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Educational resources

Understanding climate change
The factors influencing climate change are complex and so the CWC network aimed to create an understanding of these global issues. Consequently educational resources were developed to illustrate the various climate change topics within the national curriculum for subjects as diverse as science, geography, global citizenship and ethics. These resources can also be used to teach languages as these are available in various languages through this website.

The resources are primarily in the form of activities which comprise –

  • background information to introduce the topic
  • worksheets for students
  • notes for teachers

Because of the nature of the observations and discussions, these activities are best undertaken in small groups where students can exchange information and arrive at some conclusions. The principal role of the teacher is then to introduce the topic and then facilitate and summarise the conclusions of the various groups. If the same methodology is adopted by another class (even in another country) then you will be able to exchange information and discuss any differences in your observations.

Activities
Suitable activities have been developed and trialled to illustrate each subject topic. These have been listed at the end of each section together with the relevant subject topics and the possible age range. These activities can comprise one or more parts of a lesson and lesson plans can be used to link to specific themes or topics in various disciplines. What lessons should do is to link relevant climate change topics in various subjects so that students understand the causes and impacts as well as the need for action.

In using such resources it is important to reflect on past, current and future trends. For example, 100 years ago energy supplies were localised, today most are centralised and in the future supplies are much more likely to be localised again. Why this has and will likely reoccur, reflects not only our use of energy, but also how society organises itself and the lifestyle that we choose to adapt.

Discussion
The activities have been devised to stimulate discussion based on observation and deduction and to illustrate how science can formulate answers to limiting climate change.

Many of the activities are open ended in that there is not necessarily one answer to the questions the students will pose. For example the answer to "how much energy can we save in our home?" will depend upon identifying the major uses of energy and then deciding how these could be reduced. Such questions introduce uncertainty as they depend upon individual actions.

These resources and activities can be used in both primary and secondary schools to -

  • illustrate parts of the national curriculum
  • understand the role of energy in our live style
  • understand how our energy use can lead to a changing climate
  • understand the role of energy efficiency and renewable energy generation in reducing the environmental impact of our energy use
  • through explaining and involving their parents how young people can act as agents for change



Methodology
By working in small groups students can

  • discuss and help each another
  • exchange information
  • formulate ideas and identify actions which can limit the impact of energy use on the environment

The role of the teacher is to

  • introduce each topic
  • assist each group
  • lead the discussion on the ideas and possible actions of each group
  • summarise the conclusions

Lesson plans 

These activities can be grouped into lesson plans to explore specific themes which relate to topics in the National Curriculum. These follow the traditional format of a starter of say 10 minutes, a main activity of say 30 minutes and a plenary activity to reflect what has been learnt.
KITH lesson plans

A day without energy
For this activity to be successful, all those taking part have to prepare beforehand, students as well as teachers! Each person has to consider their own energy usage from the time they get up until they go to bed and how they could reduce their individual energy consumption.

This activity should be undertaken on a day when neither heating nor lighting is required at the school! The aim is to encourage each person to decide what they could do to limit global warming individually and collectively.

On the agreed day, all students and teachers taking part should try to minimise their energy use at home, travelling to school, at school and after school. By organising suitable activities as part of the day’s lesson plan, this activity should help in understanding not only where energy is used but also how each person could reduce their energy usage.

 A day without energy  
 citizenship
 5 – 16 
 

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