WorldWatcher Project: Global Warming Project
and is replicated here as part of the SERC Pedagogic Service.
In this exercise, students role-play advisors to various heads of state on the subject of global warming. The web site offers a curriculum to help the students become experts on global warming. It offers lab activities, computer visualizations (using free WorldWatcher software), lots of background readings, and choose-your-own-adventure journeys through the carbon and water cycles. The unit concludes with a summit on global warming at which students give their presentations. For teachers, there is a pedagogical explanation for each activity and rubrics for the presentation and for an energy balance diagram assignment.
- Learn about scientific issues relevant to global warming, such as temperature, the carbon cycle, and how different scientists often develop different theories on the same data.
- Come to understand how global warming and the political and economic issues around it will affect different countries.
- Investigate the causes of global warming.
- Synthesize their knowledge in a presentation.
Context for Use
Description and Teaching Materials
- Introduction to the Global Warming Issue
- How Does Temperature Change?
- What Makes Earth Warm?
- Addressing Climate Change
It also has links to readings, WorldWatcher Visualization Software for both Mac and PC and teacher resources.
Teachers will also need:
- Computers for students for WorldWatcher exercises
- Lab materials for some of the lab activities
- NOAA's (free) Report to the Nation: "Our Changing Climate"
- Optional: graphing software and temperature probes
Teaching Notes and Tips
References and Resources
Interactive role-playing exercises dealing with the complicated issue of humanity's dependence on fossil fuels and its consequences include:
- Mock Environmental Summit
At the end of a six-week class or unit on global warming, students role-play representatives from various countries and organizations at an international summit on global warming.
- The Great Energy Debate
This lesson plan explores the energy debate in the U.S. Students will hold a mock congressional committee meeting and make decisions about public lands and energy resources.
- What Should We Do About Global Warming?
This module contains an 8-lesson curriculum to study greenhouse gases and global warming using data and visualizations. The students will summarize the issue in a mock debate or a presentation.