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Baseline Instructional Plan

Kelly Higgins

Subject: Living Environment

Read Aloud: When Santa Went Green

Science-National Standards
Places and Regions
Standard 4: The physical and human characteristics of places.
Physical Systems
Standard 8: The characteristics and spatial distribution of ecosystems on Earth's surface.
Environment and Society
Standard 14: How human actions modify the physical environment.
Standard 15: How physical systems affect human systems.

• Book: When Santa Went Green
• Vocabulary wall cards
• Student Journals

Objectives: Students will be able to…

• Identify elements of global warming
• Discuss the effects of global warming
• Answer essential questions about global warming
• Brainstorm ideas of how people can reduce global warming

New Vocabulary: global warming, climate zones, greenhouse effect, climate change, recycling, and environment

1. Explain to students what global warming is.
2. Tell them that you will be reading a book about Santa’s encounter with global warming.
3. Take questions and review vocabulary.
4. Read the book aloud.
5. Explain the different types of global warming (humans speeding it up vs. global warming as a natural
6. Have students go back to their seats and answer two questions (in complete sentences) in their journal
and share it with their partner.
a. What is global warming?
b. Name two effects of global warming and ways to reduce them.
7. When students have finished sharing their journal entries with a partner they will hand it in to show

© 2009, Gradel & Jabot (adapted from Jabot, Maheady, Rey, 2005; adapted from Wiggins & McTighe) 1
Lesson Title: It’s getting HOT in HERE!
Teacher Name: Kelly Higgins
Subject: Science Grade Level: Middle School
Time Required (days; time/day): 2 weeks, 45 minutes/day
Topic: Global Warming
Essential Question: How does global warming impact the planet?
Pre-requisites (Prior Knowledge): Students have been working with the class wiki for a month now and
know how to blog effectively with their classmates. They have also been reading books about global warming in
their language arts class and discussing it in their science class as well. They are very familiar with how to use the
technology provided and comfortable with the information they have to share with their ePals.
A. Content Area Standard(s): (include complete standard, not just standard #)
Science-National Standards
Places and Regions
Standard 4: The physical and human characteristics of places.
Physical Systems
Standard 8: The characteristics and spatial distribution of ecosystems on Earth's surface.
Environment and Society
Standard 14: How human actions modify the physical environment.
Standard 15: How physical systems affect human systems.
B. Intended Learning Outcome Define what students will know and be able to do and at what level of
mastery they should be able to do it. NOTE: Add/subtract rows from below each column heading,
Student will know… Student will be able to…
The elements of global warming. Share their ideas and thoughts on global warming with
other students across the world.
How to effectively use appropriate classroom Blog with other students about global warming.
The two ideas of though on global warming (natural vs. Explain how people can reduce global warming.


Students will demonstrate their learning/understanding in the following way(s):
A. Teacher-Created Assessments:
Pre-test: Students will complete a digital poster in Post-test: Students will write a final email to the
groups to define and explain what they have learned teacher about the emails exchanged with their ePal,
thus far about global warming. They will be asked to explaining what they learned and how they intend to
illustrate them visually. use their new knowledge and understanding in order to
change how they interact with the environment.
B. Performance Assessments: Students’ email exchanges will be monitored through the duration of this
mini-unit. Students will also be asked to answer one question or comment on a classmates each day on the class
wiki “global warming” blog, which will be collected as participation points for the class. (This will help the students
who are absent as well). Students will be assessed on their accuracy of information posted on the class blog and
in their emails.
C. Other Assessments (e.g., Peer, Self): n/a
D. Assessment Adaptations: n/a
A. Learning Activities
1. Instructional Strategies/Learning Activities:
(e.g., demonstration, discussion, small groups, role play, etc.)
• Class discussion
• Small group discussion
• Blog posts on Wiki
• Emails with ePal
2. Introducing the Lesson: (capturing students’ attention, activating students’ prior knowledge).
© 2009, Gradel & Jabot (adapted from Jabot, Maheady, Rey, 2005; adapted from Wiggins & McTighe) 2
To introduce the lesson I will explain that we will each be getting an ePal from a different country that is also
learning about global warming. It is important that students know that their emails need to be formal and have
accurate information that their ePal can understand. As a class we will discuss what we have learned thus far
about global warming and record what we would like to find out. Before giving students their ePal, I will divide
them into groups to prepare short presentations to define global warming. They will be asked to prepare a digital
poster that defines global warming to them along with matching illustrations. They will then have to present it to
the class.
3. Instructional Sequence:
(representing the content: teaching/learning activities, connecting to students’ prior knowledge, etc.)
Complete the following two columns, showing teacher activity in correspondence with student activity.
Add/subtract rows as needed.

Teacher activity (The teacher is doing….) Student activity (The student is doing…)
DAY 1-2: Read the discussion questions posted in the Answering the discussion questions when called upon.
front of the room. Giving content related and accurate answers to support
Discussion Questions: What is global warming?, What their discussion.
is the greenhouse effect?, What is climate change?,
What are the interdependences of plants and animals
in habitats?, What are the effects of global warming?,
What can we do to reduce it?, etc.
Construct a list of what students would like to know Offer ideas for the “What I would like to know about
more about regarding global warming in other global warming in other countries” class chart.
Divide students into groups. Define and explain global warming by creating a digital
poster in groups.
Check posters for appropriate and accurate Fix poster if necessary & print and hang in the
information. (Make sure it has at least three of the main classroom.
ideas of global warming, from our discussion
Explain to students that there is a new Global Warming Construct a discussion question/topic for the global
blog on the class wiki and that they will be asked to warming blog as a group. If you choose a topic, tell why
comment or answer on a different one each night until your group is interested in learning and talking more
the completion of the unit. Tell students that they will be about this topic with classmates.
asked to hand in a discussion question/topic that they
are interested in because they will be used as the
starting points of their nightly blogs.
Post blog questions for students on the class Wiki. For homework introduce yourself to the new global
warming blogs and post a reply to one.
DAY 3-4: Explain to students that Global Warming is Ask questions as necessary.
not the same everywhere in the world. Tell them that
we will be communicating with other students in a
different classroom from across the world. It is
important that we share our views and opinions along
with back them up with details supporting them.
Ask students to offer ideas of what we might want to Brainstorm ideas, thoughts, and opinions to share with
ask our ePals or learn about their experiences with your ePal (think about where they are from to gain a
global warming. Refer to our “What I would like to know better insight on your discussion with them).
about Global Warming” class chart. What concerns
them the most about Global Warming?, What surprises
you the most about Global Warming?, You may also
have students give their ideas on how to reduce Global
Warming on this chart seeing as it will be posted
around the room throughout the mini-unit for them to
Give students time to write draft copies of their email to Write an email introducing yourself to your new ePal.
their ePal, while offering assistance to students who Share your posters and discuss your personal
need it. experiences with global warming to them. Students
may include what they know about global warming and
© 2009, Gradel & Jabot (adapted from Jabot, Maheady, Rey, 2005; adapted from Wiggins & McTighe) 3
what they want to know. Ask ePals questions about
what effects of global warming they think are already
happening and what they are doing to reduce the
Allow those who are completed with their email to Type and send email to their ePal and print a copy of
rotate on the computer to compose, and send their first the finished and sent email to put in your Global
writing piece. Warming folder.
DAY 5-6: Teacher will begin with reviewing students’ Share opinion on their posts or another persons post or
nightly blog posts. Students will be asked to share their tell what they liked/learned from doing the blog.
opinion on the blog and explain something they learned
from it.
Read aloud When Santa Turned Green by Victoria While listening to the book, write down three possible
Perla. (read the book twice) causes of global warming.
Chart what students stated as the causes and the Share answers of possible causes of global warming.
number of students suggesting each possible cause.
Correct any misconceptions and spend some time Fix or add to their possible causes list as necessary.
explaining and using necessary academic vocabulary.
Give students time to start drafting a new email to their Drafting new email according to the draft guidelines.
ePal with the following guidelines: Groups will be rotating on and off the computers as
• Be sure to respond and answer any questions needed. (It may be easier to get the last two bullets out
your ePal has sent you. of the way and then read and respond to your ePal’s
• Make any necessary comments about prior questions or comments.)
• Share what you have learned in the class
discussion about the causes of global warming
and the various locations of where the effects
are happening.
• Ask your ePal if they can confirm or add to your
global warming cause facts you have sent
Have students rotate and have class time to finish up Finish up and send emails to their ePal. Print all emails
writing and sending emails with their ePal and if there is and keep in Global Warming folder. If time permits,
time they may also work on their nightly blog. work on nightly blog.
Overview of Days 7-10:
Lesson time for these topics: 45-55 minutes for the last 3-4 days

Lesson topics:
• How do we know global warming is really happening?
• What are the effects of global warming?
• What can we do to reduce global warming?

For the following lessons these topics will be a main focal point. They will be addressed through different group
discussions, small group work, ePals emails exchanged, reading of books and articles on Global Warming.

Students will be asked to break into small groups and discuss if global warming is real and if human activities are
the cause. The teacher will then read aloud an article from National Geographic “Is global warming real?” While
reading the article stop to ask comprehension questions to engage students in conversation.

Students will continue the dialogue with their ePals with the main focus on the effects of global warming. Have
students talk about the climate zone in their epals country and how it affects global warming (Students may
research this on the internet or in the class Global Warming books/magazines, or they may use information from
the class blog to help write their email).

Have students continue to do their nightly blogs as homework and discuss them in class as necessary.

Students should use their class lists, blogs, research, and emails with their ePal to create a list of what we can do
to reduce global warming. Each student will need to name three initiatives that they believe are the most
important. Tell them that for their closing of the unit they will need to illustrate one change they can make in a
© 2009, Gradel & Jabot (adapted from Jabot, Maheady, Rey, 2005; adapted from Wiggins & McTighe) 4
before and after picture, so this may be the time to think of which initiative is most related to themselves and is
most likely something they can accomplish. The teacher will then discuss the questions students may want to
focus on in students emails for the day, such as what can families, classrooms, and communities do to reduce
global warming?

Have students rotate and respond to their ePal’s comments and questions, while also asking their own questions
and comments to their prior emails. The rest of this email should consist of students discussing the ideas that they
have about reducing global warming in their climate.

Have students do one last nightly blog and write down an effect of global warming and what is being done to
contain that effect.

Lastly, students will be given time in class to read their newest email from their ePal. They will then be asked to
share their action plan for something they believe they are capable of doing to help reduce global warming
(conserve water, turn off lights, etc.). Students will then write a concluding email to their ePal and thank them for
giving them the chance to communicate effectively about Global Warming.

Closing activity is listed below in “D”.

B. Adaptations to the Instructional Sequence to Differentiate: For students who struggle to think of
writing ideas I will have a book and magazine section with different story, picture, and writing pieces on Global
Warming. These should give them plenty of ideas for questions to write and suggestions to reduce Global
Warming to their ePal.
C. Discussion and Assessment of Learning: (Pointing out to students how what they are learning is
related to the driving question; assessing students’ learning as a result of the lesson)

Students are learning the relevance of the essential question through…

• Class discussion
• Blog posts
• Emails to ePal
Assessments will be done through a general project rubric and blog posts will be counted as class participation

The class Wiki will be a helpful tool for students who are absent, as they are able to access this from home or any
internet site.
D. Closure:
To end this mini-unit on Global Warming students will be asked to send a concluding email to their ePals partner
summarizing the class discussion answering the following discussion: “How do you intend to use your new
knowledge and understanding to change how you interact with the environment?”. They must include two specific
ways that they will contribute to the environment to make the world a better place. Also, stating why this task is
suitable for their lifestyle. From this mini-unit on Global Warming, I hope for students to understand how global
warming impacts the planet. Through class discussions, group posters, blogs, ePal emails, etc. I hope students
realize that global warming is a world-wide problem and by discussing it with their ePal they should have learned
many different effects of Global Warming along with various ways to reduce it.
1. Overall Closure Plans:
After all emails have been sent and received with ePals, students will be asked to make before and after poster.
This poster will relate to each students closing email with their ePal. For instance, if students say they will start to
recycle, they can have a picture of a non-recycled can on the Before (left) side of their poster and a picture of
someone recycling a can on the After (right) side of their poster. A short description of how their change would
help global warming will be asked to write on the bottom of the picture.
2. Extensions for Early Finishers:
Students who finish early will be asked to help out students who may still be writing their last email to their ePal
(help brainstorm ideas) and/or they are free to help out students who may need help with their poster ideas and
3. Alternate strategies for struggling students or those who learn differently:
Students with disabilities may be paired up to just one ePal, this way it may be easier to collaborate ideas and
gain a better understanding. A more thorough email discussion between two people reading and responding to

© 2009, Gradel & Jabot (adapted from Jabot, Maheady, Rey, 2005; adapted from Wiggins & McTighe) 5
emails may also help with gaining more ways to reduce Global Warming. (Two heads are better than one and with
this discussion there’s three heads!)
E. Procedures: (both already established procedures to be used, and procedures to be taught for this
• Whole group
• Small group
• Individual group
• Question and Answering
• Home and school connection
A. Technology Tools and Materials: (classroom set-up, preparations, resources, etc.)
• Computers (in class or computer lab)
• Internet
• Classroom Wiki and Blog
• ePals account and classroom connection for email exchanges
• Printer (digital posters-day 1)
• Global warming books & magazines

B. Parent/Community Resources: Students may research more about global warming at home or in their
town library when they are not in school. Parents may offer their insight to their students’ blog comments at home
and discuss them as necessary. The class Wiki/Blog is also a helpful tool for parents to use in order to learn what
is going on in their child’s classroom.
C. Contact Information: Kelly Higgins,

© 2009, Gradel & Jabot (adapted from Jabot, Maheady, Rey, 2005; adapted from Wiggins & McTighe) 6
Example of a Global Warming Blog
Blog examples borrowed from ©2010 ePals.

© 2009, Gradel & Jabot (adapted from Jabot, Maheady, Rey, 2005; adapted from Wiggins & McTighe) 7
Examples of posts in the different blogs above by students:
Blog examples borrowed from ©2010 ePals.

© 2009, Gradel & Jabot (adapted from Jabot, Maheady, Rey, 2005; adapted from Wiggins & McTighe) 8
© 2009, Gradel & Jabot (adapted from Jabot, Maheady, Rey, 2005; adapted from Wiggins & McTighe) 9
Blog & Email ePal Rubric


Email is a well-developed, Emails shows the ePal Not clear that student
Comprehension thoughtful discussion of understands the topic but understood the topic.
the topic’s main ideas and not all of the important
related significant details. details.
Evidence throughout the Parts of the email show Little evidence of reflection
Critical Thinking email of applying and that the ePal has applied on the topic beyond basic
evaluating the important ideas in the topic to self understanding.
ideas in other contexts and others.
Email represents a Communicates with the The only reference to the
Connecting with ePal personal dialogue and ePal personally and about ePal is in the salutation.
shows thoughtful and the topic.
detailed communication
about the topic.
Paragraphs are detailed Paragraphs are used to Stream of consciousness
Organization and well-developed. organize and mainly writing. Overall, the email
Transitions between include sentences on the feels disorganized.
paragraphs make same topic in the email.
language flow naturally. Overall structure is
Whole email is effectively obvious.
Both the overall meaning The overall gist of the It is hard to understand the
Clarity and the supported details information is clear, but information.
are clearly presented. specific parts but may be
Word Choice Extensive use of key Uses some key vocabulary Little or no use of key
& vocabulary indicates and other words/phrases vocabulary on the topic.
Vocabulary control of topic ideas. related to the topic.
No significant errors in Simple spelling, Frequent mistakes in
Mechanics spelling, punctuation and punctuation, and grammar simple spelling, punctuation
grammar. mainly correct. Attempts at and grammar distract
more complex spelling or reader’s attention.
punctuation may contain

© 2009, Gradel & Jabot (adapted from Jabot, Maheady, Rey, 2005; adapted from Wiggins & McTighe) 10

Epals global community. (2010). Retrieved from

Global warming is a big problem, but every kid can make a difference. keep reading to learn what you can do to
help. (2010). Retrieved from,6709,1114038,00.html

Hubpages, Initials. (2007). Ways to stop global warming. Retrieved from


National geographic: effects of global warming. (2010). Retrieved from

Perla, Victoria, & Kantarevic, Mirna. (2008). When Santa turned green. Thomas Nelson Inc.

© 2009, Gradel & Jabot (adapted from Jabot, Maheady, Rey, 2005; adapted from Wiggins & McTighe) 11
NAME: Kelly WORK: Retro Assignment DATE: 7-26- OVERALL 8.5 OVERALL

X-factor Solid Basic Needs Work Does Not Meet

Exceeds standards Meets standards Meets some core Major errors in Standards
standards meeting standards

9-10 7-8 5-6 3-4 2-0

In addition to exhibiting Responses Responses indicate Responses indicate Little or no response.
level SOLID demonstrate no major errors or a lack of Even with help,
performance, responses major errors or omissions regarding understanding of response does not
demonstrate in-depth omissions regarding more complex ideas core targeted demonstrate a
inferences and any of the and processes; knowledge. partial understanding
applications that go information and/or however, they do However, with help, of concepts or
beyond what was taught processes that were not indicate major responses applications.
through assignments/ taught through errors or omissions demonstrate partial
activities; goes beyond assignments/ relative to simpler understanding of
requirements/ activities; meets details and some of the
conventions. requirements/ processes. knowledge
conventions. expectations, with
little skill in making
Clarity and 9, I believe that my
completeness lesson format is clear
and complete. I have
outlined each step of the
way for anyone to carry
out this lesson. I have
made everything
outlined around my one
essential question,
which is the focal point.
The student and teacher
activities coincide with
each other and when
completed students
objectives will be

Formatting/submission 9, I have used the

mechanics & timing proper UBD lesson plan
format, finished my
project on time, and
have done all of the
necessary mechanics as
Content accuracy 8, I have used
resources for my
lesson, screen
shots, ideas, and
outside books to
read/reference. I
have referenced
each website,
screenshot, and tool
used which is
needed to execute
this lesson properly.

I feel that I have worked exceptionally hard on this project. I have taken my ideas, collaborated with others, found different resources
online, and even blogged myself to make sure this lesson could be done if need be. I have written all of the steps in chronological order for
each day and lesson. The activities and emails could be changed for longer or shorter periods of time. The main idea I would like students to
gain from this web 2.0 activity is to see how global warming affects the planet. I believe from any if not all of the different formal work being
carried out through this lesson (mini-unit) students will gain a better understanding of what global warming is, who it effects, how it affects the
planet, and how we can also reduce its affects.

© 2009, Gradel & Jabot (adapted from Jabot, Maheady, Rey, 2005; adapted from Wiggins & McTighe) 12