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Grades 10-12, Unit 4

Climate Change in My Backyard Activity Guide

Unit 4: Predicting the consequences of changes for human civilization

In Unit 4, students explore the impacts of climate change on individuals around the world. They learn that climate change impacts people differently and that there are economic, social, cultural, and political factors that influence each individual's beliefs about and decisions related to climate change. They then consider how their own choices can impact climate. Specifically they consider the energy requirements and environmental impacts of their food choices. The final lessons focuses on positive steps students can take to reduce their ecological footprint.

Activity 4.1: The Faces of Climate Change
In this activity, students will learn how climate change affects individuals in other parts of the world in different ways. In a role-playing scenario, they learn that climate change impacts people differently and that there are economic, social, cultural, and political factors that influence each individual's beliefs about and decisions related to climate change. This activity can either be done as a two-day culmination or can be used as the basis for a research project in which students investigate the impacts of climate change on specific regions, countries, or cultures around the world.

Activity 4.2: Calculating Your Carbon Footprint
Students will understand the concept of an ecological or carbon footprint. They will use online calculators to visualize how their choices affect the planet.

Activity 4.3: Personal Choices and the Planet
This lesson focuses on positive steps students can take to reduce their ecological footprint. During the opening of this lesson, the class revisits the concept of energy use, then students identify how changes in their daily habits can reduce their carbon footprint.