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Database Provider

Author

Blanca Begert

Grades

6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th

Subjects

Science, English Language Arts, Career Readiness, Life Literacies, and Key Skills

Resource Type

  • Article

Regional Focus

Global, North America, United States

Climate Denial Campaign Goes Retro With New Textbook

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Synopsis
  • This article details attempts made by The Heartland Institute, a think tank that denies climate change, to influence teachers to teach from their materials. 
  • Students will learn about the lengths that climate deniers are willing to go to influence others, propaganda, and the history of The Heartland Institute. 
Teaching Tips

Positives

  • This article provides an interesting look at a hot-button topic in schools: misinformation.
  • The article is well-written and provides enough context and background information for students to draw interesting conclusions about their reading.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should have an understanding of various existing climate change misconceptions, and the motivations of corporate climate change deniers.
  • Students may experience a pop-up about cookies or how to donate to Grist.

Differentiation

  • Cross-curricular connections can be made in social studies classes learning about historical propaganda, or in health classes that are considering corporate intentions and distinguishing truth from falsehoods.
  • Before reading, poll students on their thoughts about misinformation and how it is targeted at them. Do they believe that they experience misinformation or propaganda in their everyday lives? Where? This may lead to a robust and interesting conversation, especially with older students or classes that use social media.
  • For older students, this resource would pair well with The Debunking Handbook, which explains how to debunk misinformation. Have students role-play debunking information from The Heartland Institute.
Scientist Notes
This resource is a website with an article about the Heartland Institute, a think tank notorious for climate misinformation, which has sent its latest book, “Climate at a Glance,” to 8,000 American middle and high school teachers. The book aims to discredit established climate science and provide “the data to show the earth is not experiencing a climate crisis.” This resource would be a great addition to a classroom discussion about climate truth and where to find credible information.
Standards

This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

  • English Language Arts
    • Reading: Informational Text (K-12)
      • RI.11-12.1 Accurately cite strong and thorough textual evidence, (e.g., via discussion, written response, etc.), to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferentially, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain.
      • RI.11-12.2 Determine two or more central ideas of a text and analyze their development and how they interact to provide a complex analysis; provide an objective summary of the text.
      • RI.11-12.3 Analyze a complex set of ideas or sequence of events and explain how specific individuals, ideas, or events interact and develop over the course of the text.
      • RI.11-12.10 By the end of grade 11, read and comprehend literary nonfiction at grade level text complexity or above with scaffolding as needed. By the end of grade 12, read and comprehend literary nonfiction at grade level text complexity or above.
  • Science
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • MS-ESS3-5. Ask questions to clarify evidence of the factors that have caused the rise in global temperatures over the past century.
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