21st Century Integration Model

Title: Global Climate Change in the 21st Century
Subject: Science
Grade Level: 9 through 12
See Wastewater Project, an example
of student project.

Lesson Summary

WGBH Teachers' Domain tackles the complicated concept of global climate change by focusing on three core issues: the effect of past climate change on present conditions; the positive and negative implications of greenhouse gases; and how human activity contributes to global warming. As a lesson extension, students will use digital imaging (e.g. digital camera, scanner, netTrekker image search) to capture and compare images of specific examples of modern technology. Using Google Earth students will identify the item's location, insert the image, provide a brief description, and a link to the student's wiki. Using PBworks, students will identify the positive and negative implications of their item on global warming and human society and support their judgment with documentation.

Original Lesson Plan

Global Climate Change: Understanding the Greenhouse Effect — www.teachersdomain.org/resources/ess05/sci/ess/watcyc/lp_global1/index.html

Original Objectives

Students will understand what global climate change is and how it affects our lives. Students will learn about greenhouse gases and begin to consider what events are causing an increase in the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

21st Century Skills Integration Objective(s)

Students will demonstrate critical thinking by evaluating positive and negative impacts of their examples of technology. Students will demonstrate information literacy by locating and documenting information that supports their evaluation. Students will demonstrate collaboration skills by working within student groups. Students will demonstrate global awareness by comparing effects of technology in different environments.


  1. Before lesson: Download Google Earth on student accessible computers. Create class wiki and provide students with specific URL (and optional password). Post the class wiki URL somewhere easily accessible for future reference.
  2. Lesson Extension: The Greenhouse Gases - Ask students to capture a digital image of a specific example of modern technology in their community. They should also find an image of an example of similar technology in another environment, e.g. a water treatment plant in Florida and an image of water treatment in India. Finding these images may vary based on school resources. Students may also scan images or locate images within netTrekker image search if a digital camera is inaccessible.
  3. Students should then access the class wiki and create a new page. Information should include a description of their item and their analysis of the item's impact on the environment and human society. They will also compare the effects of their item on their environment with the effects of a similar item in another environment. Students should use this information to state both items' effect on global warming. Finally, they will determine whether the importance of their technology outweighs its effect on global warming.
  4. Instruct students to launch Google Earth and identify where they captured their image. In instances where students found images as opposed to capturing them, ask them to identify an example of this item closest to their home. Students should then insert their image with a description bubble at this location in Google Earth. Inside this bubble, students should include: a)the item's location; b)the image itself; c)a brief description of what is being identified. They should also find the location of their image of the same type of item in the alternate environment and create a similar bubble for it. After providing this information within Google Earth, students will be asked to save this .KMZ file with a unique identifier and upload it to their page in PBwiki.