Author: Sarah White
Grade Level: 9-12
Subject/Content: Social Studies / United States Government / Current Issues
Summary of Lesson: Students will learn what the Kyoto Protocol is and examine the decision of the United States to not sign the agreement.
Focus Question: Should the United States sign the Kyoto Protocol? What are alternative options to protect the global environment?
Databases(s): Gale Virtual Reference Library, Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center, General Reference Center
- This lesson may be directly integrated with a Biology or Environmental Science class or can be incorporated into a Social Studies unit on the environment and government policy.
Steps / Activities by the teacher:
- Provide students with an overview of the Kyoto Protocol (information available at the Gale Virtual reference Library in the article "Kyoto Protocol / Treaty"). Discuss the pros and cons of the treaty with students; brainstorm a list of reasons why the U.S. would not sign the treaty.
- Ensure that students will have computer access to Gale databases for the student led portion of the lesson.
- InfoMark the articles listed below in the Gale databases for student access. (More information and directions on how to use InfoMarks can be found at http://www.gale.com/infomarks/)
- Gale Virtual Reference Library "Global Warming Policy Making" and "Quitting the Kyoto Protocol: The United States Strikes Out Alone"
- Opposing Viewpoints Resource Center "US Should Support the Global Climate Treaty" and "The International Community Must Act Together"
- General Reference Center - Many relevant articles available
Steps/Activities by student(s):
- Create a chart with the headings pros, cons and additional information.
- Access and read the InfoMarked articles and use the information in them to complete the chart.
- After completion of the chart students will answer the following in essay format: "Do you agree or disagree with the U.S. decision to not sign the Kyoto Protocol? Explain in detail using information from your chart."
Outcome: Students will gain knowledge into the Kyoto Protocol, evaluate it and propose alternate solutions to the issue.
Related Activities: Devise an alternate plan that protects the environment but that you feel the U.S. would ratify. Explain why you think your plan may work.
Standard Date: Approved
- Describe and assess ways that historical events have been influenced by and have influenced, physical and human geographic factors in local, regional, national and global settings.
- Propose, compare and evaluate alternative policies for the use of land and other resources in communities, regions, nations and the world.
- Prepare a public policy paper and present and defend it before an appropriate forum in school or community.
- Analyze the causes, consequences and possible solutions to persistent, contemporary and emerging global issues, such as health, security, resource allocation, economic development and environmental quality.
- At Level 1, the student is able to:
- Identify and describe the Kyoto Protocol.
- At Level 2, the student is able to:
- Explain the benefits and drawbacks of the Kyoto Protocol.
- At Level 3, the student is able to:
- Evaluate whether or not they agree with the US decision to not sign the protocol and develop an alternate plan.
Computer Literacy and Usage Standards 9-12:
- The student will demonstrate proficiency in the care and use of computer based technology.
- 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
- Routinely and efficiently use online information resources to meet needs for collaboration, research, publication, communication and productivity.
- Select and apply technology tools for research, information analysis, problem solving and decision making in content learning.
Information Power; Information Literacy Standards:
- 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 7: The student who contributes positively to the learning community and to society is information literate and recognizes the importance of information to a democratic society.