My colleague and co-author Katie Hull Sypnieski (with whom I’m writing a sequel to our surprisingly popular book, The ESL/ELL Teacher’s Survival Guide) are teaching a lesson on climate change to our Intermediate and Advanced English Language Learners on Friday. I’ll be combining my Intermediate class with her Advanced one.

I thought readers might be interested in hearing what we will be doing…

First, we’ll show students two short videos on climate change after providing a short introduction to it. There are surprisingly few accessible videos out there, and I think these are the two best ones — Brainpop’s animation on Global Warming (happily, they make this video available free) and this one from the Australian government:

Next, we’ll explain that the United Nations had a special meeting last week on climate change, and that a Marshallese poet recited a poem that brought many delegates to tears (see Marshallese Poet Brings UN To Tears With Climate Change Poem & Provides Extraordinary Opportunity To ESL Teachers). We’ll give everyone a world map, and our Marshallese students will explain where the Marshall Islands are located.

We’ll then give students a copy of the poem, read it to them, and then show one of the videos that accompanies the poem that is embedded in my post about it. Then we’ll have students work in pairs to write in their own words what they think the different stanzas of the poem mean, and discuss it in class.

Next, we’ll show a video of the poet reciting the poem at the United Nations.

Then, depending on how much time we have left, we’ll bring students to the library to do research so they can write an “ABC” paragraph in response to this question: Answer the question, Back it up with evidence like a quotation, make a Comment or Connection. You can read more about this strategy here.

How do you think climate change will affect you?

They’ll research resources at The Best Sites To Learn About Climate Change. They’ll also be able to use information they learned from the two videos.

Their homework will be to write the paragraph, and then they’ll share it verbally with classmates on Monday.

Let me know if you have suggestions on how we can make the lesson an even better one!