This curriculum was created in response to the imminent threat of climate change. A study published in 2004 by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences predicts that California alone will lose 70-90% of their snowpack by 2090 as a result of global warming (Hayhoe et al., 2004). Educational research has shown that global warming is a complex topic, misunderstood by teachers and students alike (Rye, Rubba, and Wiesenmayer, 1997; Papadimitriou, 2004). In order to bring the concepts and solutions into classrooms, this curriculum will be available for download off of the Internet.
The lessons within this curriculum were crafted for fourth and fifth grade students due to the connections found between global warming and the state standards for these grades. The unit should be delivered during the life science or earth science focus of the school year. One lesson, the Student Home Energy Audit, offers students the ability to practice graphing and should coincide with a math unit on graphing and charting. The entire unit will take approximately five to seven weeks to deliver depending on extension choices. Most lessons will be delivered as language arts lessons with a science focus; there are two science experiments and one math lesson.