Generating Arguments About Climate Changeby: Barry Golden, Jonathon Grooms, Victor Sampson, and Robin Oliveri

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Students participate in a unit on global climate change by engaging in the process of scientific argumentation. The lessons presented in this article were created using the generate-an-argument model to help students understand climate change science.

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Reviews (3)
  • on Sun Sep 22, 2013 3:38 PM

This lesson teaches the science process skills very well, while focusing on the content of Climate Change.

Jessica B
Jessica B

  • on Mon May 27, 2013 6:15 PM

This provides both directions and resources for a unit that focuses students on examining evidence to draw their own conclusions. It explains how to walk students through the process of generating an argument, examining evidence, and supporting a conclusion based on that evidence. This could be used in any middle level, high school, or undergraduate course for this topic, and provides guidelines for alterations for related topics.

Tina Harris  (Bloomington, IN)
Tina Harris (Bloomington, IN)

  • on Sun Apr 17, 2016 12:48 PM

This article provides the context and structure needed for students to collaboratively construct, support, and share arguments on climate change. The scaffolding questions that are provided are very appropriate. They guide the lesson well and are used in initial discussion to assess and provide necessary background knowledge. The data that students will analyze and use to support their arguments is also provided. It reminds teachers to keep students away from talking about beliefs and focus on explanations of data. The arguments are formed in groups of 4 and displayed on a poster/whiteboard. One student stays to present their group’s argument and the others provide feedback for other groups’ arguments. An addition I would make is, even with my 9th and 10th graders, prepping them for providing feedback appropriately. I’d give explicit examples of language they should and should not use. (“You may be able to improve your argument by including data from the temperature graph” vs. “You should have used better data…”). I like that students have to first create an argument on how climate is changing, then another argument on what is causing the change, so that they can further develop their argumentation with better explanations, more data, and better counterarguments. Students are also asked to write their own arguments individually, then do another peer review using a peer-review rubric. I wish they provided an example of a peer-review rubric.


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