Teacher ideas: time capsule

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What you need

Writing materials

Teaching focus

Find out students' current understandings about climate change. Use a time capsule as a means of encouraging students to present their ideas.

What to do

Ask students to discuss their understanding about climate change and how the world is accepting the challenge. The time capsule could document how governments, business, school communities and homes and families are trying to become more sustainable.

To engage students in the process ask the class to brainstorm what people are currently doing to reduce their impact on climate change.

For example, make a table with the following headings:

What is currently being done to reduce our impact on climate change?
Governments Businesses School communities Homes/families

Prompt students to think about climate change by asking questions such as:

  • What campaigns have been produced by local, state or federal governments to encourage people to reduce their impact on the environment?
  • What types of promotions have you seen?
  • In what ways does the school use energy? Has there been any action to reduce energy use? How would this help?
  • What does your family do to reduce its impact on climate change?
  • The time capsule could use images from magazines, newspapers or students' own drawings to convey their ideas.
  • Students could also make predictions about what they think the future will be like.

Provide the writing prompt on the whiteboard for students to complete a short essay: 'When you open this time capsule in the year 2030 I think ...'

Further inquiry

The materials can be used as part of student self-evaluation or reflection at the conclusion of the unit.