Educators Smithsonian Education
Smithsonian Online Education Conference  - Climate Change
Learning Activities and Resources
Learning Objectives
Participants will:
  1. Understand the complexity and significance of the evidence of climate change, past and present
  2. Understand the range of Smithsonian research and study related to climate change
  3. Practice scientific reasoning and critical thinking skills
Before the Conference Activities
Post your questions on the discussion board on the conference website (coming soon).

Brainstorm words you and your friends or classmates associate with climate change. Use an online tool to create a visualization of your words.

Take a survey and compare your answers to national results. See Climate Change in the American Mind at

Research natural cycles and explain how they relate to climate change. See
During the Conference Activities
While watching a session, jot down notes about the scientific problem raised, methods used to investigate it, and what the scientist learned.

Post your comments and questions during the session on the discussion board (coming soon).

Tweet your questions, responses, and ideas using the #SICLimate Twitter hashtag
After the Conference Activities
Compare and contrast sessions – problems, methods, and findings.

Create something – poster, blog, video – sharing evidence that supports your ideas.

Take pictures of positive environmental actions and post on SI Climate Change Flickr site.

Volunteer to serve on a local environmental project. Find out about opportunities. For information go to

Get a grant to integrate green-related topics and experiences into the classroom, from the NEA.
Suggested Resources
Arctic: A Friend Acting Strangely

Climate Change in the American Mind Report

Climate Change: no Eden, no apocalypse / New Scientist

Climate Literacy: Essential Principles and Fundamental Concepts

Climate Literacy: The Essential Principles of Climate Science

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Reports

Key Findings June 2009 US Global Climate Change Program Report

Kids’ Crossing / Living in the Greenhouse

The 7 Biggest Myths About Climate Change / New Scientist
Special Lesson Plan
Don’t miss our special lesson plan based on the work of Dr. Scott Wing, whose live session takes place on 11 am (EDT), September 30.

In the lesson plan, the class does the work of a team of paleontologists studying a time of rapid global warming 55 million years ago. By examining fossils of leaves from various tree species, and by incorporating the findings into a mathematical formula, the students are able to tell average annual temperatures during this prehistoric time.

Prehistoric Climate Change Download "Prehistoric Climate Change: And Why It Matters Today"

Get Social!

Connect with Our Blog Blog
Engage in the dialogue at the Smithsonian Education Online Conference Blog >>
Connect with Twitter Twitter
Use the #SIClimate hashtag to join the conversation >>
Connect with Facebook Facebook
Get involved with other educators and Smithsonian Education >>

Resources for Teachers

Access a collection of activities, sample lessons, and podcasts on climate change and bringing climate change issues into the classroom.

Session Resources

The Online Conference “Virtual Exhibit Hall” features highlighted resources from across the Smithsonian community relating to climate change. You can check out each participant’s virtual exhibit to further your exploration of the topic.

The Smithsonian Education Online Conference: Climate Change is made possible by generous support from the Donnelley Foundation and the Smithsonian’s Office of the Chief Information Officer.

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