The materials on Changing the Balance start a conversation on climate change. After they work with the site, students need a chance to review and extend their understandings of climate change and our environment.


  • Talk about the things your students learned from the site. What struck them as the most important information they gained? Allow students time to prepare for this discussion by making lists or webs of ideas they encountered.

  • As a class, brainstorm a list of questions that students still have about the topic. Form research teams to track down possible answers.

Reflecting and Extending

  • Ask students to survey your local school district policies on green living. If they were designing a plan of action for the district, what would they do the same as and differently from the policies in effect today? Why did they make the choices they did?

  • The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is devoting extensive resources to find ways to combat malaria. Ask students to investigate their activities through Internet and print research. How effective do they feel the Gates campaign will be? Using the information they gather, students could debate whether or not they feel the there is a possibility that malaria will be eradicated through the efforts of organizations like this one.

  • If students look at web sites dedicated to climate change, they will find at least two opposing viewpoints that are represented: those who say climate change is a proven threat to our environment and those who say climate change cannot be scientifically proven. Challenge your students to find one or two examples of sites with both viewpoints. Can they find any impartial sources? Ask them to detail the information presented in the sites and the reasons they feel the sites are biased or unbiased.

  • Where do we go from here? Students can explore that issue in a poem, short story, play, painting, graphical construction, or sculpture.

  • Students may want to extend their work with climate change by exploring how various fiction authors look at this subject. This list contains a few samples; your media specialist will be able to suggest others:

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