How is climate change impacting ocean life?

Questions to hold on to​

  • How do unusually warm conditions impact the marine ecosystem and fish stocks?
  • How do brinicles impact the marine ecosystem and fish stocks?
  • Are our oceans in danger of being too hot or too cold?

Add to your thinking

The Digital Notebook is a space to hold your thoughts, questions, and growing understanding throughout this Unit.  You will be able to access it from every Module. Use The Digital Notebook to jot your thinking, take notes, or as a space to develop your writing. You can print and export it anytime, and at the end of lesson 8 you’ll be reminded to save a copy for yourself.

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Phenomena Board

Investigative Phenomenon Question to investigate What we did What we figured out Connections to the phenomenon Questions we still have
Module 1 How is climate change impacting ocean life? Multiple reads and collaborative conversations Complete with students. Complete with students. Complete with students.
Module 3 How do the topics related to global warming represent the goals of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals? Connect SDGs to global warming issues Complete with students. Complete with students. Complete with students.
Module 4 How can we become experts in our selected topic? Experiment and research Complete with students. Complete with students. Complete with students.
Module 5 How can we create an ideal state campaign that advocates for change? 

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Design thinking around a solution for the problem presented in the launch. Complete with students. Complete with students. Complete with students.

Scientific Literacy Rubric

 

 

Module 1

 

 

*this module will take approximately 2 hours

 

Overview

The purpose of Module 1 is for students to discover how climate change affects ocean life. 

 

Essential Question: How is climate change impacting ocean life?

 

Launch the Anchoring Phenomenon 

Curiosity will be sparked by looking at two natural phenomenons that happen in our oceans.

 

Engage (45 minutes)

Phenomenon One: Brinicles – Students watch a video and read an article

Phenomenon Two: Hot Blobs – Students read an article about a Hot Blob in the Pacific Ocean Blob in 2014 and compare it to a Hot Blob off the U.S. West Coast from 2019

 

Review the questions and then give them a few minutes to finish the article independently:

  • How do the ideas presented in the article connect with the video?
  • What is new information that helps to explain the purpose of aquaponics?
  • What else do you wonder after reading this article?

 

**You may also choose to quantify how students mark the text as they read, for example:

  • Write a one sentence summary for every couple of paragraphs
  • Ask 2-3 questions per page
  • Underline new or unusual vocabulary
  • Put an exclamation mark near connections to the opening video

 

Explore (30 minutes)

Group students in teams of 3-4 and have them assign roles:

    • Scribe – records the thoughts/ideas for the group
    • Time Keeper – manages the group’s time
    • Reporter – reports the group’s thought to the whole group
    • Discussion Leader – ensures that everyone has an opportunity to share during discussion

 

As a group, students will discuss the following questions. 

  • How do unusually warm conditions impact the marine ecosystem and fish stocks?
  • How do brinicles impact the marine ecosystem and fish stocks?
  • Are our oceans in danger of being too hot or too cold?

 

After providing time for students to discuss answers, invite students to share answers with the class. 

 

Expected student responses will include:

  • Lesser-quality food available to young salmon entering the ocean, shifted predator distributions, harmful algal bloom, young California sea lions stranding on beaches, fishery disasters
  • Although they look and sound scary, brinicles don’t actually have much impact on the ecosystem because they typically kill smaller animals that are more abundant and common. This is also an isolated phenomenon that needs the perfect conditions to take place.
  • Overly warm water is a much bigger problem for our planet as it impacts multiple ecosystems.

 

Explain (15 minutes)

Make the connection to the phenomenons and chemistry. Ask students to re-read the excerpt from the Hot Blob that was forming in September 2019:

 

“…brinicles form because when seawater along the ocean surface freezes to form ice, it exudes salt. That increases the salinity of nearby water, which in turn lowers its freezing point, so that it stays liquid even though it’s really, really cold. (In a way, this is the opposite of the reverse osmosis process that desalination plants use to turn seawater into drinking water.) Pockets of that brine can get trapped inside the ice pack.”

 

Lead a group discussion about the phenomena. Questions to pose are:

  • What do you think is happening chemically? 
  • What do you know about water? 
  • What do you know about ocean water? 
  • What do you know about climate change? 

 

Evaluate (15 minutes)

Could brinicles be the origin of life? Conclude your launch with this article from MIT Technology Review.

 

Students read and annotate the article, marking the text for connections to prior knowledge and what they have learned in this module. 

 

Reflect (5 minutes)

As an exit ticket or demonstration of understanding, ask students to write a brief summary of today’s learning, citing 2-3 examples of evidence from the texts.

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