Our middle school students will explore the climate crisis through their world geography curriculum. They will also learn to connect it to each of their other classes, their community, and the world.
Here's What I'm Thinking...
Each year in social studies, my students get to study an aspect of world geography. This year, we will focus our geography studies on the climate crisis by applying it to the five themes of geography: Location, Place, Human-Environment Interaction, Movement, and Region. This will allow us to study how the current problems of climate crisis affect the makeup of countries, culture, migration patterns, and more. We will also study current legislation in both the United States and other countries as a way to explore potential solutions.
In addition, I will work with my student's math, communication arts, and science teachers to connect the climate crisis to their study in other classes. We will calculate the percentage of CO2 contributed by various countries, read nonfiction texts on the climate crisis, and learn how and why the climate crisis is occuring. Our students will use this information to write persuasive letters and essays advocating for the changes they wish to see.
Further, this project will push my students to educate their community. Students will create an individual brochure that includes art, writing, maps, and charts to pull together their information on the climate crisis and advocate for a piece of legislation, theory, or practice we have studied. Because this project is extensive, I will offer an after-school program for students to continue learning and work on their projects together. During this program, we would explore our own projects as well as an extra-credit project to turn our school green.
This will allow my students to master the content of the climate crisis while still following our standards-based geography curriculum.
I teach in a low-income school, and both my students and school are limited in the resources we can provide our students. $1,000 would allow us to purchase age-appropriate nonfiction texts to use in teaching the climate crisis. It would also allow us to fund the materials necessary to run an after-school program that meets at least twice a month. Any remaining funds could go to purchasing supplies for the student-based project to turn our school green.
I am a middle school social studies teacher at a school in St. Louis. I am passionate about activism and advocacy, and constantly push my students to identify what they believe and how they can best fight for it. Next year will be my second year teaching, and I am excited about the potential I have to transform my classroom to both put my students on a life path of academic success and teach them how to be empathetic yet skeptical citizens.
My middle school students are an energetic, excited group of learners who sometimes struggle to connect what they learn in the classroom to what they experience in the world. . In social studies, they enjoy learning about both historical and current events, especially when they get to write and share their own opinion.