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Database Provider

Author

ClimateScience

Grades

9th, 10th, 11th, 12th

Subjects

Social Studies, Civics, English Language Arts

Resource Types

  • Lesson Plans, 45 minutes
  • Worksheets

Regional Focus

Global

Format

PDF

Writing Persuasively About Climate Change

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Synopsis
  • In this activity, students participate in civic engagement by writing a letter to their country's government encouraging them to take action against climate change.
  • Students will learn about crafting solid arguments and writing persuasively.

Teaching Tips

Positives

  • The teacher guide and student handout are provided, making it easy to implement.
  • This lesson is a great way to get students involved in climate action.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Teachers should make sure to review the teacher guide prior to using this lesson with students.
  • The guides can be downloaded and used offline.

Differentiation

  • This lesson is ideal for ELA classes to practice letter writing, persuasive writing, and/or formal writing.
  • Teachers can collect the letters and send them to the appropriate bodies of government.
  • For younger students, consider using this similar resource from ClimateScience.
  • Students can swap their letters for peer-to-peer marking against the checklist before editing and polishing their final drafts.
  • Students can present their letters as speeches to the class.
  • Students can investigate Project Drawdown's Table of Solutions for potential ideas to include in their letters.
Scientist Notes
This activity has students draft and share letters to government officials persuading them to take action with regard to some climate or environmental topic of the student's choosing. It introduces Aristotle's pillars of persuasion (ethos, logos, pathos) and recommends that students share and perform a simple "peer review" of their letters. This activity is recommended for teaching.
Standards
  • English Language Arts
    • Writing (K-12)
      • W.9-10.2 Write text in a variety of modes: a) Write arguments and literary analysis to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning, literary theory, and relevant and sufficient evidence which introduce precise claim(s), distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims, and create an organization that establishes clear relationships among claim(s), counterclaims, reasons, and evidence. Develop claim(s) and counterclaims fairly, supplying evidence for each while pointing out the strengths and limitations of both in a manner that anticipates the audience's knowledge level and concerns; b) Write informative texts that examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content by introducing a topic; organizing complex ideas, concepts, and information to make important connections and distinctions; including formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., figures, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension; developing the topic with well chosen, relevant, and sufficient facts, extended definitions, concrete details, quotations, and other information and examples appropriate to the audience's knowledge of the topic; c) Write narratives that develop real or imagined experiences or events using relevant descriptive details, and well structured event sequences that organize an event sequence logically. Engages and orients the reader by establishing a context and point of view and introducing a narrator or characters; using techniques, such as dialogue, pacing, description, and reflection, to develop experiences, events, and/or characters.
      • W.9-10.3 Create writing that utilizes: a) Organization: introduce a topic; organize complex ideas, concepts, analysis, information, and claims to make important connections and distinctions. Establish and maintain a structure and conventions consistent with the mode of writing. Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the topic, themes, and experiences presented in the text; b) Transitions: use appropriate and varied transitions to link the major sections of the text, create cohesion, and clarify the relationships among complex ideas and concepts; c) Word Choice (including domain-specific): use culturally-sustaining language and domain-specific vocabulary to manage the complexity of the topic. Use telling details, and sensory language to convey a vivid picture of thoughts, ideas, and experiences.
      • W.11-12.2 Write text in a variety of modes: a) Write arguments and literary analysis to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts. Establish the significance of the claim(s) using valid reasoning. literary theory and relevant and sufficient evidence which introduce precise claim(s), distinguish the claim(s) from alternate or opposing claims, and create an organization that establishes clear relationships among claim(s), counterclaims, reasons, and evidence. Develop claim(s) and counterclaims fairly, supplying evidence for each while pointing out the strengths and limitations of both in a manner that anticipates the audience's knowledge level and concerns; b) Write informative texts that examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content by introducing a topic; organizing complex ideas, concepts, and information to make important connections and distinctions; including formatting (e.g., headings), graphics (e.g., figures, tables), and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension; thoroughly developing the topic by selecting the most significant and relevant well-chosen facts, extended definitions, concrete details, quotations, and other information and examples appropriate to the audience's knowledge of the topic; c) Write narratives that develop real or imagined experiences or events using relevant descriptive details, and well-structured event sequences that organize an event sequence logically. Engages and orients the reader by establishing a context and point of view and introducing a narrator or characters; using techniques, such as dialogue, pacing, description, and reflection, to develop experiences, events, and/or characters.
      • W.11-12.3 Create writing that utilizes: a) Organization: introduce a topic; organize complex ideas, concepts, analysis, information, and claims so that each new element builds on that which precedes it to create a unified whole. Establish and maintain a structure and conventions consistent with the mode of writing. Provide a concluding statement or section that follows from and supports the topic, themes, and experiences presented in the text; b) Transitions: use appropriate and varied transitions and syntax to link the major sections of the text, create cohesion, and clarify the relationships among complex ideas and concepts; c) Word Choice (including domain-specific): use culturally-sustaining language and domain-specific vocabulary to manage the complexity of the topic. Use techniques such as metaphor, simile, and analogy to manage the complexity of the topic.
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