Polar Climate Change Lesson Plans

Part of Curriculum Collections.

A tall, melting glacier reflected in the water.

These curricular unit plans help students explore and understand climate change with particular attention to the impact of climate change on the polar regions. Topics include the role of the polar regions in the global climate system, the impact of changing temperatures on ecosystems, and the effect of increased CO2 on food webs. Grade levels range from middle school to undergraduates. These lessons were developed by educators who completed the Museum's online teacher professional development course Climate Change. Seminars on Science offers Climate Change and other courses year round for educators who are interested in professional development or graduate credit. The development and review of these lesson plans was made possible through the PoLAR Partnership.


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The PoLAR Partnership is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. DUE-1239783. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

  Teleconnections This unit is designed for high school juniors and seniors. Students will analyze data to study how events/conditions in one location...   Why are the Glaciers Melting? This unit is designed for sixth grade students. The unit covers the carbon cycle, greenhouse effect, the impact of glacial melting,...   Climate, the Cryosphere, and the Carbon Cycle This unit is designed for high school students. The lessons use a guided notes approach and conclude with a lesson evaluation. After...   As the Arctic Goes, So Does the Rest of the Planet This unit plan is a two-day workshop designed to help teachers instruct middle school aged learners about climate change. Teachers...   Is it Getting Greener? This unit is designed for high school students. Students analyze the ability of arctic plants to absorb different wavelengths of...   Climate Change and Ecosystems This unit was designed for high school students. It includes activities that challenges students to create a project to inform the...   How do Humans Impact Climate Change? This unit is designed for a middle school science class. Students create their own ecosystem using a piece of sod and other materials...   Dissolved CO2, Acidification, and the Effects on Marine Biomes This unit is designed for seventh grade students. This unit focuses on that impact of CO2 in the Ocean where acidification could...   Impact of Increasing CO2 on the Food Web in the Arctic Ocean? This unit is designed for eighth to tenth grade students. The lessons are focused around the loss of Arctic sea ice and its affect...   Earth's Climate System This unit is a design for an online course at the college level. The lesson begins with a discussion on comparing weather and climate...   The Carbon Cycle and its Effects on the Polar Regions This unit is designed for eighth grade students. The lessons include laboratory experiments and role playing. Students act out issues...