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Who Cares About an Earlier Spring?

Month long unit on climate change and its effects on life cycles of plants and animals.
The Big Ideas






How has our

earth changed
over the past
12,500 years?

How can we read climate

from the plants that grow
around us? *Micro 1
What is climate, climate
Certain species are dependent
on specific climate.
HW: 1 of 2 readings

Sowing our seeds:

What does 2C mean?
*Micro 2
How will monitoring occur?
Daily, every other day, etc.

What can we learn about

climate from plants of
the past?
Proxy Challenge
*Micro 3
-Proxy data mini-lecture
-Create proxy data table

What was this climate

like over the past 12,500
Proxy Challenge
*Micro 4
-Learn to make a graph in
-Start writing mini-report

Synthesize, report on
proxy data generated
over the past two days
Proxy Challenge
Work day to write a minireport, report due Monday

What does an earlier

spring mean?
-Review an ongoing
adaptation being forced
by climate change
-Presentations of Future

What do you want to do

for your final project?
-How is our seed exp.
-Review Challenge Board
-Students have this period
to write up a proposal of
their final project ideafrom challenge board or
other idea.

Project work day-Feedback on project

proposals- challenge
-Students must have at
least three good
supporting resources by
the end of this class.
- Investigate early spring

Future Forecast: How are

How is our earth Media Decoding:
we changing the climate?
changing today?
climate change?
-How do different mediums
affect the message and target
HW: 2 Readings

*Micro 5


Who cares about

an earlier

Journey North Challenge:

Journey North Challenge
Pick two events that
interrelated (i.e. monarchs and
milkweed, ice out and frogs...)
where at least one species is
dependent on the other event
for survival, and investigate
its history as presented by
Journey North

Journey North

How are our seeds

Do we need to make any
Put together/present non- changes to our protocol?
prose synthesis of Journey Project work day:
North Challenge to hand Prep for conversation cafe

Conversation Cafe

Putting it all

What does 2C Mean?

Work day:
Digesting Results
Final report on germination
-Putting together a class data lab
table for our results of
growing experiment
-Graphically represent results
-Group conversations: How
definite are our results?
Where/How could this project
be expanded?

Work day:
Final report on
germination lab or Final
or Test Review

Exhibition Day
Germination Lab Due

Final Test

Students will have a

polished rough draft of
their final project to get
feedback on

My aunt, Mabel Toolie, said [to me]: The Earth is faster now. She was not meaning that the time is moving fast these days or that events
are going faster. But she was talking about how all this weather is changing. Back in the old days they could predict the weather by
observing the stars, the sky, and other events. The old people think that back then they could predict the weather pattern for a few days in
advance. Not anymore! And my aunt was saying that because the weather patterns are [changing] so fast now, those predictions cannot be
made anymore. The weather patterns are hanging so quickly she could think the Earth is moving faster now. -Caleb Pungowiyi
Hello, Students!
You know when the season's change right? Perhaps you've noticed or heard your family notice changes similar to the quotation above.
Milder winters, earlier spring... That might sound nice, right? Shorts weather sooner, maybe the flowers will bloom sooner...well, we'll see...
Perhaps you have a garden? Perhaps you just like to eat food? We are all dependent on our planet's phenology, that is the way that seasons
change and life-cycles occur in cyclic patterns. As our global climate gets weirder with each year, seasonality becomes harder to predict. One
aspect of that is an earlier spring in the Northern Hemisphere.
Over the course of this next month you will conduct two long-term projects:
1. A lab investigating the impact of 2C warming on the germination and growth rates of seedlings, all local pollinator-friendly plants
that we will plant out in the school garden when they're ready.
2. A project of your own development, an outline of which is due the second Friday of this month, where you creatively address the
question of Who cares about an earlier spring? Don't fret though! I will guide you through the building a foundation of information
and give you in-class time to work on your proposal first.
In addition, you will complete other smaller assignments, including a mini-report investigating climate proxy data, presenting a future
forecast in the style of your favorite newscaster, and complete a challenge from Journey North: a web database where school children
across the United States have been collaborating since the 1990s to track migration patterns and seasons' changes. I hope you're all as excited
as I am to investigate how seasons are changing as we witness this greatly anticipated transition from winter to spring.
Yours Truly,
Ms. M

Final Project Challenge due the last day of the unit

Any project must address the following:

Brief evidence for how the climate is changing- think back to a graph we've investigated

How climate change can affect the life-cycles of plant/animal relationships- one in-depth example- from germination of seeds, to

blooming of flowers, to migration patterns- of plants and animals in order to

Effectively answer the question of who cares about an earlier spring.

It should also have the ability to stand-alone, that is, you will not present it, but rather we will have a final open gallery walk.
And, never fear! I have a library developed for helping you find answers to these questions. I encourage you all to flip through it for ideas
and starting places. Also, if you find a particularly good resource, please share it with me to add to the library! It will let me know more
about your level of engagement, too.

Rubric for Challenge Board:

An exemplary project includes the following:
5 points

Your Opinion

You take a stand and state why you or your audience should care (or not...) about an earlier spring

5 points


you've creatively demonstrated a quantitative understanding of the history of climate

(conditions) change

5 points


You've creatively demonstrated a conceptual/qualitative understanding of the future of climate

change's impact on season's change

5 points


You address the above through the use of a real-life example, and it is linked to ways to help the
viewer find empathy with what you're presenting

5 points


*applies only to prose work: You effectively summarize your main points and re-visit your thesis

*If you chose to pursue an artwork or other, this rubric may not be linear as it is presented here. Be in communication with me, and make
sure that you are meeting the bolded aspects in your work.