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Learn to recycle, reduce, reuse and revere with Environmental Resources from Gale

Climate Change and Government Policy

Author: Sarah White

Grade Level: 7 - 12

Subject/Content: Environmental Science, Social Studies (Government, Civics or Global Issues)

Summary of Lesson: Students will look at Global Climate Change, investigate policies of the Obama administration and compose letters encouraging policy initiatives for the Copenhagen Climate Conference 2009.

Focus Question: How should the U.S. government regulate actions impacting the global environment?

Database(s): Global Issues in Context, Gale Virtual Reference Library (eBooks)

Procedures:

  1. Play podcast for students “Climate Change Leaves Its Mark On Citizens Worldwide” (found in the Climate Change section of the Environment and Climate Change portal of the Global Issues in Context database.
  2. Provide students with a copy of the article “United States: Climate Policy” from Climate Change: In Context found in Gale Virtual Reference Library eBooks (or provide computer time for students to access the article).
  3. Provide students with computer access to use the following website: http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/ (or assign as homework).
  4. Provide students with time to draft and type letters.

Steps/Activities by student(s):

  1. Listen to the podcast listed above and answer the following questions:
    1. What parts of the world and what groups of people are most vulnerable to climate change?
    2. Why are their risks different now?
    3. What steps do the people interviewed suggest to help stop climate change?
  2. Read the article “United States: Climate Policy” and create a timeline displaying major actions regarding climate change and U.S. policy.
  3. Use Gale resources to learn about Obama’s environment platform and summarize it in list form.
  4. Use the Obameter website and on your list made in step #3 assess the current status of Obama’s environmental policy
  5. Compose a persuasive letter that advocates specific actions for U.S. climate policy that you believe should be pursued at the Copenhagen Climate Conference 2009. Be sure to explain why you think these policies are important and will be successful.
  6. After proofreading and typing the letter, make three copies and send them to three groups that would be invested in this topic.

Outcome: Students will choose and recommend environmental policies.

Related Activities: Students may keep tracking Obama’s success on environmental policy and later track the developments of the Copenhagen Climate Conference in December 2009.

Standard Date: April 10, 2009

Content Standard(s):

  • Identify, analyze, interpret and evaluate sources and examples of citizens' rights and responsibilities.
  • Locate, access, analyze, organize, synthesize, evaluate and apply information about selected public issues — identifying, describing and evaluating multiple points of view.
  • Practice forms of civic discussion and participation consistent with the ideals of citizens in a democratic republic.
  • Analyze and evaluate the influence of various forms of citizen action on public policy.
  • Construct a policy statement and an action plan to achieve one or more goals related to an issue of public concern.
  • Participate in activities to strengthen the "common good," based upon careful evaluation of possible options for citizen action.
  • As a result of activities in grades 9-12, all students should develop Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry
  • As a result of activities in grades 9-12, all students should develop Understandings about scientific inquiry
  • As a result of activities in grades 9-12, all students should develop understanding of Natural and human-induced hazards
  • As a result of activities in grades 9-12, all students should develop understanding of Environmental quality

Performance Indicators:

  • At Level 1, the student is able to:
    • Identify the impact of climate change on people worldwide.
  • At Level 2, the student is able to:
    • Identify and evaluate progress of President Obama on his environmental platform
  • At Level 3, the student is able to:
    • Explain and support climate change initiatives to government officials and other interested groups.

Computer Literacy and Usage Standards 9-12:

  • The student will develop skills using a variety of computer resources to increase productivity, support creativity, conduct and evaluate research and improve communications.
  • The student will use technology resources to improve problem solving and decision making skills and apply these skills to real world situations.

ISTE NETS for Students

  • locate, organize, analyze, evaluate, synthesize, and ethically use information from a variety of sources and media.
  • locate, organize, analyze, evaluate, synthesize, and ethically use information from a variety of sources and media.
  • plan and manage activities to develop a solution or complete a project.
  • collect and analyze data to identify solutions and/or make informed decisions.
  • use multiple processes and diverse perspectives to explore alternative solutions.

Information Power; Information Literacy Standards 1-4:

  • Standard 1: The student who is information literate accesses information efficiently and effectively.
  • Standard 2: The student who is information literate evaluates information critically and competently.
  • Standard 3: The student who is information literate uses information accurately and creatively.
  • Standard 9: The student who contributes positively to the learning community and to society is information literate and participates effectively in groups to pursue and generate information.
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