Exploring Climate Change Through Inquiry-Based Learning

Exploring climate change through inquiry-based learning

Exploring Climate Change Through Inquiry-Based Learning

Hey, y'all! With all the talk about climate change in the news, my kids have so many questions about what it is and what it means. So, guess what we'll be learning about this year. You guessed it: Climate Change. And we'll be exploring it using inquiry-based learning strategies in our phenomenon-based learning unit

Brainstorming information about climate change with inquiry-based learning

When we start a new phenomenon-based learning unit, we do a QFT or something similar to get the kids thinking and asking questions about our unit. When we have our guiding questions, it's time to dive into the content. 

So far, our big questions are, "What is climate change?" "Why is it changing?" "Is that a bad thing?" Pretty good questions for elementary kids. 

Developing guiding questions for climate change phenomenon-based learning unit

For this unit, I'm setting up a digital learning plan so that the kids can explore at their own pace. We'll be exploring what climate change is, how it happens, what are some possible consequences, laws and organizations related to protecting the climate, and ways we can make some positive change. 

Climate change research through inquiry-based learning and phenomenon-based learning

What climate change and pollution means for the environment

We can even keep track of changes over time. For tracking temperature changes, you can look at highs and lows of a particular area over the last few years (or hundreds of years if you can find the data!). 

Climate change data and graphs for inquiry-based learning and phenomenon-based learning

As we near the end of the unit, students will be doing some comparisons about how the climate has changed over time. One of the most drastic changes to explore could be northern Africa (it wasn't always a sandy desert, you know) or either of the Earth's poles. 

Comparing climates caused by climate change and its effects

The beauty of phenomenon-based and inquiry-based learning units is that it is so easy to tailor it to your students' questions and interests. You may have some advocates in your classroom that are called to create social media campaigns to raise awareness. You may even have the next Greta Thunberg in your classroom! 

Reflecting on climate change in inquiry-based and phenomenon-based learning

There are reflection pages at the end of each PhenomBL unit. You may choose to use it to assess your less vocal students on what they learned or for evidence of learning for report cards (or admin). However, you may find that your students naturally gravitate to some more authentic ways to show their learning, like creating infographics or brochures or starting a conservation campaign in your school or social media campaigns or letter writing campaigns to policy makers. There are so many ways to assess learning besides paper and pencil. Go with what works for your students. 

You can find this unit in my TPT store here. While you're there, be sure to follow me so you don't miss anything new. And there are a LOT of new things coming soon! 

I hope this gave you some new ideas for your classroom. Have a wonderful week and I'll talk to you soon. 

Stay cozy,

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