Looking Backwards, Looking Forward

This Looking Backwards, Looking Forward handout & reference also includes:

How do scientists know what Earth's climate was like millions of years ago? Young environmental scholars discover how researchers used proxy data to determine the conditions present before written record. Grouped pupils gain experience in creating a scientific argument and analyze a mock pollen sample to examine how proxy data is generated.

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CCSS: Designed
NGSS: Designed
Instructional Ideas

  • Give the class an in-depth look at carbon dating using a video or computer simulation
  • Use the provided extension to incorporate how human activity is hastening the rate of climate change 
Classroom Considerations

  • Create well-balanced groups to keep the activity moving toward the learning goals

  • The activity gives middle schoolers a jump start in collaborating to develop a scientific argument using multiple sources of data
  • All printable materials and answer keys are located in the teacher's guide, making for easy prep time

  • None