Global Climate Change from Top to Bottom: How our Changing Climate is Affecting the Arctic, the Rainforest, and You!

Julie Ruziska Tiddy, Science, Carmel Middle School

Full Unit (PDF)

Implementing Common Core and District Standards (PDF)

Keywords: Permafrost Thawing, Carbon Emissions, Rainforest Deforestation – Brazil, Carbon Sink, Plastic Drinking Bottles

200-word synopsis:

My unit for sixth grade science entitled “Global Climate Change from Top to Bottom:  How our changing climate is affecting the Arctic, the Rainforest, and You!” strives to educate students on causes of climate change through a focus on specific biomes and ecosystems.  The unit will address the thawing of permafrost in the Arctic and how unstable land is created which is ill suited for village life.  We will explore how thawing releases stored carbon and adds to the overabundance of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.  Students will investigate deforestation in the rainforest of Brazil with their learning team and identify how this could alter the rainforest from a carbon “sink” to a carbon source.  Students will investigate the energy needed to produce and transport plastic bottles and use saved lids to create an art project.  Students will complete a culmination research project and visual model on an environmental issue of their choosing.  Students will identify causes, location, level of severity, and possible solutions for the problem.  By designing and creating an art project and brainstorming solutions for existing environmental issues, I plan to establish a sense of possibility and hopefulness about a topic that can be overwhelming.