Cli-fi: Teaching climate change using literature

Thursday 4:30pm-5:30pm Red Gym
Poster Session


Jennifer Sliko, Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus
Jennifer Hanselman, Westfield State University
Rick Oches, Bentley University
Laura Wright, Western Carolina University
As part of the InTeGrate program (SERC) at Carleton College, we developed a two-week module utilizing cli-fi (climate science present in fictional literature) and related climate data. Given the interdisciplinary lenses required to critically examine the 'grand challenges' facing society, our goal was to create a module that includes inquiry-based instruction, connections to current research, and literary representations of climate change to teach climate science. Through the Cli-Fi module, students develop a concept map illustrating the interconnectedness of Earth's system components, create graphs of climate data, identify different types of literary genre that communicate climate science, and complete a rhetorical analysis of a cli-fi short story. After completing these activities, students synthesize their understanding of climate science communication by identifying the best modes of communication for different audiences. Following the completion of the module, students gain an appreciation of scientific communication and use of logos, ethos, and pathos, in addition to an understanding of climate data and its connection to societal issues.