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Learning Activities

Online Conference 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.
> 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 climatechangecommunication.org.


Research natural cycles and explain how they relate to climate change. See eo.ucar.edu/kids/green.

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.

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 nationalservice.gov/about/volunteering.


Get a grant to integrate green-related topics and experiences into the classroom, from the NEA.

Suggested Resources

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"