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Human Energy Systems | Activity 4.1

Activity 4.1: Activity 4.1: Questions for this Lesson (30 min)

Now that students have evidence that increasing CO2 levels are driving global change, they share their ideas about why CO2 levels are increasing in the atmosphere by interpreting data in the Keeling Curve.

Materials You Provide

Resources Provided

Recurring Resources

Setup

Print one copy of Big Idea Probe: What Would Happen if We Cut Fossil Fuel Use in Half per student if you are using it and one copy of the Assessing the Learning Tracking Tool per student. Prepare computer with an Internet connection to view the videos online.

Directions

1. Use the instructional model to show students where they are in the course of the unit.

Show Slide 2 of the 4.1 Questions for this Lesson PPT.

Assessment

This introductory activity has several opportunities for formative assessment:

  • Use the ideas students share about patterns in the Keeling curve (Slide 9) as a “baseline” for where their understanding is at this point. Even with the jigsaw activity in Lesson 2, students may still be “warming up” to the data presented in this graph. Use this activity to determine where their ideas are at this point in the unit. They may still be uncertain about what the two different lines in the graph mean and represent, and what causes the patterns.
  • Students’ ideas about the questions on Slide 11 will give you an initial view of how students are thinking about the causes for the patterns in the Keeling curve. This will be the main focus for Activities 4.3 and 4.5.
  • Students’ answers to the Big Ideas Probe will provide an initial view of students’ approaches to predicting how changes in fossil fuel emissions will affect CO2 concentrations in the future. This will be the main focus for Activities 4.4 and 4.5.

Extending the Learning

The New York Times has an interesting article on Charles David Keeling and his research: https://nyti.ms/2jCmhVE. The Keeling Curve is often mentioned in the news and other media. Have students bring in articles that mention how many parts per million of carbon dioxide are currently in the atmosphere.