A Whole New World

Special Online Lesson Plan

Merge the Print Version of Science World With 21st Century Tools!
Follow this digital lesson plan of "A Whole New World" designed especially for your interactive whiteboard.

Article Summary
Climate change is reshaping the face of the planet, altering coastlines, submerging islands, and even causing countries to redraw their borders. Readers will learn about four places under severe threat, and how mapmakers are responding to the changes.

Curriculum Area: Earth
Special Focus: Climate Change

National Science Education Standards

  • Grades 5-8: Populations, resources, and environments
  • Grades 9-12: Natural and human-induced hazards

1. Before You Start

2. Kick Off the Lesson With a Discussion
Ready your students for the lesson by getting them to think about climate change and how it is affecting the planet. Ask them:

  • In the last century, the average temperature of Earth's atmosphere has risen between 1.2 and 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit. Many scientists believe that human activity has significantly contributed to this increase in temperature. What do you think?
  • What are some human actions that scientists believe are contributing to global warming?
  • Where on the planet are we seeing or will we see the greatest effects of global warming?

3. Watch a Related Video
Tell students they are about to watch a video about climate change and its effects. Click on the VideoExtra box that is located on the digital version of the article and watch the video together as a class.

4. Discuss After Watching the Video
Review your students' comprehension of the video by asking the following questions.

  • How was global warming defined in the video?
  • What evidence was presented to show the effects of global warming?
  • What is the greenhouse effect and how does it work?

5. Discuss Before Reading
Tell students that they are about to read an article about how climate change is forcing mapmakers to redraw Earth's maps. To connect the content from the video to the article, ask students these questions:

  • Where in the world are rising sea levels causing trouble for the inhabitants?
  • How could climate change affect the location of a country's border?
  • How do you think plants, animals, and humans will adapt to worldwide climate change?

6. Read the Article
Have students turn to page 20 of their print magazines. Keep the digital version of "A Whole New World" onscreen in case you need to reference it during reading or if students have questions.

7. Teach With This Whiteboard Activity

  • Download the "Meltdown" and "No-Sweat Bubble Test" skills sheets here. Use them either on your interactive whiteboard or as handouts to test students' reading comprehension skills.

8. Engage Students in Critical Thinking
Scientists believe that the Carteret Islands will be underwater by the year 2015. So far, about half of the 2,500-person population has been relocated elsewhere. What do you think it would be like to be one of these "environmental refugees?" What kind of plans would you need to evacuate your hometown for good? For more resources and activities download this issue's Teacher's Edition here.

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