146 Place-Based Learning about Climate with Elementary GLOBE

Monday, 8 January 2018
Exhibit Hall 3 (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
Lisa S. Gardiner, UCAR, Boulder, CO; and B. Hatheway, J. Taylor, D. M. Stanitski, and T. R. Harte

Place-based education - helping students make connections between themselves, their community, and their local environment - is an important tool to help young learners understand their regional climate and start to learn about climate and environmental change.

Elementary GLOBE storybooks and learning activities allow opportunities for place-based education about climate. In particular, two modules in the Elementary GLOBE unit - Seasons and Climate – provide opportunities for students to explore their local climate and environment. The storybooks and activities also make connections to other parts of elementary curriculum, such as arts, geography, and math.

Over the long term, place-based education can also encourage students to be stewards of their local environment. A strong sense of place may help students to see themselves as stakeholders in their community and its resilience. In places that are particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate and environmental change and the economic, social, and environmental tradeoffs of community decisions, helping students developing a sense of place and to see the connection between Earth science, local community, and their lives can have a lasting impact on how a community evolves for decades to come.

Elementary GLOBE was designed to help elementary teachers (i.e., grades K-4) integrate Earth system science topics into their curriculum as they teach literacy skills to students. This suite of instructional materials includes seven modules. Each module contains a science-based storybook and learning activities that support the science content addressed in the storybooks. Elementary GLOBE modules feature air quality, climate, clouds, Earth system, seasons, soil, and water. New eBooks allow students to read stories on computers or tablets, with the option of listening to each story with an audio recording.

A new Elementary GLOBE Teacher Implementation Guide, published in 2017, provides educators with information and strategies how Elementary GLOBE modules can be effectively applied in classrooms, how Elementary GLOBE modules are aligned with national standards, and how student literacy and science inquiry skills can be strengthened while learning about the Earth system.

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