Introducing the Greenhouse
To understand how the Earth is warmed and how greenhouse gases contribute to global warming.
15 min
Best for:
Year 4-8. Links with Science.
Large clear plastic sheet (available from hardware stores)
Stand out in sun and talk about the weather and the sun’s rays. Ask the students what happens to the
sun’s rays as they come down? (Sun is absorbed by ground, reflected by earth and atmosphere)
Ask the students how then Earth is kept at the right temperature? (By the atmosphere, including
greenhouse gases)
Put the plastic sheet over the group and ask the students what they notice - they should feel the
temperature rise.
Talk about the heat being trapped inside the sheet. Compare this to greenhouse gases – when they
build up they trap heat in and don’t let it escape.
Nearly everything we do produces greenhouse gases (like driving cars, burning coal for electricity,
methane etc), which help build up the layer. Talk about ways to produce electricity without
producing greenhouse gases - solar, wind, hydro, etc.
Curriculum links
Content Description
Earth’s surface changes over time as a result of natural processes and human activity (ACSSU075)
Energy from a variety of sources can be used to generate electricity (ACSSU219)
Some of Earth’s resources are renewable, but others are non-renewable (ACSSU116)
Energy appears in different forms including movement (kinetic energy), heat and potential energy, and
causes change within systems (ACSSU155)
Note 1: the curriculum links listed here are the ones most closely related to the lesson, but the list is not exhaustive and
there may be links to other learning areas, strands and year levels which are also fulfilled by this lesson idea.
Note 2: For Cross-curriculum priorities and General capabilities, check the Content Descriptions at ACARA.