Global Warming Debate - Human vs. Natural (Climate Change Higher Level Thinking)

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Very few, if any, Earth Science related topics will be more relevant for your students to understand than that of global warming and climate change. Your students will have heard about it in the news, in the media, and at home. Lucky for us teachers, this is one of those topics that lends itself really well to a debate format! In this activity your students will be divided up into three groups: (1) team natural, arguing that current global warming trends are a natural process, (2) team human, arguing that current global warming trends are being accelerated by human activity, and (3) the jury, which will judge the debate between the other two groups and declare a winner. This activity gets your students right in the action and leaves them with a strong understanding of global warming and the arguments supporting both sides of the global warming debate, including everything from human CO2 emissions to Milankovitch cycles. Plus this activity is a great introduction to debating in general, and many of your students will find that they have quite the knack for it. Your adminstrators and language arts teachers will applaud your cross-curricular endeavors : ) The activity itself spans several school days devoted to preparing, researching, and then participating in the actual debate. The documents in this download guide you in how to effectively run the debate from a teacher / judge’s standpoint and how to make sure that your students are getting as much out of the experience as possible. The general flow of the debate is as follows:

- Day 1 – Students take a global warming pre-survey, there is a brief PowerPoint introduction to global warming, the debate is introduced and teams are picked.

- Day 2 – Debaters plan with their teams and get organized, becoming familiar with the major arguments that both they and their opponents will be making. Jury members read through and score a sample global warming debate in order to better prepare for the real thing.

- Day 3 – Debaters continue to plan and research their topics so that they can be prepared to happily destroy their opponents come debate day. Jury members finish up scoring the sample debate and start doing some background research of their own so that they can be better informed for the debate.

- Day 4 – Debaters and jury members wrap up their assignments, research, and preparations, because the debate begins tomorrow!

- Day 5 – The action-packed first day of the debate. Debaters will get through opening statements and two rounds of arguments and rebuttals.

- Day 6 – The exciting second day of the debate. Debaters will go through another round of arguments and rebuttals, an audience question portion, and closing statements. The jury will deliberate and a winner will be named!

- Day 7 – The post-debate wrap up where you discuss as a class what you’ve learned, clear up any misconceptions, and share your own opinion as the teacher about global warming.

Every year my students name this as one of their favorite activities, and so will yours. Download the free preview version now for a peek at some of the documents involved. Included in the full version of this download are the following documents (in both PDF and Word Formats where applicable):

1. Global Warming Debate Teacher’s Guide
2. Global Warming Pre-Debate Survey
3. Global Warming Debate Intro PowerPoint
4. Debate Introduction and Rubric
5. Debating 101 Guide Sheet and Sample Score Sheet
6. Sample Global Warming Debate Packet
7. Debater Team Planner
8. Debater Research Organizer
9. Debater Guides to Victory (for both team human and team natural)
10. Jury Sample Debate Score Sheet and Questions
11. Jury Background Research Assignment
12. Official Debate Score Sheet
13. Teacher Debate Notes Organizer
14. Absentee Makeup Assignments for Debaters and Jurors
15. Global Warming Post-Debate Survey
16. At-A-Glance Global Warming Debate Activity Flow Chart
17. Description of Documents Page

I hope that both you and your students enjoy your download. I am positive that it will be helpful in your classroom. Please be sure to leave feedback so that others can know what a great product this is, and be sure to become a fan and follow me so that you can get information on future releases.

Keywords and Tags:

Global Warming
Climate Change
Natural Global Warming
Anthropogenic Global Warming
Human Caused Global Warming
Greenhouse Gases
Carbon Dioxide (CO2)

Author: Lucas Talley (Mr. Talley)
Total Pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
1 Week

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Global Warming Debate - Human vs. Natural (Climate Change
Global Warming Debate - Human vs. Natural (Climate Change
Global Warming Debate - Human vs. Natural (Climate Change
Global Warming Debate - Human vs. Natural (Climate Change
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