This school year, the 8th grade in my building gets to start the year with Climate Change. I want to teach this through a phenomena so I am thinking I am going to go with “Is a 2 degree increase in Celsius worldwide a bad thing?”. First off, that is a rough idea but I think it will generate some discussion among my students.

Here is the plan right now because I really want to put my students in the driver seat for determining where they go with the curriculum. For part of one day, I am going to show my students a long term temperature graph. They will be asked to individually look at the graph and develop any questions that it triggers for about 5 minutes. Once the time is up, they will be asked to turn to a neighbor and share their thoughts and questions for about 5 minutes. Then we will come together as a group and we will compile all the questions on a master sheet. This activity will be repeated the next day with a CO2 graph. Once we have all the questions compiled, I will ask each pair to pick a couple questions that intrigue them and develop a plan to investigate those questions. It is at this point, that we will begin talking about how to develop a testable, high quality question instead of just a simple question that can be googled. Also, once they have a question or two they want to answer, we will talk in small groups, about what else they will need to know to properly investigate and answer their questions. Once a group feels they have adequately investigated and answered their questions, they will share with me first, make corrections, additions if necessary and then share with the class as a whole. I am hoping to have a large variety of questions being investigated and not having everyone doing the same thing at the same time. This may seem chaotic to some but I am hoping this will allow the students to learn about what interests them. All questions, I am sure will circle back to the phenomena we started with at the beginning to answer, “is a 2 degree warming in Celsius a bad thing?”.

What do you all think? Suggestions, advice?