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Author

Yale Program on Climate Change Communication

Grades

9th, 10th, 11th, 12th

Subjects

Science, English Language Arts

Resource Types

  • Article
  • Lesson Plan
  • Worksheet
  • Activity - Classroom

Regional Focus

North America, United States

Format

PDF

Role Play: Six Americas, Six Views on Global Warming

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Synopsis
  • This role-play activity allows students to practice communicating with people who have dissimilar opinions on climate change. 
  • Students can use one of the three climate action scenarios provided on the Teacher Page or write their own scenario for the role play. 
Teaching Tips

Positives

  • The Student Page is a fillable pdf with planning questions, reflection questions, a graphic organizer, and rubrics.
  • The Teacher Page provides three scenarios with vocabulary terms and descriptions for each of the six characters' roles.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Teachers and students will benefit from reviewing the Yale Program on Climate Change's Global Warming's Six Americas to better understand the six characters in the role play.
  • Teachers may want to go over the scenario’s vocabulary before starting the activity.
  • Teachers can assign the students groups and roles or allow the students to pick their own roles.

Differentiation

  • Before the activity, students can take the Six Americas Super Short Survey to see which of the six groups they align with personally. 
  • Students in writing or English language arts classes could write an original climate action scenario for a role play. Students could brainstorm ideas that would have an impact on their local community and use those ideas to shape the story. 
  • Other resources on this topic include this lesson on writing a personal climate story and this PBS video on why climate change is so hard to talk about.
Scientist Notes
Role play is another qualitative method for engaging in good climate conversation with people with diverse backgrounds and perspectives on climate change. This resource is recommended for students to learn to role play quality climate conversations that might help change other people's belief systems.
Standards

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

  • English Language Arts
    • Reading: History/Social Studies (6-12)
      • RH.11-12.7 Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in diverse formats and media (e.g., visually, quantitatively, qualitatively, as well as in words) in order to address a question or solve a problem.
    • Writing: History, Science & Technical Subjects (6-12)
      • WHST.9-10.1 Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant sufficient textual and non-textual evidence.
      • WHST.11-12.1 Write arguments focused on discipline-specific content.
  • Science
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • HS-ESS3-2. Evaluate competing design solutions for developing, managing, and utilizing energy and mineral resources based on cost-benefit ratios.
    • ETS1: Engineering Design
      • HS-ETS1-2. Design a solution to a complex real-world problem by breaking it down into smaller, more manageable problems that can be solved through engineering.
    • LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
      • HS-LS2-7. Design, evaluate, and refine a solution for reducing the impacts of human activities on the environment and biodiversity.
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