Climate Change: It's All Around Us (Day 1 of 3)
Lesson 3 of 12
Objective: Students will be able to connect multiple ecological impacts of climate change through a jigsaw reading and discussion activity using current, popular resources.
I worked with this lesson for the first time last year when I piloted a lesson using Stanford University's International Carbon Footprint Challenge resources. Students were very curious to explore the subject further and I was looking for a way to broaden our conversion about the multiple aspects of climate change.
Day 1 of this three day jigsaw activity gives students time to pick their topic area of interest and read and annotate their primary text.
Day 2 provides students collaborative support to deepen their understanding of their topic area and
Day 3 is when it all comes together through a jigsaw discussion with their lab groups.
For me as a teacher, this lesson met many of my overarching goals for the year, including:
- bringing Common Core skills focusing on reading, analyzing, and comparing texts into our classroom through authentic experiences.
- working with subjects and resources that engaged students in a personally relevant way.
- providing opportunities for collaboration and discussion that encourages and develops student voice and science literacy.
- allowing students to experience alternative points of view from around the world.
- showing students how many different types of scientists there are and the range of science investigations that happen in the lab and in the field.
I look forward to hearing about your experiences working with these resources to make those science/personal connections with your students!
1. When students come into class, tell them that today they will be looking at climate change through four different ecological and political lenses. Put the following prompt up on the board:
How is climate change affecting, transforming and connected to each of the following areas?
2. Direct lab groups to look at the four areas of interest listed on the board and determine which area of expertise each group member will be responsible for in this class activity.
My web links document for the four current articles I found in Rolling Stone and National Geographic magazines will direct you to the articles used in the pilot last year; however, any article source and topic can be used for this activity.
- Note: I allow each lab group of four to determine which article/topic they will choose to read. I also share out which article might be best suited for students who are working hard on their reading comprehension skills. In this case, I would suggest the marine life article because we have worked on this topic already and students will be familiar with the topic-specific vocabulary. If there is a student group with an absent student, I might suggest an article to leave for the absent student to work on. I find this is something I do on a case by case basis because my recommendation depends upon which student is absent and what their abilities and interest are, as well as whether or not the rest of the group has strong preferences for their individual picks.
1. Direct student expert groups to one of the Four Corners where there are posted signs with each subject area title (politics, wildfires, ocean, glaciers). At each corner, provide students with copies of their article or laptops for online sources, textbooks, and dictionaries.
2. Tell students to use their time with their expert team to read and annotate their chosen topic article.
- Note: For support, students have the option of reading on their own or with a partner. For specific groups, we may read out loud together or the group may choose to lead that activity on their own without my facilitation. Our classroom is large and has two side office spaces and an outdoor space with multiple benches to allow for this additional support. Depending upon your set up, you may want to move to the library or another space to allow for multiple student groupings and interventions.
- To support students with their annotations, I always have post it notes, highlighters, and other classroom supplies available for students to use. I often put on classical music while they are reading and annotating and I allow students to work together, alone, or with me in various areas of the classroom as needed.
1. Once all members of the corner groups have finished reading their article, direct each group to discuss their impressions and clarifying questions together for 5-10 minutes.
2. To ensure that each group has a solid foundation in their subject area, pass out a set of guiding questions to encourage more dialogue, collaboration, and check-ins with me concerning vocabulary and content.
- Note: In the past, I have given out the discussion prompts while students annotate their reading selection on their own. However, I found that students became very task oriented and focused more on completing the sheet rather than really delving into the article itself. By asking students to discuss first and then following up with the prompts, the conversations become more authentic, driven by individual group needs and interests.
3. As the class ends, tell students that tomorrow we will continue with our activity to share information from each of the expert groups. See student work samples to show how students used the summary questions to support their comprehension of the major points of the article as well as indicate supporting evidence for claims. You can also read my students' reflections on this activity after the unit was completed. Student shared that working with groups to comprehend the material they read and connect the various topics assisted in their overall understanding of the climate change theme.
On to the Day 2 expert discussion groups!