Climate Change: Understanding & Engagement

Grade Level

  • 6-8


  • Curricula & Storylines
cover of Climate Change curriculum

Driving questions: What are the human impacts on the environment/Earth systems? How can I minimize my impacts?

Middle school students build, explore, and adapt models, practicing the process of science and using data to reach a scientific conclusion in this integrated, hands-on, evidence-based curriculum. The curriculum is divided into four coherent sections: engaging students in climate change, carbon emissions and human activity, making meaning through models, and working towards a solution.

This curriculum may be used to plan an introductory unit ranging from four weeks to an in-depth semester study depending upon school curriculum, time constraints, and optional student projects, products and presentations. It will provide students with learning experiences that enable them to:

  • Apply scientific principles to climate change.
  • Support arguments and explanations with multiple sources of relevant and valid evidence.
  • Use and construct different models and apply them in appropriate situations to describe or illustrate climate change phenomena and interactions within a system.
  • Identify and clarify questions about climate change.
  • Design and evaluate solutions that reduce the impact of climate change.
  • Specify relationships between variables and decipher cause and effect relationships in a system.
  • Describe stability, change, and feedback mechanisms.
NGSS Standards Addressed

MS-ESS3-3 Earth and Human Activity: Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.

MS-ESS3-4 Earth and Human Activity: Construct an argument supported by evidence for how increases in human population and per-capita consumption of natural resources impact Earth's systems. 

MS-ESS3-5 Earth and Human Activity: Ask questions to clarify evidence of the factors that have caused the rise in global temperatures over the past century.