By Shelly Coe and Sara Halma
To make students aware of the theory of global warming, greenhouse effect, the changes that occur because of the above and finally, the adaptations that may need to be used.
The actual unit is set up for 5 class periods. Special note: There is a lab that must be started 3 weeks prior to the unit.
How Might Elevated CO2 Affect Plants? (This lab takes 3 weeks to complete since it involves growing plants.) Go to Science Resources
The students will make a connection between themselves and the world around them.
Have students brainstorm the parts of a stereo system. Break into groups and have them write each component on a sticky note. Place the notes on a large piece of paper and draw lines to show how things are connected. Now have the students remove one of the sticky notes. Discuss how removing a component affects the system in the small group. Repeat the process with a different component.
Class discussion: Have each group share how they think removing a component affects the system.
Students will explore how to obtain equilibrium in a system.
Each group of students will need the following items:
- 2 plastic cups
- Permanent marker
- Pin to make a hole in cup
- Container to catch escaping water from cup
- Have students fill one cup 1/2 full with water. Mark the level of the water with the marker.
- At this point explain to the students that the water is at equilibrium in the cup.
- Have students make one hole in the cup below the waterline. (Make sure the cup is over the catch container.) Let the water run completely out of the cup.
- Ask the students what they would have to do to keep the water at the mark on the cup.
- Tell them to try their idea. Discuss, as a class, how the ideas are working.
- Now put 4 more holes in the cup.
- Ask the students to try to keep the water at the mark on the cup again. Discuss, as a class, what ideas did they come up with.
Use overhead showing possible solutions to the problem of obtaining equilibrium. Lead discussion to real life situations.
Homework/ Flashback questions:
- What is equilibrium?
- What might happen if there wasn't equilibrium in the amount of energy coming and leaving the earth?
Class discussion of flashback questions from previous day. What is equilibrium? What might happen if there wasn't equilibrium in the amount of energy coming and leaving the earth? This will generate interest for today's lab.
Using the lab titled," Session 2: Modeling the Greenhouse Effect", have the students explore the concept of the greenhouse effect. **Go to Science Resources
- What do you think is causing the greenhouse effect in the atmosphere?
Class discussion of flashback questions from previous day. What do you think is causing the greenhouse effect in the atmosphere?
Looking at the observations and data from the lab titled How Might Elevated CO2 Affect Plants? We will have a class discussion and come to a conclusion that would answer the question that this lab presents.
Explain the mechanics of the Greenhouse Effect. Use the diagram titled, "Energy Flow through the Earth's Atmosphere System". ***Go to Science Resources Have students add the list of greenhouse gases to the diagram.
Class discussion of flashback questions from previous day. What do you think would happen if one of the components of the energy flow on the diagram would change?
Show film titled, "What's up with the Weather?" ****Go to Science Resources Have students make a list of 10 items that they learned while watching the video.
Make a list of everything in your home that is plugged into an electrical outlet.
Class discussion of homework from previous day, Make a list of everything in your home that is plugged into an electrical outlet.
Read, as a class, the article titled, "Reducing leaking electricity to a Trickle", *****Note resource on page.
Hand out article titled, "Human Beings and the Greenhouse Diet".
Homework/Flashback question: Fill out the greenhouse diet.
- *This is obtained from Global Climate-Past, Present, and Future, S. Henderson, et al (Eds.), EPA Report No. EPA/600/R-93/126, pp. 97-102, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development, Washington, DC.
- **"Global Warming and the Greenhouse effect," Great Explorations in math and Science series, pp. 21-32.
- ***Global Systems Science, pp.65.
- ****"What's up with the Weather?", Nova Frontline Video.
- *****The Columbia Earth Institute: EARTHmatters, Winter 1999/2000-state of the planet, pp. 48-50.
- ******Forecasting the Future, The National Science Teachers Association, pp.43 - 47.
Social Studies Lesson
Is the Earth warming, has it warmed in the past, will it warm in the future, if so, what adaptations will be needed? What adaptations will need to be made with changing natural resources?
The student will be able to determine what they will need to survive on a daily basis.
The student will work in groups of four to make a list of ten things that they will need to survive. We will then make a list on the board and discuss if there is a change in them being able to obtain those things on their list. (Such as, the October 1995 snowstorm power outage. We will discuss how the changes that occurred caused them to have to adapt to the given situation. Scarcity of a natural resource = adaptations.
What do civilizations need to survive?
Go back to your groups and brainstorm the question above, make a list of ten things that people will need to survive in a city or a community. Come back together and compile a list of the survival needs. We will compare and contrast the two above lists to draw parallels between their needs and the needs of civilizations.
Generate interest in global warming in changing our environment and causing us to adapt.
Using examples from civilizations that we have already studied and historical evidence from the past, that shows that changes has occurred in natural resources and the warming of the global.
Read "An historian's Biography of global warming." By Gale Christiansion. The Columbia Earth Institute: EARTHmatters, Winter 1999/2000-state of the planet, pp. 18-20. Write a one paragraph reaction to the article.
The student would be able to show that climatic changes have occurred in the past and that ancient civilizations have had to adapt to these changes. We will also raise awareness of global warming and enabling the students to make predictions for potential future problems.
Have a group discussion about the homework article "An historian's Biography of global warming." By Gale Christiansion.
Go to the computer lab to look at bookmarked sites on global warming. The students will be looking at historical warming. They will need to make a list of ten pieces of evidence of global warming.
The student will be able to see how we have impacted our environment.
We will meet in the computer lab. The first thing we will need to do is have a discussion about the article "Federal Report on global warming, widespread impact on U.S." Compile a list of the changes that have occurred. I will also show an overhead titled "The Limits of Us" The Columbia Earth Institute: EARTH matters, Winter 1999/2000-state of the planet, pp. 52. This will also show more evidence to support the theory of global warming.
After looking at the list from the discussion, the reading and the overhead the student will be able to see how we have impacted our world.
In looking at ancient civilizations the students will be able to see what has potentially caused civilizations to collapse, either naturally or at the hands of man.
Using the computers and looking at bookmarker sites, (this is so excellent http://www.learner.org/exhibits/collapse/index.html) they will need to write down five situations in the past, when naturally or at the hands of man, civilizations collapsed and why.
Talk with your parents/adults about Earth Day memories. See if you can find out why it came about, why was it needed, and what were the results.
To clarify the understanding that change has happened in the past and that man had to adapt. We will also be looking at how people in a democracy can change the course of direction on an issue.
We will meet in the computer lab to finish up the previous day's assignment on civilizations collapsing and why. We will then have a class discussion about how do we change the course of a topic, in this case global warming, in a democracy.
At this point the students will need to log on to http://earthday.envirolink.org/history.html to see how democracy works at its finest.
The students will need to write a paragraph on what they think needs to be changed in the environment to make it more earth friendly and to slow down the process the of global warming.
The student will be able to see how their efforts will affect their community and improve their quality of life.
- We will have a discussion about what we can do to make it more earth friendly and to slow down the process of global warming.
- We will have an Earth Day Ceremony using different multicultural writings, discussing the importance of the honoring Mother Earth.
- We will do tree plantings on the school property.