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The Science of Climate Change: Climate Drivers {Printable and Digital Option}

Grade Levels
9th - 12th, Homeschool
Resource Type
Formats Included
  • PDF
  • Google Apps™
17 pages
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Includes Google Apps™
The Teacher-Author indicated this resource includes assets from Google Workspace (e.g. docs, slides, etc.).

Also included in

  1. Are you teaching climate change this year and are looking for a full climate change unit that is scientifically based? Are you looking for lesson plans for climate change that are hands-on, real-world, and inquiry-based? Are you hoping to teach an entire unit on the science of climate change that is
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Product Description:

This is a high school level inquiry-based learning experience on climate drivers. Included is a printable AND digital learning option intended to be used with Google Apps.

Students make predictions about timescales and radiative forcings as they relate to a variety of climate drivers; natural and anthropogenic. They will then research/investigate the climate drivers using the templates provided as their guide. Students will locate and utilize a variety of sources such as scientific publications and interviews with climatologists. Finally, they will draw conclusions from the information they gather and apply that new knowledge to present-day climate change.

This product is intended to be budget-friendly, low-prep, and student-led.

This resource includes:

  1. Activity introduction/background information
  2. Student guide
  3. Formative assessment
  4. Reflection/discussion

Materials Needed:

  1. Computer and internet access
  2. Student guide for printable option
  3. Google Apps for digital option
  4. Red, purple, and blue colored pencils or markers

Next Generation Science Standards: HS-ESS1-1, HS-ESS1-5, HS-ESS2-4

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Total Pages
17 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Develop a model based on evidence to illustrate the life span of the sun and the role of nuclear fusion in the sun’s core to release energy that eventually reaches Earth in the form of radiation. Emphasis is on the energy transfer mechanisms that allow energy from nuclear fusion in the sun’s core to reach Earth. Examples of evidence for the model include observations of the masses and lifetimes of other stars, as well as the ways that the sun’s radiation varies due to sudden solar flares (“space weather”), the 11-year sunspot cycle, and non-cyclic variations over centuries. Assessment does not include details of the atomic and sub-atomic processes involved with the sun’s nuclear fusion.
Evaluate evidence of the past and current movements of continental and oceanic crust and the theory of plate tectonics to explain the ages of crustal rocks. Emphasis is on the ability of plate tectonics to explain the ages of crustal rocks. Examples include evidence of the ages oceanic crust increasing with distance from mid-ocean ridges (a result of plate spreading) and the ages of North American continental crust decreasing with distance away from a central ancient core of the continental plate (a result of past plate interactions).
Use a model to describe how variations in the flow of energy into and out of Earth's systems result in changes in climate. Examples of the causes of climate change differ by timescale, over 1-10 years: large volcanic eruption, ocean circulation; 10-100s of years: changes in human activity, ocean circulation, solar output; 10-100s of thousands of years: changes to Earth's orbit and the orientation of its axis; and 10-100s of millions of years: long-term changes in atmospheric composition. Assessment of the results of changes in climate is limited to changes in surface temperatures, precipitation patterns, glacial ice volumes, sea levels, and biosphere distribution.


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