Teacher ideas: rich task: media watch on climate change

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What you need

Articles from major daily newspapers, access to television and a DVD player

Teaching focus

Have students research the extent and nature of the issues on climate change that are reported in the media. This class activity takes a number of weeks to complete. Discuss with students the role the media plays in reporting on major issues. The media, whether it is newspapers, radio, journals or television, regularly reports on issues that are linked to or directly arise from climate change.

What to do

Each week select one group to maintain a watch on major newspapers, journals and television. Ask students to keep a record of the types of media coverage on climate change issues.

Explain that they need to group the articles/programs into categories. For example, global warming, rising sea levels, weather instability, government actions, energy usage, carbon dioxide emissions, carbon credits, and clean energy.

Ask students to choose one article that interests them and prepare a summary of it. They should include the main points raised, the people or organisations involved, the main argument used and whether they think it is justified.

Organise for students to present their findings to the class (allow a maximum of 10 minutes each). This should include the number and type of topics found during the week as well as the article summary.

Further inquiry

Students create a spreadsheet showing the number and type of climate change topics reported in the media for the period of the class activity.

They could prepare a graph and write a short report on how the media reports climate change and greenhouse gas emission issues.