Climate Change: The Debate — A Structured Controversy

There is more carbon dioxide in our atmosphere now than there has been at any point in the last 800,000 years! The last instructional activity in the series of five allows pairs to show what they have learned by defending the stance on climate change that human activity, especially the burning of fossil fuels, is causing (or not causing) the earth's climate to change. Pairs gather information, write their briefs, and present their sides during a debate. 

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CCSS: Adaptable
NGSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • After the presentation of their briefs, instruct classes to ask questions of both sides to assess everyone's knowledge
Classroom Considerations

  • Depending upon the size of classes, length of class periods and length of debates, this lesson could take three to six class periods
  • There are 11 articles to copy, or have computers with Internet access available (with the 11 articles bookmarked) for every pair 
Pros

  • Great activity for scholars to see both sides of the story and defend both sides
  • Gives a short rubric for the debate portion and/or written brief
Cons

  • None
Common Core

NGSS