Your carbon footprint and global warming: Are you warming the world?

According to The Teacher’s Guide website created by Susan Joy Hassol (cited in the materials), global warming is caused primarily by carbon dioxide that is released from power plants, cars, factories and, to a lesser extent, when forests are cleared. In this lesson, students will explore the ways carbon dioxide escapes into the environment and leads to global warming. Students will then determine their own carbon footprint through an interactive website from An Inconvenient Truth. Finally they will reflect on ways to reduce their carbon footprint. This lesson was originally designed for a high-beginner to intermediate ESL in a family literacy context

To increase students’ understanding of global warming, and to support them in reflecting and taking action to reduce their own carbon footprint.

At the end of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Identify four major ways that carbon dioxide escapes into the environment.
  • Measure their own carbon footprint
  • Take action to decrease their carbon footprint

This KQED QUEST blog page links to an interactive website from An Inconvenient Truth that allows users to calculate their carbon foot print. It’s ideal for beginner ESL students and/or those with limited computer skills because of its reduced content and user-friendly interface. This lesson plan is primarily designed around this carbon footprint calculator.
This is an extensive interactive website that calculates a more precise carbon footprint, but requires more user input, language skills and computer skills. This website may be appropriate for intermediate and advanced ESL students.
This site offers a teachers' guide to high quality educational materials on climate change and global warming, created by Susan Joy Hassol.

Click on the link below for the lesson plan