Lesson Plans

TeachLive – St Bees – Climate Change

Unit description – These learning activities are designed to promote questioning, discussion and position-taking in regard to changes which occur in environments as a result of climate. Each lesson involves the viewing of a short video clip, followed by ‘Think pair share’ and whole class discussion

Syllabus outcomes and content

Outcome ST3-2VA
develop interest and positive, informed values and attitudes towards science and technology
recognise the importance and relevance of science and technology in their lives now and for their future

Outcome ST3-9ES
explains rapid change at the Earth’s surface caused by natural events, using evidence provided by advances in technology and scientific understanding
investigate a recent Australian example of the effect on the Earth's surface of extreme weather conditions, eg cyclones, droughts or floods
Outcome ST3-11LW
describes some physical conditions of the environment and how these affect the growth and survival of living things
use gathered data to develop explanations about how changing the physical conditions of the environment affects the growth and survival of living things

Daily for one week – Teachers select from the activities provided depending on the age of their students and the time available.

Lesson 1 - The week before departure

Topic: Why do people get involved in ‘Citizen Science?’
Learning intentions:
I will think about the environment and discuss whose responsibility it is to look after it.
Success Criteria:
* Know what is meant when we use the word ‘environment’
* Understand that by changing one aspect of the environment, other species are affected
* Begin to develop an opinion about whose responsibility it is to protect the environment
Tuning in:
Ask chn to look at the first two pages which contain images of the Truffula trees. What describing words would you use? What creatures can you see?
Stages 1-3
Read ‘The Lorax’ by Dr Seuss either as book or online at the link below
The Lorax E-book
(For S1 Another option is to begin this book in lesson one and continue to read small portions of it throughout the week, discussing after each portion, in place of the following lesson plans)
Activity: Think/pair/share (Choose some of the following questions) : Whose fault is it that the Truffula Trees are all gone? Do you think the Once-ler knew what would happen to the Brown Bar-ba-loots, the Swomee Swans or the Humming Fish? Can the problem be fixed? Whose responsibility is it to ensure the return of the Truffula trees?
Teacher resource – for more ideas for discussion see link below
Regroup: Whole class – students share the outcomes of their discussions – including consensus and points of difference.
Mrs Thomas thinks it is everybody’s job! That’s why she is going to do her part and to share her experience with VAPS

Lesson 2 (Monday)
Topic: Learning about St Bees Island
Teacher resource
Earthwatch description of the Expedition

Learning Intentions: I can describe where St Bees is located and why its koala population is so important

Success criteria
* I will be able to locate St Bees (or MacKay) on a map of Australia
* I will be able to state what is happening to Koalas on this island
* I will be able to state a reason why islands are particularly important to scientists who are trying to understand climate change (absence of human and feral influences on species)

Tuning in : WHOLE CLASS

Using Google Maps Locate St Bees off the coast of Queensland (near Mackay)
St Bees Island

Teacher – read or paraphrase the text below. Discuss the importance of collecting data to inform hypotheses about changes in populations and their causes.

Why is the expedition going there?
“Rising temperatures and increased frequency of extreme weather events is changing the distribution of species on Queensland’s tropical islands.
“St Bees Island off the coast of Queensland is a tropical paradise rich in biodiversity, such as koalas, wallabies, reptiles, birds and many native plants. However, communities of both plant and animal species on the island are shifting due to climate change and some species are in rapid decline.
On this expedition, (I) will hike with researchers across the rugged island to better understand how climate change is impacting the landscape. (I) will document the nature of these changes by undertaking surveys of plant species, observing koalas and wallabies, bird watching and recording small reptiles and invertebrates.
The data gathered will help scientists and land managers to adapt traditional management strategies (e.g. strategic use of fire) to account for the changing conditions.”
Earthwatch description of the Expedition

Watch the you tube clips below. After watching the clips, Think Pair Share

San Deigo Zoo Expedition to St Bees 2013

Discuss: Why are scientists particularly keen to discuss this population of koalas?

Watch the next clip, then ‘think pair share’
2016 News report – Koalas at St Bees under threat

Discuss: What changes are described in this report? What do scientists think has caused the changes?

Lesson Three – How the world is getting hotter

Learning intention: I can describe the role of greenhouse gases in a warming planet.

Success criteria
* Participate in the ‘Carbon Dioxide Game’ (See link below)
* Explain how the sun’s energy get’s trapped in the atmosphere
* Describe that when you increase the amount of CO2, more heat gets trapped
* Describe how changes in human behaviour can affect the amount of greenhouse gases.
Activity – Play the Carbon Dioxide Game

Whole class discussion: Where does energy come from? How does energy get trapped? What do humans do to influence how much heat gets trapped.
Stages 2 & 3

Climate change is real. It’s serious and it’s up to all of us
1.56 Minutes (National Geographic)

Stage 3
Climate Change 101 with Bill Nye (NAtionl Geographic)

Lesson 4 – What’s the difference between climate and weather?

Learning intention – I can explain the difference between climate and weather

Success criteria
* Describe what weather is
* Describe what climate is

Stage 2
Watch https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YbAWny7FV3w

What’s the difference between weather and climate

Think pair share
In pairs, come up with a definition for weather and another for climate.

Share your definitions – come up with a class definition for each by combining/arguing for different aspects of the definition.

Lesson 5 – What is climate change?

Learning intention: I can describe what is meant by the term ‘climate change’

Success criteria –
* Describe one impact of global warming
* Predict what effect Cyclone Debbie may have had on St Bees

Tune in: Activity 1: Select one video below to watch

Climate change videos
Stages 1 - 3

2.37.minutes ( Great Barrier reef Marine Pk Authority)
What is climate change - Animated

Climate change is real. It’s serious and it’s up to all of us
1.56 Minutes (National Geographic)

Think Pair Share : What do you understand about climate change (Three facts)?

Activity 2: Cyclone Debbie : Watch the clip below

Cyclone Debbie compilation

Think pair share – Predict: St Bees Island was hit by Cyclone Debbie. What sorts of changes might Scientists expect to find on the island?

(Teacher resource)

(Student resource for further research if desired)
TIKI the Penguin
(The basic facts ) Stages 1 - 3

Lesson 6
Topic : Scientists on St Bees : Asking questions (hypotheses) and collecting data. What can the data tell us?

Learning intentions: I can examine data with an open mind

Success criteria
* State 3 findings from the current expedition
* Hypothesise what these findings might be telling us

Whole class: Review the findings from the current expedition

Stage 3
Activity: Watch the first two minutes of the clip below


Think Pair Share :
What questions did the scientist in this clip have about the number of koalas counted??
Have any of these questions been answered by the data collected on the current expedition?

What other data was collected? What changes were shown by the data collected?
What questions were answered by this data? What new questions were posed

Further resources

Stages 2 and 3

The Magic School Bus and the Climate challenge

5.50 minutes
What if all the ice melted (Bill Nye)

Stage 3
11.27 minutes : 7 impacts of climate change
(Be prepared for students to be quite worried after watching this video. You will need to allow some discussion time)

Resources to extend students’ thinking.

Climate Science – What you need to know

Why don’t people believe in climate change?