In this lesson plan and video, students will explore various solutions by simulating different policies in a model and about how people have started to tackle climate change within their careers.
VDOE Climate Science
Dwelling on all the impacts of climate change can be overwhelming and lead to feelings of apathy or hopelessness; that is why it is imperative that we use a solutions-based approach toteaching about the topic. Climate change is caused by both natural and anthropogenic factors which lead to higher levels of carbon in the atmosphere. There are many solutions that can be employed to fix the root cause, mitigate damage, and to help us adapt to the changes that havealready occurred. It will take a global effort to take on this global issue. The best place to start is at a local level. There are many ways we can impact the planet in a positive way. One way is to decrease the use of fossil fuels which can lead to decreased global temperatures. We can also support policies or technology that will help us become more energy efficient. Many people all around the globe have started to enact these solutions. In this lesson plan, students will explore various solutions by simulating different policies in a model and watching a video about how people have started to tackle climate change within their careers.
Climate change is impacting the James River and there are different issues and solutions for different parts of the river. Travel down the James with Matt Scott of the James River Association to explore the watershed and learn about the impacts of sediment in Lynchburg, flooding in Richmond, and sea level rise and erosion in Hampton Roads. Learn about some of the solutions being used now to help tackle these problems. This video was developed to support the 6th grade Science SOLs in Virginia and associated lesson plans are available. A production of VPM in collaboration with the Virginia Department of Education.
In the Swimming with the Fishes: How Changes in Temperature Impact Survival game, students explore how changing water temperatures impact the survival of different fish species over 100 years. Concepts addressed in the game include the difference between climate and weather, how cold-blooded vs. warm-blooded animals adapt to temperature, and environmental changes over time. There are two versions: a single-player version or a multiplayer version which is designed to be facilitated by a teacher while projecting the activity on a large screen in a whole class or small group setting so that all participants can simultaneously view the gameplay.
This lesson is designed to allow students to explore local issues to the Chesapeake Bay and its watershed.Potential topics that may arise include pollution, stormwater runoff, overharvesting of fisheries, sea levelrise, habitat destruction, or development/construction. The associated video will highlight issues relatedto sediment, storms and flooding, and sea level rise, but students can investigate any environmentalissue that is relevant to them. While issues may not all be caused specifically by climate change, theissues are exacerbated by climate change, therefore climate change is a thread throughout thewatershed investigation.
Students will make weather observations for one week utilizing the provided data sheet. After the week of weather observations, have the students tally each type of weather they observed and color in a bar graph. At the end of the week, students will make predictions about what the weather will be like next week. Ask the students to write a one-sentence summary of the normal, expected weather for their location.