Glacier lesson plan

Glacier WS

Glacicer lesson-FINAL

This lesson encompasses Cultural Standard E. The standard says: A culturally-responsive curriculum situates local knowledge and actions in a global context.  In my glacier lesson, I help bring awareness and relevance to Mendenhall glacier, which is a currently retreating glacier here.  The discussion part starts with Mendenhall’s changes over time and what kind of rates the glacier has been retreating. This is followed with a video and lots of pictures.  This discussion would lead into topics about climate change and how they have a direct impact on the local and global environment.  It’s important that a take-home message includes how they can improve these condition in their community or across the world.  This part of the lesson embodies 1. encourages students to consider the inter-relationship between their local circumstances and the global community.

It’s absolutely key that the students understand “think globally, act locally” during this lesson and discussion on climate change.  The lesson has many references to Mendenhall, but only because it is a place-based lesson to help them realize what is going on in their backyard.  Once they grasp the local concept, they can apply that information directly to the communities around the world.

The second part of this lesson is about understanding glacier mechanics.  They will be exploring with a model how glaciers move and carve out much of SE Alaska and the features that are left on glaciated landforms.  Their deeper knowledge of how glaciers influence landforms is applicable to the world (SE Alaska is not the only place with glaciated land).  You can read more about the lesson plan on the link above.  Glaciers are schweet.

13 thoughts on “Glacier lesson plan”

  1. I love this lesson plan, I have a weird love for the glacier from being a guide on it and I was thrilled to see all of the information you included on it. I would definitely use this in a classroom. You did a great job at helping the students understand glaciers and how they work and process. Plus your activities engaging and fun.

  2. Very engaging activities and relevant to our community! Though it’s incredible that you could tie your activities to all those standards, I think it could be really powerful to dive into one standard really deeply with your students! Sounds like you are going to have some great discussions with your students this year.

  3. I love the goo plan! I think it’s also important to leave the kids with an idea of how they can help/what they can do–a lot of times issues like global warming are SO HUGE that it can feel really overwhelming and rather than try to figure it out on their own they just stop thinking about it, which obviously isn’t the objective. But I have total confidence in this lesson plan being memorable and awesome!

    1. That’s a great point! It can be an uncomfortable topic but definitely important and needs to be discussed. Thank you for your support!

  4. This is such a well thought out and well organized lesson. I’m excited to hear how the goo project unfolds in the classroom. I think the students will really enjoy the project and gain a better understanding of how glaciers move and groove.

  5. Katie,
    This is a well organized lesson plan, that raises important questions about climate change, and our actions towards the environment. I like the activity that you linked to the lesson. The lesson is so relevant, and I’m glad you are guiding students towards ” think globally, act locally”. Good job!

  6. Katie,

    It’s so great to see this plan in the flesh so to say! I remember discussing your vision at SLAM the very first visit. I think the real life demo is a great way to get the students hooked! I would be really interested in seeing how you get through the learning objectives (i.e. discussion) in order to see how students examine their position in the world.

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