Climate Ed Projects to Engage Tweens

Climate Change: Discover How it Impacts Spaceship Earth with 25 Projects
By Joshua Sneideman and Erin Twamley, illustrated by Mike Crosier
(Nomad Press 2015 – Learn more)

vonstaden3Reviewed by Laura Von Staden

Climate Change: Discover How it Impacts Spaceship Earth with 25 Projects is a helpful student resource for upper elementary or lower middle school.

This colorful and appealing book for tween readers is laid out with vocabulary in the margins, cool facts at the top or bottom of the page and additional resources in QR codes, also at the bottom of pages. A number of the resources that readers are sent to via the QR codes are primary source documents, indicated by the symbol PS inside a magnifying glass.

ClimateChange_CoverThe content of the book is good. It is on a level that most upper elementary/lower middle school students can grasp, yet it is not oversimplified and builds content vocabulary. The QR codes lead to sites that, in addition to the primary source documents, include supplemental information or activities that require students to read and/or create graphs, which the content supports.

The titles of the chapters are engaging (such as “Goldilocks and the 3 Planets”) as is the layout of the book overall (lively use of color and placement of cool facts, pictures and vocabulary). Activities are included at the end of each chapter to reinforce and allow hands-on access to the content. The activities are sufficiently short and easy and use simple supplies while being excellent hands-on representations of the section they are part of.

There are also a number of higher order questions throughout the book, either at the bottom of pages as essential questions or as part of the activities. At the end of the book there is a glossary, an index of terms, and an index of both the included websites and QR code links (very useful if students don’t have a QR reader readily available).

If you are teaching climate change, global warming, or the carbon cycle and man’s impact on the Earth’s equilibrium to students of this age range, I would recommend you check out this valuable resource. The content, the activities, and the resources embedded in QR codes are all excellent. I may adapt some pieces for our carbon unit with 8th grade.

Read a MiddleWeb article by the authors of Climate Change.

Dr. Laura Von Staden is a Special Education Middle School Teacher in Tampa, Florida. She serves on numerous committees both at her school and within her district and works closely with the local university where she is a Professional Practice Partner and a master mentor. Dr. Von Staden also facilitates both online and face-to-face Professional Development for her school district.

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