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Day 1: Introduction to global warming, energy conservation and how rising temperatures affect us locally


Language Arts, Science, Social Studies  


9, 10, 11, 12  

Title – Do Something about… the Environment 10-Day Unit
Day 1: Introduction
By – Jordyn Wells / Do Something, Inc.
Primary Subject – Science
Secondary Subjects – Social Studies, Language Arts
Grade Level – 9-12

Unit Information:

      The following lesson is the first lesson of a 10-day


      Environment Curricula from Do Something, Inc.


      Other lessons in this unit are as follows:

Day 1: Introduction (See the lesson below)

      Introduction to global warming, energy conservation and how rising temperatures affect us locally

Day 2: Its Getting Hot In Here! – The Science of Global Warming

      Students learn about greenhouse gases and the power of language

Day 3: The Consequences of Global Warming

      Students learn about the potential consequences of global warming

Day 4: If the shoe fits… Learning about Ecological Footprints

      Students examine their own energy consumption and conservation

Day 5: How Green Is Your School

      Students learn how schools can participate in energy conservation

Day 6: Energy Hog – Who’s using up all the energy?

      Students compare U.S. energy use to that of other countries

Day 7: Renewable Energy Sources

      Students explore different types of renewable energy sources

Day 8: Renewable Energy – How Do You See It?

      Students discuss the pros/cons of renewable energy

Day 9: The Politics of Energy Conservation

      Students debate the pros/cons of government involvement in energy conservation

Day 10: Presentation Day

    Students present their energy conservation projects

Day 1: Introduction


  • To introduce students to the concept of global warming and energy conservation
  • To begin to discover how rises in temperature might affect their area/state


  • Geography Standard 18: Understands global development and environmental issues
  • Language Arts Standard 7: Uses reading skills and strategies to understand and interpret a variety of informational texts


  • K-W-L


  • Global Warming : a term used to describe the increase and projected increase in the average temperature of the Earth’s climate


  1. Heat it up:

    Begin a discussion with your student about global warming by asking students to describe general trends in the weather over their lifetime. Do they notice changes in temperature since they were small children? Do their parents comment on how the weather has changed? What weather extremes can they remember in their lifetime?

  2. Have students fill out a K-W-L chart about global warming/energy conservation.
  3. Provide Background:

    Introduce students to the unit on global warming by showing students pictures from the following website: ( .

    What do students notice about the difference in the glaciers over time? Why do they think this is? Introduce students to general facts about global warming.

    Although there is great debate about what causes global warming, climate experts agree that the global air temperature has risen 0.3 to 0.6 Celsius over the last 100 years. Factors such as rising sea levels and coral bleaching are indicative of increases in air temperatures. Most specialists predict that if we do not take drastic steps to curb greenhouse gas emissions, global temperature will increase 1 to 3.5 Celsius in the next century. Although the number may sound small, even a 1 Celsius increase can cause significant worldwide change. For example, during a period called the Little Ice Age (1500-1800) where the temperature was only about .5 Celsius cooler than it was in 1900, there were extensive glacial advances in almost all alpine regions. Most scientists argue that global warming in the next century will cause more frequent and intense heat waves, significant ecological disruptions, difficulties with agricultural production in the tropics and subtropics, and rising sea level. All of these will impact life on earth. Look back at the pictures of the glaciers again.

  4. Have students go to the climate choice website ( )
    and look at the projections of temperature for this century of their region. Students can also read about the potential impact in their state

    Discuss the following questions:

    1. What area would your state be most like in both the higher and lower emissions scenario?
    2. What industries in your area would be affected by this change?
    3. How might day to day life be different for you?
  5. Take Action:

    Tell students that for the next ten lessons that class will be studying about energy conservation and the impact of global warming on the world. Throughout this unit, they will be developing ways in which individuals and organizations can help conserve energy and protect the environment. During the unit, they will create a project that addresses how to decrease energy use and educate people about the importance of energy conservation. Each lesson will provide students with information and/or techniques to help educate the public about the importance of energy conservation. Have students brainstorm ways they could make a difference in conserving energy. They can add to and refine this list as they learn more throughout the unit.

    Some ideas might include:

    1. Carpooling group
    2. Recycling efforts
    3. Campaigning for the use of renewable energy sources
    4. Creating a documentary/website about energy conservation

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