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Middle School: Grade 7 Climate Change Research


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Climate Change Research Project



1. Choose a topic related to climate change that inspires you. Write down a claim statement that goes with the topic (see list below of possible topics).

Remember a  good explanation of something has a:
                      Claim: What you  know?

                    Evidence: How you know that?

                    Reasoning: Why your evidence supports your claim?

2. Gather evidence through research and use reasoning to explain why your evidence supports your claim. (3 classes, March 07- 14)

3. Present your ideas to the class (explain everything; stop go animation; imovie; slides; poster; cartoon etc - March 20 / 21). Your presentation should be a minimum of 4  and maximum of 5 minutes.

4. This is not intended to be a research paper nor completed at home.

Project Checklist:


_____ A. Choose a claim statement.


_____ B. Choose two important relevant vocabulary terms and define in your own words.

_____ C. Provide a summary of your topic (general overview of the problem, solution etc).

_____ D. Include 3 convincing pieces of evidence that support your claim from 3 different reliable sources.

_____ E. Have at least 1 graph used to present information that supports your argument. You should be able to fully explain the graph including the details and main message.

_____ F. At least 2 appropriate pictures or diagrams that strengthen your argument or help explain, document or visualize the evidence.

_____ G. Minimum of one map related to your topic that strengthens your argument, include date and source.


_____ H. Explain how all  of your evidence supports your claim.
_____ i. Tell us about  one “thing” you are willing to commit to that will make a positive impact on climate change. Be clear about how your commitment will make a difference (try and link your positive impact  back to your evidence).

_____ J. Practice; Practice; Practice! You should not have to use note cards etc when presenting. You will be marked down if you do!!


Possible topics and related claim statements:

What is the evidence that supports the global climate is changing?

1. Data has been collected from thousands of years ago when humans were not even around or able to collect data. (proxies, corals, sediments, ice cores, fossil records etc.)


2. Current weather data collected in a variety of ways. (tools, technology, accuracy, weaknesses)


3. The level of greenhouse gases and average global temperature has changed over time. (human population growth, volcanic activity, solar flares, natural cycles etc.)

What evidence is there that supports climate change is caused by humans?

4. Human behaviors have caused or contributed to climate change. (CO2 production through burning fossil fuels, deforestation, desertification, tar sands etc.)

5. Resource use by humans has changed over time. (which resources are used by who, future predictions, where are the remaining resources and what conflicts may be involved in who uses the resources, which resources are and will be most scarce in the future)

What evidence is there that our climate warming has already caused negative effects?

    6. Arctic ice is melting.

7. Glacier ice is melting.

8. Some animal and insect populations are drastically declining.  (polar bears, bees)

9. There is a great species extinction underway.

10. Extreme weather events are increasing. (hurricanes, tornadoes, winter storms)

11. Coral reefs are dying. (acidification of the ocean along with temperature increasing)

12. Global water shortages and dangerous heat waves are common. (crop loss, human death, desertification)

13. Sea levels are rising. (floods, loss of land displacing people, thermal expansion, melting ice)

14. There is a rise in tropical diseases and pandemics.

15. The permafrost is melting releasing methane gas.

16. Ocean currents are changing. (El Nino, La Nina)

17. The melting ice is causing a decreased albedo effect.

What are possible solutions to this global challenge?

18. We currently have the technology to solve future global warming transitioning to full green energy use. (green energy, solar, wind, tidal, geothermal etc.)

19. There are innovative technologies that can replace fossil fuels. (solar cars, electric cars, solar water filtration systems, methane gas recycled from garbage dumps etc.)

20. Local action, politics and education are a large part of the solution to this global problem. (Kyoto protocol, Greenpeace, NASA, United Nations, local groups etc.)


Rubric for Evaluating Climate Change Presentations







Is able to write own claim statement. Gains audience attention.

Clearly stated claim.

Claim stated but unclear.

Not stated so focus of presentation unclear.


Thorough, knowledgeable, interesting, logical, graphs and supporting information clear.

Knowledgeable, interesting, logical, graphs and supporting information clear.

Knowledgeable and interesting but lack of logical flow makes it difficult to understand the evidence. Lacking graphs and / or supporting information.

Does not demonstrate understanding or clear evidence through research. Lacking graphs and / or supporting information.


Summary integrated main points connecting claim and evidence and brought the presentation to a logical and effective closure.

Summary integrated main points connecting claim and evidence. Closure could be more clear.

Summary was included but connection between claim and evidence is not clear. Lacks closure.

Lacks summary or closure.


Clear visual aid (explain everything; stop go animation; imovie; slides; poster; cartoon, powtoon etc).


Clear presentation (does not use note cards etc; speaks clearly, effective pauses, engaging for audience)


Can answer any questions with confidence and knowledge.

Visual aid but not clear.


Clear presentation with the help of notecards or looking at visual aid.


Stumbles with some questions and does not answer in depth.

Visual aid looks sloppy or rushed.


Constantly needs to look at visual aid to explain topic.


Unable to answer most questions.



Presentation unclear and appears unprepared.


Unable to answer questions from peers.


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