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Author

MIT Environmental Solutions Initiative

Grades

9th, 10th, 11th, 12th

Subjects

Science, Chemistry, Biology, Earth and Space Sciences

Resource Types

  • Interactive Media
  • Ebooks
  • Charts, Graphs, and Tables
  • Videos, 14 minutes, 36 seconds, CC
  • Videos, 11 minutes, 19 seconds, CC
  • Videos, 2 minutes, 13 seconds, CC
  • Videos, 10 minutes, 54 seconds, CC

Regional Focus

Global, Polar Regions

Format

PDF

MIT Climate Primer: Climate Change

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Synopsis
  • This interactive resource contains information about historic climate conditions on Earth, factors that affect global climate, and future predictions of global climate change based on climate models. 
  • Students will be engaged with readings, animated graphs, read-aloud features, videos, and questions to check for understanding.
Teaching Tips

Positives

  • It is engaging, interactive, and applicable to a diversity of learning styles due to the variety of media presented. 
  • It has a vast historical scope and will encourage students to think broadly about our impact on the global climate. 

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should be at a high school reading level and have a baseline ability to interpret and analyze data. 
  • Students should have basic knowledge of Earth's motions, biological evolution, and the greenhouse effect. 

Differentiation

  • There are three videos over ten minutes in length, so you could have students get in groups to watch one and then have someone from each group present the information to the class. 
  • Interdisciplinary connections can be made between the changing chemistry of the atmosphere and the biological impacts that resulted. 
  • The figures and charts are all downloadable and there is a PDF version of the entire webpage. 
  • The read-along feature provides highlighted text as the audio file plays, which may be helpful for some learners. 
  • Other related resources include MIT Climate Primer: Climate Science and Global Climate Change Model: Making Predictions About Future Climate.
Scientist Notes
This resource is an interactive webpage that includes text, audio, video, and interactive components that gives an excellent overview of our current understanding of our changing climate. There are several ~10-minute videos that explore particular aspects of our climate. This is a very well-produced and well-executed webpage that effectively conveys both the basics and the nuance of climate science without overwhelming nor insulting the intelligence of students. This resource is recommended for teaching.
Standards
  • Science
    • ESS1: Earth's Place in the Universe
      • HS-ESS1-4. Use mathematical or computational representations to predict the motion of orbiting objects in the solar system.
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • HS-ESS3-5. Analyze geoscience data and the results from global climate models to make an evidence-based forecast of the current rate of global or regional climate change and associated future impacts to Earth systems.
  • Social Studies
    • History
      • SS.Hist1.b.h Evaluate multiple events from different perspectives using primary and secondary sources and analyze intended and unintended effects from both long- and short-term perspectives. Evaluate how different groups and individuals contributed to the effect.
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