Investigate the evidence for human-caused climate change and face this reality with sobriety and hope.
Climate Change and Our Commission
Climate change is a serious threat. How can we confront it with Christian hope?
Almost daily we are bombarded with headlines announcing yet another grim situation caused or intensified by global climate change. In the midst of the heightened rhetoric ranging from bleak alarms of imminent doom to cynical denial, how can you emphasize truth and responsible action with your students?
- Should Christians care about climate change?
- As Christians, what is our responsibility when it comes to climate change?
- How do we know the earth’s climate is changing?
- How does human activity contribute to climate change?
- What can we do about climate change?
- How does Christian hope inspire us to work for change even as some people predict a bleak future?
- How can we talk about climate change at church?
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What will students know or be able to do after this unit?
- Articulate how climate change affects the most vulnerable peoples of the world.
- Explain several ways the Bible justifies Christians learning about and taking action on climate change.
- Analyze multiple lines of evidence that climate scientists use to support the claim that the earth’s climate is changing.
- Explain the relationship between temperature, carbon dioxide, and human activity using evidence to support reasoning.
- Predict consequences if people do not begin to make lifestyle choices that limit carbon emissions.
- Identify and practice personal lifestyle choices that can help reduce the negative effects of climate change.
- Reflect on the Christian hope found in the promise that God will reconcile his people and all of creation to himself.
Modules Included in this Unit
14.1 Meet: Climate Scientist Katharine Hayhoe
Dr. Hayhoe shares about her life as a Christian climate scientist.
14.2 Engage: Loving the Least of These
Students learn how rising global temperatures affect vulnerable people across the world. They identify reasons why Christians should care about climate change.
14.3 Experience: Hot and Gassy
Students explore ice melt, sea level rise, rising carbon dioxide (CO2) levels, and temperature changes, and how these all point to a changing climate.
14.4 Experience: Lifestyles and Climate Change
Students predict and then observe how atmospheric CO2 would change if we minimize fossil fuel use. Then students consider how different lifestyle choices affect CO2 emissions.
14.5 Engage: Taking Action
Students calculate their own carbon footprint and investigate ways that they can make a difference for the earth’s climate.
14.6 Grow: Hope
In this brief devotional, students reflect on how Christian hope inspires us to work toward the restoration of creation that God promises.
14.7 Integrate: Climate Change and my Church
Students develop a short presentation about why climate change matters and what personal actions we can all take to reduce climate change.
I love the materials and the engaging activities—hands on and minds on! You can follow the sequence they suggest, or use the multitude of resources in your own design. The information is broad, deep, and balanced. The integration of science and faith is genuine, seamless—it never feels ‘forced.’
- Unit lesson plans (PDF download; 33 pages)
- User Introduction and Overview (Google Doc)
- 10 student handouts (Google Docs)
- 2 answer keys (Google Docs)
- 10 images for printing or projecting (JPEG)
- Integrate Glossary (Google Docs, 64 pages)
- NGSS Alignment (Google Doc)