Hey everyone! Our names are Emily and Caitlin! We are future educators, who are working hard to gain all the necessary experience and knowledge to be the best teachers we can be for our students. When looking at Natural Inquirer and GLOBE, we found a common theme, climate change. We chose this topic because we found it to be relevant to what is happening in our world today. Climate change is something that will impact everyone over time; it will bring challenges to each of our lives. It is important to realize that climate change has been impacting different animals, plants and ecosystems. As future educators this topic is extremely important to be educated on.
In Climate Change Investi-gator from Natural Inquirer, the issue covers the basics of climate change, and then goes further to dive into many different aspects of life that climate change has and will affect. It is essential that we educate students about the impact and importance of climate change because it will ultimately impact the daily lives of all students. The Investi-gator issue includes articles about climate change and amphibian breeding, changing places of trees, tracking of wolverines, and significance of glaciers.
Students can read a different article in the issue each week and complete the corresponding activities. At the end of the issue, there are many different interactive resources like a photo challenge, crossword puzzle, and a word search that engage them with the material and allows the teacher to adapt the activities to ensure they are age appropriate.
As future educators, we would definitely incorporate some of the “FACTivity” activities from the article. For example on pages 47 and 48 is an activity where students look at photographs of glaciers over the past century. This activity can help students in determining whether photo evidence is valuable and a trustworthy source for information. Through this activity students will also be able to gather how photographs can tell us things that words cannot.
We found the Elementary GLOBE Climate module to be most effective for educating elementary students about climate change while making it relevant to their lives. This module includes activities that will be engaging for students at a young age. It takes climate into a hands-on experience by using classroom resources and manipulatives.
In the activity "Weather Adds Up to Climate,” students learn to track and collect data about the weather that eventually gives them a bigger picture look at the climate.
Students learn about greenhouse gases and how their homes, school, and community can reduce greenhouse gas emissions in “We’re All Part of the Solution.” Students are able to calculate their own greenhouse gas emissions, and then brainstorm as a class some ways they can reduce their carbon footprint.
If relevant to the students’ environment, there is another activity called “Seashores on the Move” that can educate students about rising sea levels and give students perspective on potential flooding due to the rising sea levels. Students can brainstorm ideas on where to build in order to protect coastal environments.
Both the GLOBE resources and the resources we found from the Investi-gator Natural Inquirer took the issue of climate change and helped ensure students would see the value in their everyday lives. The kinds of activities and lessons provided in both of these resources allow students to learn more about their environment and brainstorm ways they can cope with and overcome some of the challenges that come along with climate change.
With the implementation of the activities, readings, and experiences we found from GLOBE and Natural Inquirer, students will be able to conceptualize climate change through many different angles and entry points. Students gain a framework for understanding weather as it relates to climate, and how we as humans contribute and affect the climate. With the crucial and time-sensitive topic of climate change, it is essential to educate our students about how climate change affects nearly every aspect of life.
From the Elementary GLOBE Teacher Implementation Guide:
Acknowledgement: This material is based upon work supported by USDA Forest Service Eastern Region (Agreement no. 20-PA-11090100-026). Any opinion, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the USDA Forest Service.
This blog post is part of the GLOBE and the Natural Inquirer Crosswalk Project. Other blog posts are available on the U.S. GLOBE Teacher Resources page.
Natural Inquirer issues can be downloaded and classroom sets of many issues can be ordered from their website. Find the complete list of issues available and instructions for ordering on the Natural Inquirer website.