Oct 31 2006

A Change of Climate

Students uncover causes and solutions for global warming.

A Change of Climate
Students uncover causes and solutions for global warming.

Global warming is a serious challenge facing the world today, according to scientists. To stop this climate change, the world must reduce emissions of heat-trapping gases. At Mountain Ridge Middle School in Colorado Springs, Colo., students use the Internet and multimedia software to identify the causes of global warming and present solutions for protecting the Earth.

Lesson description: Students will research various sources to learn about global warming. They will look at Web sites, videos and graphs to gather as much information as possible. Next, they will create a multimedia presentation that takes a stance on global warming. The purpose of the presentation is to educate the audience about global warming. Students will provide statistics from credible sources to make their argument more convincing. Then the students will provide solutions to the problem.

Subject area: This assignment is primarily geared for students in sixth to 12th grade. It can be customized to reach a wider range of learners. The downloadable lessons can be modified to reach a younger audience. Instead of creating a multimedia presentation using Windows Movie Maker, elementary teachers may choose to use PowerPoint or other user-friendly programs to create their final product.

Standards: This lesson ties into many of the International Society for Technology in Education's National Educational Technology Standards for Students. Several reading and writing standards are also met during the assignment.

Resources: Students need Internet-connected computers equipped with Microsoft Word and Excel. Digital video or still cameras, Adobe Photoshop and other image-editing programs are optional.

These Web sites contain the Colorado lesson plan and student information on global warming:

Grading Rubric: Students are graded based on their accurate completion of the graph, KLW (what you know, what you learn and what you want to learn) document, facts and solutions, and the true or false documents.

They will also be graded on the completion of a poster that includes a large, quality image to complement an environmental poem that they choose from one of the Web sites or one they write themselves. They must credit the image and poetry sources on the final poster. A rubric for the final project is available at the Evaluation link of the WebQuest lesson.

Chris Clementi is a computer teacher at Mountain Ridge Middle School in Colorado Springs, Colo. She is currently working on her master's degree in technology in education.

Teaching Tips

Teachers can create custom My WebQuest pages to accommodate intended viewers.

If teachers don't want to work with Movie Maker to create their final project, they can use PowerPoint to include various slides that involve the definition, causes and solutions to global warming. Some teachers might have their students draw pictures to complement the environmental poems.

Teachers who choose to do the graphing lesson might customize questions reflecting the results of their findings. WebQuest offers a downloadable Word document for students to record the resources used in their projects.