Teaching Module: Economic Trade-offs

A teaching module titled ‘Choices’ from a course on climate change by the Fraser Institute. This teaching module will help students understand the importance of trade-offs and evaluate the costs and benefits of climate change proposals.

Students will learn about carbon emissions, trade-offs, opportunity costs, and resource use. They will be exposed to two types of trade-offs: resource trade-offs and policy trade-offs. Through the ‘Birthday Money’ activity, students will learn how cost can be managed given a fixed income and how increase in costs can impact overall resource use and distribution.

Use this tool to help your students find answers to:

  1. Given the annual income of your household, how will housing costs change with a 10% rise in costs due to climate change?
  2. What are the trade-offs made by policy makers in order to meet the demands of stakeholders?

About the Tool

Tool NameChapter 6: Choices from Understanding Climate Change: Lesson Plans for the Classroom
DisciplineEconomics
Topic(s) in DisciplineTrade-offs, Cost-Benefit Analysis, Opportunity Costs, Emission Costs, Carbon Trade-offs, Economic Policy
Climate TopicEnergy, Economics and Climate Change
Type of toolTeaching Module
Grade LevelUndergraduate, Graduate
LocationGlobal
LanguageEnglish
Translation
Developed byFraser Institute
Hosted atFraser Institute Website
LinkLink
AccessOnline/ Offline
Computer SkillsBasic

 Cognitive Bias and Climate Change

As a teacher of Psychology in the Social Sciences, you can use this teaching module to draw a link between psychological bias and climate change. 

Through this module students will learn about the ‘MPG Illusion’ and the influence cognitive biases have in altering human behaviour towards climate change. Through the quiz in this module, students will understand their own biases. Furthermore, students will learn that, as consumers, to make environmentally sustainable choices, they may have to reframe  a problem to avoid biases.

Use this tool to help your students find answers to:

  1. What is cognitive bias?
  2. How do cognitive biases affect our perception of climate change?
  3. What is an ‘MPG Illusion’? How does it affect consumer behaviour? 
  4. When changing to a more fuel efficient vehicle, which will you choose and why? Changing from 10 MPG to 20 MPG or changing from 25 MPG to a 50 MPG?

About the Tool

Tool Name The MPG Illusion: How Cognitive Biases Increase Climate Change
Discipline Social Sciences, Psychology
Topic(s) in Discipline Social Psychology, Climate Psychology, Cognitive Bias
Climate Topic Climate and Society; Energy, Economics and Climate Change
Type of Tool Teaching Module
Grade Level High School, Undergraduate
Location  US
Language English
Translation
Developed by Richard Larrick (Duke University)
Hosted at Action Teaching
Link Link
Access Online/Offline
Computer Skills Basic

Teaching Module: Climate and the Biosphere: An Overview

A teaching module by the EarthLabs section of the Science Education Resources Center (SERC), Carleton College, titled ‘Climate and the Biosphere: Unit Overview’ that discusses the link between climate change and Earth’s biosphere. This resource can be used as an introduction to the topic by teachers interested in teaching about climate change and the role of the biosphere. This teaching module includes overview discussions and detailed classroom/laboratory activities on: 

  1. Climate, Weather and Trees
  2. Climate and Earth’s Energy Balance
  3. Climatology Basics: What Factors Affect Climate?
  4. Climate and Life Patterns (Biomes)
  5. Extreme Weather
  6. Trees and Paleoclimate
  7. Future of the Forest: Climate Patterns and Life

Students will learn about the role of the biosphere in determining the climate of planet Earth. They will also learn how climate change impacts the biosphere. 

Use this tool to help your students find answers to: 

  1. How does climate change impact the biosphere?
  2. What is the role of the biosphere in determining the climate of planet Earth?

About the Tool 

Tool NameClimate and the Biosphere: Unit Overview
DisciplineEarth Sciences, Environmental Sciences, Biological Sciences
Topic(s) in DisciplineClimate Change Overview, Biosphere, Ecosystem, Biodiversity, Trees, Biomes
Climate Topic Climate and the Biosphere
Type of tool Teaching Module
Grade LevelUndergraduate
LocationGlobal
LanguageEnglish 
Translation
Developed byEarthLabs
Hosted atEarthLabs section of the Science Education Resources Center (SERC), Carleton College
LinkLink
AccessOnline
Computer SkillsBasic

Climate Change and Migratory Behavior

This guided lecture and discussion helps students to understand the possible impact of climate change on animal migration (an important animal behaviour) and to explore the neuroscience of migration. The example of monarch butterfly migration is used for discussion and reading.

Teaching Module: Mapping Range Shifts

A teaching module that demonstrates the effect of temperatures on species distributions. This module by Linton et al. enables students to analyze data for a chosen species, from Natural History Collections, for its range shift due to rising temperatures. It includes the following activities: 

  1. Reading a meta analysis by Pecl et al. titled, ‘Biodiversity redistribution under climate change: Impacts on ecosystems and human well-being’.
  2. Investigate a species: Students can select a species they want to investigate. Students in the same group can pick different species.
  3. Generate Distribution Maps: Using the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF), students can obtain records for the ranges of species and how these have changed over time. 
  4. Examine Latitude Over Time: Using the GBIF database. 
  5. Interpret Your Data: Analyzing the species range and range shifts over time.  

Students will learn how to review published data to show the link between rising temperatures and potential changes in species distribution. They will further learn how to use quantitative reasoning to extract data from an aggregated dataset.

Use this tool to help your students find answers to: 

  1. Discuss how climate change can potentially cause changes in species distribution. 
  2. Discuss the range shifts for the species of your choice in the classroom.

About the tool

Tool NameSpecies Range Over Space and Time
DisciplineBiological Sciences
Topic(s) in DisciplineRange Shift, Species Distribution, Biodiversity, Species
Climate Topic Climate and the Biosphere
Type of tool Teaching Module
Grade LevelUndergraduate
LocationGlobal
LanguageEnglish 
Translation
Developed byDebra Linton, Anna Monfils, Libby Ellwood and Molly Phillips
Hosted atQubes
LinkLink
AccessOnline
Computer SkillsBasic

Teaching Module: The Impact of ENSO and Human Activities on River Hydrology (a case study of the Huanghe River)

A teaching module to learn about the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) by performing calculations and analyzing results for Tahiti and Darwin (Australia), and for the Huanghe River in China.