Teaching the Explore

Can you remember?

In the previous Explore, pupils learned some new concepts. Ask them to describe to a partner what the following words mean:

  • Weather
  • Climate
  • Climate change

Answers can be found on the teaching slide.

What causes climate change?

We will now consider the question: What impact is climate change having on the way humans live?
Display the Wallbook Chronicle newspaper article on climate change on the workseet.
Read together and ask pupils to find and retrieve information about climate change from the text.

  • What do scientists believe is the main force behind global temperature rises?
  • Name three effects of global warming.
  • Give an example of a human behaviour that is believed to have contributed to global warming.
  • How does the IPCC suggest that the global warming trend can be reduced?

This article was written in 2014. Have we made any progress since then in reducing climate change?
Show the photo of Greta Thunberg from the slide. Do pupils know who she is? What is she trying to achieve?
The teaching slide gives more information about Greta Thunberg. Explain that she is a Swedish environmental activist who has gained international recognition for promoting the view that humanity is facing an existential crisis arising from climate change. The slide provides links to further information on Great Thunberg from the BBC and Britannica.

What is global warming?

We have already looked at the term ‘global temperature rises’. We are now going to learn more about global temperature change.
Explain that global warming is something that is affecting the climate of our earth – the average temperature across our world is gradually rising.
Display the graph on the slide, which is reproduced from the Met Office:

Ask pupils to describe the trend over the last 100 years.
They can find more information through the slide’s link to Climate Kids:

Elicit that some parts of the Earth are warming faster than others. But on average, global air temperatures near Earth's surface have been gradually increasing over the past 100 years. In fact, the past five years have been the warmest five years in centuries.

Many people, including scientists, are concerned about this warming. As Earth’s climate continues to warm, the intensity and amount of rainfall during storms such as hurricanes is expected to increase.

Droughts and heat waves are also expected to become more intense as the climate warms.

Pupils can find more information through the slide’s link to NASA’s Earth Observatory:

Human causes of climate change

Ask pupils to brainstorm. Can pupils list some human activities that are contributing to climate change? Consider which human behaviours are harming the environment and contributing to global warming (e.g. cars, factories, aerosols).

Think back to ‘Island in peril’ from the previous Explore. Can they recall some of the factors (e.g. animal invaders, tourist trouble)?

Main task

Activity 1: What human activities are contributing to climate change?

Split the class into two groups to research and become an expert in one of the following areas.

  1. Greenhouse effect
  2. Deforestation
  3. Over population
  4. Pollution
  5. Food production
  6. Travel and tourism

Pupils then share their findings with the rest of the group in a short video presentation. (They could use PowerPoint slides and narrate them or include an interview with an environmental expert.)

After the presentations, the class should be prepared to answer questions, such as:

  • Who is responsible for climate change?
  • Who are the biggest contributors?
  • What is a carbon footprint?
  • What processes are involved in producing a loaf of bread?

The following slides then give information on the kind of information that pupils may present if they choose the greenhouse effect for their video.

Activity 2: Is climate change fair?

Pupils to recognise that everybody in the world has a carbon footprint but some people are responsible for more carbon dioxide emissions than others. They should also recognise that everyone is affected by climate change, but that people living in poverty are the most vulnerable.
Share the ‘Climate Stories’ from Oxfam through the link in the sides:

Class Discussion: How are these different communities affected by climate change?

Assess, reflect, connect

Pose the question: Are animals affected by climate change too?
Explore the concept of Robin Wood’s artwork. His paintings can be viewed here:

‘Destroying nature is destroying lives.’ What does the artist mean when he says this?
What impact does the artwork have? How does it make us feel about the future?
Watch the video:

Summarise how polar bear hunting has been impacted by rising sea levels.
Why is it harder for the animals now? Why have things changed?
(Other video extracts can be seen on Seven worlds, One Planet by David Attenborough.)