Project-based Unit Overview

Project-based Unit Overview
Name of Project:
Climate Change Expo
Integrated Science
Other subject areas to
be included, if any:
Project Idea
Summary of the issue,
scenario, or problem:
Standards to be
taught and assessed:
Duration: 5-weeks
Teacher(s): L. Hillerich; T.
Grade Level: 9
Students create a digital expo for the general public using models to explain and analyze the data/evidence of
climate change.
Students who demonstrate understanding can:
HSUse a model to describe how variations in the flow of energy into and out of Earth’s
systems result in changes in climate. [Clarification Statement: Examples of the causes of
climate change differ by timescale, over 1-10 years: large volcanic eruption, ocean circulation;
10-100s of years: changes in human activity, ocean circulation, solar output; 10-100s of
thousands of years: changes to Earth's orbit and the orientation of its axis; and 10-100s of
millions of years: long-term changes in atmospheric composition.] [Assessment Boundary:
Assessment of the results of changes in climate is limited to changes in surface
temperatures, precipitation patterns, glacial ice volumes, sea levels, and biosphere
Use a computational representation to illustrate the relationships among Earth
systems and how those relationships are being modified due to human activity.*
[Clarification Statement: Examples of Earth systems to be considered are
the hydrosphere, atmosphere, cryosphere, geosphere, and/or biosphere. An example of the
far-reaching impacts from a human activity is how an increase in
atmospheric carbon dioxide results in an increase in photosynthetic biomass on land and an
increase in ocean acidification, with resulting impacts on sea
organism health and marine populations.] [Assessment Boundary: Assessment does not
include running computational representations but is limited to usingthe published results of
scientific computational models.]
Is the planet really warming up?
Human activity is not the cause.
Global Climate vs. Atmospheric Temperature
Experts/scientists do not agree.
Driving Question
How can models/data be used to represent climate change?
Major Products &
Create an infographic that includes use of data/evidence, maps,
diagrams, and/or graphs.
Infographic topics include how the symptoms of climate change support
how greenhouse gases effect the overall Earth system and changes in
(ice melts, CO2 levels, growing seasons, migration of organisms, global
temperatures, sea levels, ocean temperature/salinity, weather patterns,
solar cycles)
Presentation Audience:
 Class
 School
 Community
 Experts
 Web
 Other:
Entry Event
to launch inquiry,
engage students:
Multiple Choice Test, Constructed Response
Media Construction of Global Warming: Framing the Debate-Lesson 1 Lesson Objectives: • Students will explore
their preconceptions of the question, “Is global warming really happening?” • Students will identify the role that
different types of media have played in shaping their opinions and perceptions about global warming. • Students
will begin developing critical media decoding skills and practice asking core media literacy questions. Lesson
Procedures: Activity 1: Writing and discussion activity about global warming and media using prompts in
the Teacher Guide.
Activity 2: Distribute Student Worksheet and video transcripts and show the two video clips. Decode videos and
lead discussion using the prompts in the Teacher Guide.
2. Students complete pretest survey.
 Quizzes/Tests
 Journal/Learning Log
(During Project)  Preliminary Plans/Outlines/Prototypes
 Rough Drafts
 Online Tests/Exams
 Practice Presentations
 Notes
 Checklists
 Concept Maps
 Probe
 Milestones
(End of Project)
Benchmark Lessons
 Written Product(s), with rubric:
 Other: Public Infographic
Constructed Response: Use a model to describe how changes in the atmosphere due to human
activity have resulted in climate change.
Oral Presentation, with rubric
 Multiple Choice/Short Answer Test
 Essay Test
 Peer Evaluation
 Self Evaluation
Knowledge and Skills Needed by Students
to successfully complete culminating products and
performances, and do well on summative
How do we decide if a source is credible?
Learning Targets:
- I can explore my preconceptions and
Scaffolding/Materials/Lessons to be Provided
by the project teacher, other teachers, experts, mentors,
community members
See entry event above.
1. Pre-Assessment/Survey
2. Class Discussion : Perceptions/Opinions
misconceptions of the question, “Is climate change
really happening?”
-I can identify the role that different types of media
have played in shaping my opinions and perceptions
of climate change.
3. Media Construction of Global Warming: Framing the
Video Clip Decoding
-Glenn Beck, Climate of Fear
-Leonardo diCaprio, 11th Hour (Climate Change Curriculum 9-12)
(Media Construction of Global Warming Curriculum)
What is Climate Change?
-I can distinguish weather vs. climate.
-I can explain and model the greenhouse effect.
-I can identify and describe natural Earth processed
that affect climate.
-I can explain human activities that impact Earth’s
1. Student Reading:
What Is Climate and How is It Changing?
2. Lecture/Guided Notes:
-Greenhouse Effect
-Earth system/natural processes
-Human Activity/Greenhouse gas emissions (Climate Change Curriculum 9-12)
(COMET Program-University Corporation for Atmospheric
What are the claims/evidence?
-I can find evidence that either supports or refutes a
-I can read and summarize research that has been
done on climate change.
1. Watch Documentary Film: Chasing Ice (Extreme Ice Survey
2. TASK: Research to find the “puzzle pieces” we need to
complete our project.
What constitutes a valid and reliable claim?
-I can determine the “bottom line” about a claim and
to what degree is it true or false.
-I can evaluate evidence/scientific information.
Lecture/Guided Notes:
-Validity and Reliability
-What is the “bottom line” about a claim? To what degree is it
true or false?
-How do we evaluate the evidence?
(The Learning Network-NY Times “Is that a Fact?”)
How are models/data used as evidence for climate
-I can graph and analyze CO2 emissions data.
-I can measure tree rings to use as evidence for
climate change.
Lab: Graphing and Interpreting CO2 Emissions
NOAA Mauna Loa Data- Months
What is an infographic and how are they used to
communicate scientific information and evidence?
-I can identify criteria for a good infographic.
1. Lecture/Discussion:
“Infographics—The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly”
2. Students brainstorm and generate criteria for good
The Science Teacher March 2014 :
-Using Infographics in the Science Classroom
-Science News Infographics
Examples: Pinterest-Climate Change Infographics Board
Lab: Growth Rings as Indicators of Climate
Glencoe Science-Science inquiry Lab Manual
Sub-Driving Questions
What are ______________________________ and how are they used as evidence for climate change?
Resources Needed
How are ______________________________ affected by climate change?
On-site people, facilities:
Computer Lab- 3 days
Graph paper
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