InTeGrate Modules and Courses >Cli-Fi: Climate Science in Literary Texts > Unit 5: Synthesis: Literary Representation of a Grand Societal Challenge
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These materials are part of a collection of classroom-tested modules and courses developed by InTeGrate. The materials engage students in understanding the earth system as it intertwines with key societal issues. The materials are free and ready to be adapted by undergraduate educators across a range of courses including: general education or majors courses in Earth-focused disciplines such as geoscience or environmental science, social science, engineering, and other sciences, as well as courses for interdisciplinary programs.
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Unit 5: Synthesis: Literary Representation of a Grand Societal Challenge

Authors: Jennifer Hanselman (Westfield State University), Rick Oches (Bentley University), Jennifer Sliko (Pennsylvania State University at Harrisburg), Laura Wright (Western Carolina University)

These materials have been reviewed for their alignment with the Next Generation Science Standards as detailed below. Visit InTeGrate and the NGSS to learn more.

Overview

In this unit, students make decisions about how to communicate climate change-related data, analysis, and interpretations to different audiences, taking in to account both the type of data and the literary forms.

Science and Engineering Practices

Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions: Construct an explanation that includes qualitative or quantitative relationships between variables that predict(s) and/or describe(s) phenomena. MS-P6.1:

Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information: Communicate scientific and/or technical information or ideas (e.g. about phenomena and/or the process of development and the design and performance of a proposed process or system) in multiple formats (i.e., orally, graphically, textually, mathematically). HS-P8.5:

Cross Cutting Concepts

Stability and Change: Explanations of stability and change in natural or designed systems can be constructed by examining the changes over time and forces at different scales, including the atomic scale. MS-C7.1:

Disciplinary Core Ideas

Global Climate Change: Human activities, such as the release of greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels, are major factors in the current rise in Earth’s mean surface temperature (global warming). Reducing the level of climate change and reducing human vulnerability to whatever climate changes do occur depend on the understanding of climate science, engineering capabilities, and other kinds of knowledge, such as understanding of human behavior and on applying that knowledge wisely in decisions and activities. MS-ESS3.D1:

This material was developed and reviewed through the InTeGrate curricular materials development process. This rigorous, structured process includes:

  • team-based development to ensure materials are appropriate across multiple educational settings.
  • multiple iterative reviews and feedback cycles through the course of material development with input to the authoring team from both project editors and an external assessment team.
  • real in-class testing of materials in at least 3 institutions with external review of student assessment data.
  • multiple reviews to ensure the materials meet the InTeGrate materials rubric which codifies best practices in curricular development, student assessment and pedagogic techniques.
  • review by external experts for accuracy of the science content.

This activity was selected for the On the Cutting Edge Reviewed Teaching Collection

This activity has received positive reviews in a peer review process involving five review categories. The five categories included in the process are

  • Scientific Accuracy
  • Alignment of Learning Goals, Activities, and Assessments
  • Pedagogic Effectiveness
  • Robustness (usability and dependability of all components)
  • Completeness of the ActivitySheet web page

For more information about the peer review process itself, please see http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/review.html.


This page first made public: Mar 7, 2016

Summary

In the final unit of the module, students will synthesize their understanding of climate science and modes of communication. Students are assigned to groups and given a climate change issue that they will use to demonstrate their understanding of ethos, pathos, and logos, when presented with a variety of audiences. The module summative assessment is designed to be administered after this unit.

Learning Goals

Learning Goals:

Students will apply their knowledge of how scientists use data to communicate to a variety of audiences about the effects of climate change. Students will also apply their understanding of tools for effective communication.

Objectives:

By the end of this unit, students will be able to:

  • summarize an effect of climate change (such as sea level rise or increase in global temperatures).
  • describe the tools required to communicate climate science to a variety of audiences.
  • describe the mode of presenting the climate science, considering ethos, pathos, and logos.

Context for Use

This unit serves as a synthesis for the module, as it allows for students to apply their knowledge of climate science and literature. This unit primarily requires class discussion and interaction.

Description and Teaching Materials

This activity uses a pedagogical tool called a gallery walk. Each poster will have a specific climate change-related concern, and the student groups will have to describe how the concern would be presented to a specific audience. For each type of audience, the student groups must be prepared to discuss specific examples of tools they would use (e.g. graphs, blogs, stories) and the best ways to present those tools, all while considering the pathos, ethos, and/or logos.

If the physical space allows, you can have posters set up that provide the audience types, and the students can report at each location.

Materials

  • Five large sheets of paper (or enough whiteboard/chalkboard space for five groups)
  • A different-colored marker for each group

Prior to Class

  • Select the climate change-related concern you wish your class to address. A suggested list of climate change-related concerns that can be assigned include:
    • Sea-level rise
    • Sea surface temperature (SST) increases
    • Increased global temperature
    • Increased greenhouse gases
    • Species migration patterns change
    • Increased frequency of El Nino
    • Longer summer seasons over the years
  • Print out each of the bullets and attach to the top of the posters set up in the classroom as directions. You should modify this text to insert the climate change-related concern. You can download the Unit 5 Station Directions (Microsoft Word 2007 (.docx) 16kB Mar20 16) here to modify and print out.
  • Hang the poster-sized paper around the room, leaving enough space for a group of four to five students to congregate around each poster.

In Class

Start class by organizing the students into five different groups (we recommend small groups comprising four to five students each). You should explain the concept of a gallery walk to students before starting the assignment (find out more about gallery walks from Pedagogies in Action). Note: If you feel your class size/format is not amenable to a gallery walk, we encourage you to read through the "How this module was adapted" sections to see how this activity can be incorporated into large and/or online classes.

Assign each group to a different poster and direct the students to start working on that poster's particular problem. After 5 minutes, the groups should rotate to a new poster. Use a timer to signal time for the student groups to switch to the next one.

  • Your group has been selected to describe [insert climate change-related concern] to the Philosophy Club at your university. Think about the different methods of communicating climate change science that we have covered over the past two weeks. How would you describe this issue to the Philosophy Club? (Be specific . . . simply saying "graphs," "blogs," or "short stories" is not detailed enough!) How would you convey the larger societal issue of climate change to the club?
  • Your group has been selected to describe [insert climate change-related concern] to the Chemistry Club at your university. Think about the different methods of communicating climate change science that we have covered over the past two weeks. How would you describe this issue to the Chemistry Club? (Be specific . . . simply saying "graphs," "blogs," or "short stories" is not detailed enough!) How would you convey the larger societal issue of climate change to the club?
  • Your group has been selected to describe [insert climate change-related concern] to your physician and his colleagues. Think about the different methods of communicating climate change science that we have covered over the past two weeks. How would you describe this issue to the physicians? (Be specific . . . simply saying "graphs," "blogs," or "short stories" is not detailed enough!) How would you convey the larger societal issue of climate change to the physicians?
  • Your group has been selected to describe [insert climate change-related concern] to the local senior center. Think about the different methods of communicating climate change science that we have covered over the past two weeks. How would you describe this issue to the senior citizens? (Be specific . . . simply saying "graphs," "blogs," or "short stories" is not detailed enough!) How would you convey the larger societal issue of climate change to the senior citizens?
  • Your group has been selected to describe [insert climate change-related concern] to a high school class. Think about the different methods of communicating climate change science that we have covered over the past two weeks. How would you describe this issue to the high school students? (Be specific . . . simply saying "graphs," "blogs," or "short stories" is not detailed enough!) How would you convey the larger societal issue of climate change to the students?

The last part of class will be used as a time to summarize the groups' ideas. Once the students return to their original poster, the group synthesizes comments and makes an oral report. You may want to direct this part of the activity to keep the class moving through each of the posters. The entire class should engage in discussion and address discrepancies between different group's communication plans.

Teaching Notes and Tips

This unit should be used to synthesize Units 1–4. You should not teach Unit 5 without first teaching Units 1–4.

Assessment

Depending the class size and instructor preference, students may be assessed on their gallery walk contributions using the

Unit 5 Activity


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and the
Unit 5 Rubric


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.

Module Summative assessment:

Connect data to fictional works

In the module summative assessment, students will analyze their graphs and interpretations, in addition to analyzing their classmates' graphs/blogs. They will identify the interactions of the different Earth spheres related to the climate change issues presented. In addition, they will reflect upon the connection of the climate data to fictional works. This should be assigned following the completion of Unit 5. We suggest allowing the students several days to complete this assessment.

Students will need access to Unit 2 blogs for the entire class through your course management system. If you are unfamiliar with how to make student blogs public to the class section, please contact the support desk at your institution. Students will read four student blogs and the associated graphs (each of the four will be a different data set from the one they created). As they are reading through the blogs (and recalling the blog they created), students should reflect on how these data are connected to the short story. Students will submit a written assignment, addressing the following:

  • Climate change issues presented in the student blogs.
  • The climate change issues presented in the fictional work.
  • The connections of the data to the short story.
  • Description of how the student blogs of climate change data and fictional works are used as tools to communicate climate change issues to different audiences, considering ethos, pathos, and logos.

Provide students with the Summative Assessment (Microsoft Word 25kB Mar20 16) handout that describes the activity. This assignment can be assessed using the

Summative Assessment Rubric


This file is only accessible to verified educators. If you are a teacher or faculty member and would like access to this file please enter your email address to be verified as belonging to an educator.

.

Examples of data analysis are found in the instructor materials for Unit 2. Examples of a rhetorical analysis can be found in Unit 3. We also provide two exemplary student assignments—these are for instructors only and should not be distributed to students.

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These materials are part of a collection of classroom-tested modules and courses developed by InTeGrate. The materials engage students in understanding the earth system as it intertwines with key societal issues. The collection is freely available and ready to be adapted by undergraduate educators across a range of courses including: general education or majors courses in Earth-focused disciplines such as geoscience or environmental science, social science, engineering, and other sciences, as well as courses for interdisciplinary programs.
Explore the Collection »