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Climate Change – Causes and Effects: How are we contributing to greenhouse gas emissions?

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Minimum time required

30 minutes

Resources needed

Methodology & teacher’s notes

  1. Show the students the five images on your whiteboard and/or printed copies. Whatever works best for your students (you can assign different images to pairs/groups, or give each student all five – up to you!). Tell the students that these images represent the five categories of ways we contribute to climate change through greenhouse gas emissions.
  2. Through discussion and analysis of the images, challenge students to come up with a title for each image, effectively guessing what category of greenhouse gas emission sources they represent. For your reference to steer student thinking, the titles used on the Esri UK website are:
  • Making things
  • Plugging in
  • Growing things
  • Getting around
  • Keeping warm or cool

The key is for students to use their knowledge and clues from the pictures to come up with their own reasonable titles for the categories. Write on the board the five titles that the class come up.

  1. Hand out one blank pie chart sheet to each student. Using a pencil, (important – so they can erase their markings!), get them to guess how much each of the five categories contribute to greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. For example, if they think getting around contributes to half, then they sketch out that proportion of the pie etc… Ask some volunteers to explain their reasons (you’ll judge these against ‘reality’ in a moment!)
  2. Now it’s time to reveal the answers. Visit the Esri UK/Met Office story map (link above) and go through the seven slides. Move the discussion onto comparing their guesses to the actual figures. Why might they have thought a particular category contributed more or less than they guessed?
  3. Students to complete the pie chart with the actual figures – erasing their sketched guesses. They can use either the Esri UK titles or the titles they came up with to label the pie chart – so long as they make sense!
  4. Glue the pie charts into their exercise books or in the middle of an A4 sheet of paper. Students to annotate the pie chart describing the kind of activities that take place in each category that contribute to greenhouse emissions. As an extension, some students can also annotate things that can be done to reduce greenhouse gases emissions from those sectors.

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