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Making Connections

("What You Can Do To Help
Stop Global Climate Change")

William Pence

Type of Activity:

  • Hands on
  • Inquiry lab
  • Authentic assessment
  • Cooperative learning
  • Review/Reinforcement

Target Audience:

  • 9th - 12th Graders
  • Environmental Studies (Biology/Life Sciences)

Abstract/Introductory Information:

  • This cooperative learning activity engenders critical thinking skills.
  • Under a timed setting, students are expected to synthesize or express concepts towards solving the question posed at each lab station.
  • After all lab teams have passed through the lab stations, the teacher facilitates a class discussion on teams' responses to each station.

Background Information

Class time needed: 45 minutes

Preliminary Discussion/Anticipatory Set:

  • The teacher may wish to challenge his/her class to develop the greatest number of practical responses to each of the lab stations.
  • Because of the length of this activity, you may want to keep introductory remarks to a minimum.


Students will be able to:

  • Understand that conservation of electricity, water, oil, and other resources reduces greenhouse gases.
  • Understand the role of trees planted in thier yard as a step towards reducing greenhouse gases.
  • Identify foods that are energy costly and thus produce more greenhouse gases.
  • Realize the importance of each individual taking the responsibility to recycle and that the concerted efforts of of individuals do make a difference.
  • Understand the importance of becoming a responsible consumer with regards to curbing the threat to global climate change.


  1. Run off copies of each of the lab stations
  2. Paste each copy to either manilla folder or poster board and fold in half, making a station card which stands vertically.
  3. Obtain the appropriate materials for each station:

    Station 1 - a potted plant or tree
    Station 2 - an "On/Off" shower head connector
    Station 3 - a compact fluorescent light bulb
    Station 4 - a bucket filled with recyclables
    Station 5 - reuseable lunch and shopping bags
    Station 6 - a plastic and paper bag from the grocery store
    Station 7 - spark plug
    Station 8 - magazine photo of cow, beef
    Station 9 - two bowls of fruit
    Station 10 - light switch

    *See number 1. of "Suggestions for extension and integration:"


  1. Divide the class by the number of stations to create your cooperative learning teams.

  2. Each team will decide who will record the team's responses to each station.

  3. Explain t the class that they will have 2 minutes per station. At the end of the 2 minute period, the teacher will say "STOP" (or blow a whistle) and say, "PROCEED TO THE NEXT STATION". (Students will be given 5 seconds to get to the next station.)

  4. Explain to the class that after all teams have gone through the stations, the class will sit with their team members and the teacher will facilitate a class discussion, soliciting teams' responses for sound, practical responses (or you may wish to give treats).

  5. Below is the information you should type that will be presented to each lab team for each lab station:

    Station 1: "By taking responsibility by planting trees in your yard and your community, how will you curb the threat to global climate change? List at least two ways.

    Station 2: "By installing this device, how might you help curb the threat to global climate change? List at least three ways.

    Station 3: "This compact fluorescent light runs on a fraction of the electricity that it takes to run the typical incandescent light bulb. With your use of these compact fluorescent lights in your home, how might you be taking a step towards curbing the threat to global climate change? List at least two ways.

    Station 4: "How does your efforts of recycling in your daily lie help curb the threat to global climate change? List at least two ways.

    Station 5: "How does the continual use of reusable lunch/shopping bags help curb the threat to global climate change? List at least two ways.

    Station 6: "Paper or plastic or...? Keeping in mind what you have learned about global climate change, what is ultimately the best response to give the store clerk?

    Station 7: "How might your keeping the car tuned regularly be a responsible step towards curbing the threat to global climate change? List at least two ways.

    Station 8: "How might your reductin in sonsumption of beef be a responsible step in helping to curb the threat to global climate change? List at least four ways.

    Station 9: "Love fruit? So do I... The fruit in the left bowl were grown in our state. However, the ones in the right bowl were grown in a foreign country and can be purchased in our stores seasonally. Which fruit should you buy to help curb the threat to global climate chante? List at least two reasons.

    Station 10: "How might remembering to always turn the lights off when leaving a room be a step towards curbing global climate change? List at least two ways.

Teacher Answer Key

Possible Team Responses To Each Station

STATION 1: (Planting Trees)

  • sink for Carbon dioxide
  • Shading the house -- uses less electricity (and therefore emissions) by not using the air conditioner

STATION 2: (Installing "On/Off" shower head connector)

  • uses less gas/electricity to heat water (thus reduces greenhouse emissions)
  • uses less water (takes electricity or other fossil fuels to pump water to communities)
  • by using less water, have more water for your trees!

STATION 3: (Compact fluorescent lights)

  • uses less electricity (reduces greenhouse emissions)
  • equaled to 10 light bulbs thus uses less resources (this reduces emissions)
  • will not have to go to the store as often to buy lights (reduces emissions)

STATION 4: (Recycling)

  • uses less resources (reduces emissions)
  • uses less energy for manufacturing (reduces emissions)

STATION 5: (Reusable lunch/shopping bags)

  • saves trees (more sinks for emissions)
  • saves resources (reduces emissions)
  • reduces transportation of garbage to landfills (reduces emissions)

STATION 6: (Paper or Plastic or...?)

  • (see Station 5 above)

STATION 7: (Keeping Car tuned regularly)

  • use less gas (reduces emissions)
  • life of car is extended (saves resources and energy -- reduces emissions)

STATION 8: (Reduction in beef consumption)

  • less cows are processed beef to be transported (reduces emissions)
  • less cows -- less methane production (a greenhouse gas)
  • less packaging, less energy (reduces emissions)
  • less electricity due to reduced refrigeration costs (reduces emissions)

STATION 9: (Fruit -- Buy in our state or foreign country?)

  • reduces transportation, thus energy (reduces emissions)
  • less wear of materials from vehicles involved in transporting (conserves resources/energy -- thus reduces emissions)

STATION 10: (Remembering to turn off lights in rooms)

  • saves electricity (reduces emissions)
  • saves light bulbs -- takes energy to manufacture them (reduces emissions)
  • saves trips to the store to buy bulbs (reduces emissions)
  • saves packaging of the bulbs (reduces energy, thus emissions)
  • CO2 emissions from the father yelling always to "TURN OFF THE LIGHTS!"

Suggestions for Extensions and Integration:

  1. You may wish to add or substitute stations that reflect the demographics and particular environmental concerns of your community.
  2. As a follow up activity you may wish to have each team come up with one or more of their own stations.
  3. As a homework assignment, students may write an oath that they will take regarding their efforts around their home to curb the threat to global climate change.
  4. As a homework assignment, students could research and disclose which cultures would not be effected by specific lab stations encountered in today's lab.

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