In this activity, students will examine information about the connection between climate change and extreme weather from three sources: Climate Communication, the Union of Concerned Scientists, and The Guardian.
The resource includes a lesson plan, a student handout, a student worksheet, and a PowerPoint presentation.
The lesson plan provides discussion questions for several academic subjects.
Students will hone their media literacy skills as they decipher the subtle difference in the messages from each source.
Teachers must create a free account to access materials.
The lesson plan refers to a "constructivist media decoding process;" thesematerialswill help teachers to understand the goals and design of the lesson.
Teachers may want to go over this handout on analyzing media messages before students complete the worksheet.
Teachers should research the sources ahead of time to understand the viewpoints and biases.
Students could respond to questions individually or in small groups before discussing the answers as a class.
The reading for this activity is a bit dense, so a structured reading process may help some students.
Other resources on this topic include this video on why climate change makes extreme weather worse, this video on how climate change has intensified hurricane season, and this TED-Ed video on the increasing number of extreme weather events.
This resource scales weather events relative to the magnitude and frequency of occurrence. The activity is suitable and recommended for teaching.
Science and Engineering
ESS2: Earth’s Systems
MS-ESS2-5 Collect data to provide evidence for how the motions and complex interactions of air masses result in changes in weather conditions.
ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
MS-ESS3-2 Analyze and interpret data on natural hazards to forecast future catastrophic events and inform the development of technologies to mitigate their effects.
MS-ESS3-3 Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.
English Language Arts
R.6-8.4 Read various texts closely to determine what each text explicitly says and to make logical inferences; cite specific textual evidence to support conclusions drawn from the texts.
R.6-8.5 Provide an accurate summary of various texts; determine the central idea(s) or theme(s) and analyze its development throughout each text.
Geography 1 (F1): Students understand the geography of the community, Maine, the United States, and various regions of the world, and geographic influences on life in the past, present, and future by using the geographic grid and a variety of types of maps, including digital sources, to locate and access relevant geographic information that reflects multiple perspectives.
Geography 2 (D1): Students understand geographic aspects of unity and diversity in Maine, the United States, and various world cultures, including Maine Native Americans, by summarizing and interpreting the relationship between geographic features and cultures of Maine Native Americans, and historical and recent immigrant groups in Maine, the United States, and the world.