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Database Provider

Authors

Project Look Sharp, Cindy Kramer & Sox Sperry

Grades

6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, AP® / College

Subjects

Science, Social Studies, History, English Language Arts, Health

Resource Types

  • Activity - Classroom, 15-30 minutes
  • Videos, 4 minutes, 37 seconds
  • Videos, 2 minutes, 49 seconds
  • Lesson Plans

Regional Focus

North America, United States

Format

PDF, Downloadable MP4/M4V

Climate Change: Do Corporations Have an Obligation to Share Their Research Findings for the Public Good?

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Synopsis
  • In this media literacy activity, students will analyze two video clips about Exxon's 1980s scientific research, which indicated a link between fossil fuels and rising global temperatures.
  • The videos make different claims as to the relevancy of the research and why Exxon chose to keep the information away from the public. 
  • Students will investigate how the video producers' intentions and goals shaped the information in each video.
Teaching Tips
Positives
  • The lesson plan includes discussion questions for several academic subjects.
  • This lesson requires students to think critically about where information comes from and how the producer's intentions shape the viewer's understanding of the topic.
Additional Prerequisites
  • Teachers must create a free account to access the materials.
  • Teachers should research the sources so they are aware of their viewpoints and biases.
  • For more information about climate change misinformation, have students watch this video by the Climate Reality Project.
Differentiation
  • Students could respond to questions individually or in small groups before discussing their answers as a class.
  • Social studies classes could debate whether corporations are responsible for divulging information that could affect the well-being of people or the environment.
  • Science classes could evaluate the claims made in the two videos and discuss the way that scientific findings are generally shared with the scientific community and the public.
  • Other resources on this topic include this lesson on misinformation about climate change, this activity on identifying climate myths, and this NowThis Earth video on greenwashing.
Scientist Notes

This resource is recommended for teaching for students to decipher and extract energy data from Exxon.

Standards
  • Science
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • MS-ESS3-5. Ask questions to clarify evidence of the factors that have caused the rise in global temperatures over the past century.
  • English Language Arts
    • Reading (K-12)
      • R.8.6 In literary texts, analyze how the differences between the point of view, perspectives, and possible biases of the characters, the audience, or the reader create effects such as mood and tone. (RL) In informational texts, explain how an author’s geographic location, identity, and/or culture affect perspective. Analyze how the author addresses conflicting evidence or viewpoints. (RI)
  • Social Studies
    • Economics
      • SS.Econ1.a.m Predict the opportunity costs of various decisions and explain why the opportunity cost might differ from person to person or in different situations. Assess how limited resources (e.g., money, land, natural resources, workers, time) impact the choices of individuals, households, communities, businesses, and countries.
      • SS.Econ4.b.m Compare and contrast the role of different economic institutions such as banks, labor unions, non-profits, and businesses in an economy. Analyze rules and laws that protect and support both consumers (e.g., private property, zoning, contracts, agreements, and product safety) and workers (e.g., labor unions, regulations, minimum wage).
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