Part of this lesson plan is made by PBS News Hour
Monday, a judge in Montana sided with a group of young environmental activists who argued the state was violating its constitution by promoting fossil fuel development without considering the impact on climate change. William Brangham examined the arguments on both sides of the case before the trial and reports on the ruling’s implications in Montana and nationwide.
For a transcript of this story, click here.
5 Fact-Based Questions
- Why are we seeing more frequent intense heat waves?
- How many people died in Europe’s heat wave last year?
- Who is Michael Mann?
- What string of years has been the hottest in Earth’s recorded history?
- Where are floods happening?
Focus Questions and & Media Literacy
What creates a wildfire?
News analysis: How can news outlets report on tragic events while still being respectful to those who are effected?
Alternative: See, Think, Wonder: What did you notice? What did the story make you think? What story would you want to find out more about? Where would you go to learn more?
- Discuss with students the impact of extreme summer weather in Europe. Ask them to share their experiences or observations.
- Explain that they will be learning about the causes and effects of extreme summer weather in Europe, and exploring ways to mitigate its effects.
Activity 1: Research
- Ask students to research examples of extreme summer weather in Europe. They can use the following resources:
- Students should take notes on the causes, effects, and mitigation strategies for each example.
Activity 2: Fact Questions
- Ask students to write five fact-based questions about extreme summer weather in Europe. Here are some examples:
- What were the temperatures during Europe’s hottest summer on record?
- How many people died in Germany and Belgium due to flooding caused by heavy precipitation?
- What is the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service?
- Which countries in Europe experienced below-average summer heat?
- What is the impact of sustained heat on drought conditions?
Activity 3: Essay Questions
- Ask students to choose one of the following essay questions:
- How can we make progress against climate change? What are some mitigation techniques (things you can do to make a difference) to deal with extreme heat?
- How can news outlets report on tragic events while still being respectful to those who are affected?
- What creates a wildfire? How can we prevent wildfires from occurring?
- What did you notice? What did the story make you think? What story would you want to find out more about? Where would you go to learn more?
What Students Can Do
What students can do: Discuss with a friend, neighbor or classmate — how can we make progress against climate change? What are some mitigation techniques (things you can do to make a difference) to deal with extreme heat?
STUDENT VIDEO OF THE DAY (September 19, 2019)