1
    • reality rating #2 (passing the cards to other students in the group) (15 min up to here)
    • analysis discussion : teacher led. Questions on overhead. handout out for students to write on (personal and group)
    • action selection & analysis: back in groups, what could be done based on reality rating and class discussion. what is the difference that it makes? cost/benefit. students make choices and record their responses. (10 min)
    • GHC savings for actions selected. for each action can be related to how much they will affect GHG output. after choosing the action they will be given values with respect to what those actions will do. kids will take notes
    • class discussion: what did each group choose? what do you think as a class will work.
    • individual reflection: on the wiki regarding what their own impact is and if they were going to make a change which one it would be and why? They can come back to this reflection later in the course.
      • taking a position and relating the learning to themselves personally. creating a personal context.


  • SEEDS cards
  • overheads for introduction, reality rating egs, GHC savings
  • handouts for:
    • analysis of reality ratings
    • action selection and analysis
    • discussion notes

Collaborative activities

  • groups of 3

Technologies for collaboration


either of these:

  • personal home energy audit
  • vehicle fuel efficiency

Research Team

#4 - Monday Nov 24 08: Philosophy of Collaborative Learning, Database Creation

The class will meet in the library...


  • group reflection based on the homework. laptops and computers, same groups as the 2nd session, 10 min. (as a group, are you typical Canadian in terms of carbon consumption? discuss this (5 minutes), summarize the group response. As a group, do you think you should change your behavior and defend your comment. )
  • hand in the two activities. (carbon footprint and personal home energy audit) (Meg will email everybody on Sunday to remind them)
  • Philosophy of Collaboration (a collaborative presentation- 10-15 mins)(collective work, changes in UTS, Science as a starting point for this change. Science practice has changed and it is not an individual endeavor anymore. New approaches to learning acknowledge working with peers)
    • Jim group: dialogue, sharing knowledge, improving idea, curriculum co-design, epistemic agency and collective cognitive responsibility
      • Science is not about learning content and being able to solve problems
      • Science and science knowledge are used in many different communities: Health, engineering, law, academic, sports
      • Collaboration, critical reasoning and other skills of science are the most important things to learn
      • If we only teach you a bucket of stuff and how to excel at solving certain problems, you will not have gotten the best of science from UTS.
      • And you do want the best of science, don't you?
      • What do we want to focus on
        • Collaborative learning – building on one another's knowledge. Using what others in the community have contributed. Cite wikipedia example
        • Being able to really use your knowledge, explain to others, defend, and use in arguments and designs
        • Connecting knowledge to interesting, personal problems
      • So, in this unit, we will try to add some opportunities for you to really build on your classmates' ideas, to critically evaluate ideas, to make connections to relevant problems, and to work collaboratively.
      • We are working in a team - with Ms. O'Mahony, Hedieh and Naxin, myself, and some others - to even create this curriculum.
      • Wikis are good because:
        • They are on the Web. You like the Web, don't you? We want you to be able to use the Web, edit the Web, make links, and use all the knowledge in the class.
        • If it is buried in FirstClass conference, it is difficult to find, almost impossible to link, and impossible to collaboratively edit.
        • You can add links.
        • You can collaboratively edit pages (You can't do that in first class)
        • We know you can use FirstClass Conference for some things, and we know wiki has some difficulties. We just want to make it clear why we are using this - that there are real reasons we are trying to build a collaborative, knowledge-based technology layer.
    • Meg: science community, Conference board of Canada, employability skills profile http://www.conferenceboard.ca/Libraries/EDUC_PUBLIC/emskill.sflb
  • mini-lesson on resource evaluation (Susie Choi)
    • electronic database introduction and purpose
    • rubric introduction
    • analysis common resource (on screen), whole class, lower quality, Meg will do the quality control.


common resource - Level 3
student package

  • rubric
  • notes for resource evaluation
    • worksheet for evaluating the common resource (a level 3 or 2)
  • instructions for assignment to collect and post 2 unique annotated references/student
    • modifications for students working in pairs
    • criteria for posting
  • categories for annotated references

Collaborative activities

  • group reflection: regarding their homework
  • ecological footprint: vehicle fuel efficiency or personal home energy audit
  • patter analysis: using PMI (what is the group doing well collectively; what do they need to improve on; what one or two other patterns came out that struck you)

Technologies for collaboration

group reflection wiki page. 

research team

will be working with Meg to prepare for the beginning of the class presentation. 

#5 - Thursday Nov 27 08: TELS - Activities


  • TELS - Global Warming: Virtual Earth
    • Act 1: Identify Problem
      • Step6 (http://wise.berkeley.edu/student/topFrame.php?projectID=31055)
        • Partner #1: How many football fields of land are required to support your lifestyle?
        • Partner #1: How many earths would be needed to support everyone if we all lived the way that you do?
        • Partner #2: How many football fields of land are required to support your lifestyle?
        • Partner #2: How many earths would be needed to support everyone if we all lived the way that you do?
      • Step 9
        • What is the cause of global warming? Write a thoughtful summary?
          • Global warming is caused by ...
    • Act 2: Understanding the Greenhouse Effect
      • Step 6:
        • Is the greenhouse effect good or bad for our Earth? (explain your choice)
          • The greenhouse effect is good for the Earth.
          • The greenhouse effect is bad for the Earth.
    • Act 3: GE Model 1: Solar Energy and Energy Balance
      • Step 6:
        • When you clicked on "Watch Sunray", in the greenhouse effect model, what energy transformation did you see? You may need to go back to the model to conduct more observations and click on "Watch Sunray" several times.
          • 1. We saw _________energy absorb into the Earth's surface and become ________ energy.
            2. We saw __________ energy being emitted from the Earth.
    • Act 4: GE Model 2: Greenhouse Gases
      • Step 3:
        • Keep this note open and answer the questions while you observe the model in Step 4.
          • What happens when sunlight (Solar Energy) runs into CO2?
          • What happens when infrared energy (IR) runs into CO2?
            Note: You will need to wait until the Earth is warm enough to emit IR to observe this.
      • Step 5:
        • 1. Investigating Greenhouse Gases
          What questions about greenhouse gases do you plan to use the model to investigate? Select one of the options below.
          • What happens when the amount of CO2 increases?
          • What happens when the amount of CO2 decreases?
          • Both of these questions.
        • Make a hypothesis about the greenhouse effect. How do you think greenhouse gases affect the greenhouse effect?
        • Make a hypothesis about global warming. How do you think greenhouse gases affect global warming?
        • 4. Plan your experiment. Which variables will you change to conduct your experiments? (Clouds, CO2, Sun Brightness, Albedo)
      • Step 7:
        • 1. Record your results. What did you observe?
          • When sunlight (Solar Energy) runs into carbon dioxide molecules...
          • When infrared energy (IR) runs into carbon dioxide molecules...
        • 2. What can you conclude? Based on evidence from your experiments, what does increasing levels of CO2 do to the Earth's temperature?
      • Step 11:
        • Which variables differed in Brian's trials? (CO2, Sun-brightness,Cloud Cover)
        • Which variables differed in Noelle's trials? (CO2, Sun-brightness,Cloud Cover)
        • Brian and Noelle concluded that higher levels of CO2 increased the global temperature. Whose data best supports this conclusion?
          • Brian's data because.... OR Noelle's data because...
    • Act 5: What's the Difference? (Greenhouse Effect vs Global Warming)
      • Step 3:
        • Investigating Albedo
          • What questions do you plan to use the model to investigate?
          • What happens when the Albedo level increases?
          • What happens when the Albedo level decreases?
          • Both of these questions.
        • Make a hypothesis. How do you think Albedo affects the Earth's temperature?
        • 3. Plan your experiment. Which variables will you change to conduct your experiments? (Clouds, CO2, Sun Brightness, Albedo)
      • Step 5
        • 1. Record your results.
          • What did you observe?
          • When we increased the Albedo, the Earth's temperature
            • increased.
            • decreased.
        • When we decreased the Albedo, the Earth's temperature
          • increased
          • decreased
        • 2. What can you conclude? Based on evidence from your experiments, why did the Earth's temperature change when you changed the Albedo level?
      • Step 7
        • In the space below, describe how you designed your experiments so that you collected valid evidence about how albedo affects the Earth's temperature.

*Demo: Climate Change


computer lab
Demo materials:

resources types: print resources, journals, library database, web pages.

Collaborative activities

individual but students can talk to process better and do higher level thinking. Some students would need encouragement from the teacher to commit to deep thinker.

Technologies for collaboration:

TELS: Students are in some sort of informal groups.

Home work

Individual Reflection: What would students change in their "letter to the editor" from the first session.

Research team

  • If the activities are not completed in this session students will either go back to them in the future classes when the topic is revisited or do them as a whole class activity with Meg projecting the pages for class discussion.

#6 - Monday Dec 1 08: Energy Flow- Carbon Sinks & Sources



plastic globe activity http://www.sciencecentercollaborative.org/nescc/backpack/backpack5.pdf
clear plastic globe
2 thermometers
flood light
dark paper

carbon cycle activity: http://www.sciencecentercollaborative.org/nescc/backpack/backpack4.pdf
carbon sinks & sources: http://www.sciencecentercollaborative.org/nescc/backpack/backpack3.pdf(information material. goes into students package)

Other resources:


collaborative activities

Carbon sinks and sources is a whole class activity.

Group reflection: kids in their home group and kids will be appropriately mixed in their roles. They can come up with controversies and issues they faced in their individual roles in the context of the activity and in connection to other roles. Starts in class finishes at home.


Group reflection: kids in their home group and kids will be appropriately mixed in their roles. They can come up with controversies and issues they faced in their individual roles in the context of the activity and in connection to other roles.

technology for collaboration


Research team 

#7 - Wednesday Dec 3 08: GHG 1 Carbon Dioxide and Greenhouse Effect


  • Carbon Dioxide & Greenhouse Effect: What is Greenhouse Effect and how it works? How is it connected to CO2?
    • natural and anthropogenic
    • historical patterns
      • students analyze graphs of temperature over the last 2000000 years and CO2 concentration and relate CO2 concentration to the beginning of industrial age?
        • Meg will add more current questions here.

Booklet: Graphs and high quality color pictures

  • Evidence for Changes in Carbon Dioxide
    • tree cookies (use computer program to analyze)
    • ice cores
  • metataging the resource


SEEDS binder overheads
Global Warming Art

Activity :

#8 - Thursday Dec 4 08: GHG 2 Other Greenhouse Gases (42 min classes - P/T Interviews)



albedo effect reading
cloud impact reading
laptops for TELS

#9 - Monday Dec 8 08: Ice Cores


Ice Core Activity (NSTA- Sept 2008)



RESOURCES for albedo effect...http://atmospheres.gsfc.nasa.gov/iglo/view_cat.php?cid=24

#10 - Thursday Dec 11 08: Diagnostic Mindmap - Air and Ocean Circulation


  • Mindmap DIAGNOSTIC
    • using computers
    • provide keywords
    • connectors and connector phrases
  • Formal lesson (Hedieh)
    • instruction (10 min)
    • exercise to practice (10 min)
  • Diagnostic Mindmap for Ocean and Air Circulation, Weather
    • individual brainstorming for 10 keywords (3 min)
    • in pairs (teacher selected)students build mindmap on 1 laptop (15 min)
      • students add different levels of terms
      • students can rearrange terms as new ones are added
      • use of colours should be planned
    • making connections between the different terms (10-15 min)
      • use connector lines deliberately and with purpose
    • Soup
      • add content they know, but forgot about using the same colour and connector patterns
      • add new content if they understand it, but indicate that this is newly learned by using a different colour

#11 - Monday Dec 15 08: Ocean Circulation Patterns 1 (Form Q-GHC)


*Major Ocean Currents

    • map
    • warm vs cold currents
  • role of currents in movement of energy
  • **Demo: heat transfer (Meg is looking for an exciting activity)
  • impact of melting glaciers, ice caps on salinity & currents
  • correlation to Arctic trip

#12 - Thursday Dec 18 08: Review & Test

***Geo - factors that affect climate - ocean currents - The Gulf Stream; Great Pacific Garbage Patch


  • el Nino, la Nina


concept mapping

  • individual for diagnostic purposes 
  • collaborative:
  • feedback and review
  • making suggestions to group members based on students' specialty

#13 - Monday Jan 5 09: Weather Patterns 1

#14 - Wednesday Jan 7 09: Weather Patterns 2

Geography ... Canadian climate change impacts; Social impacts. Carbon Tax vs Cap & Trade

#15 - Thursday Jan 8 09: Modeling 1 (eg VITEN)

#16 - Monday Jan 12 09: Modeling 2 (more elaborate models.)

  • personal reflection (go back to day 3's reflections and reflect on their reflection).
    • Did they implement anything that they thought about?
    • what was the driving force behind this?
    • if they didnt, why not?

      #17 - Thursday Jan 15 09: Joint modeling (with Geo scenarios)

#18 - Monday Jan 19 09: Modeling assignment due + set up Regional groups

#19 - Wednesday Jan 21 09: Regional Town Hall

#20 - Thursday Jan 22 09: National Parliament Debate

  • final reflection on the national debate
    • individual
      • what was learned as a result-metacognitive
        • regional team discussion
        • national parliament
        • link back to lesson 4 and the collaborative nature of science learning
        • what was learned individually as a result of the participation

Third week of Jan is a good time to have the school-wide exhibition.
John Tory

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1 Comment

  1. Anonymous

    Nice plan, thanks. You may include some relevant educational videos from sites like NeoK12.com on climate change, global warming, carbon cycle etc.