Carnegie Mellon University

Climate & Environment Lesson Plans

The following are designed to be stand-alone lesson plans and are not meant to be used in any particular order.

  • Climate: Fact vs. Fiction: This handout discusses common climate facts and fictions. The first two pages contain the facts, the fictions, and the explanations. The third page contains a list of possible discussion questions. [pdf] [pdf (with discussion questions)]
  • Introduction to Climate Change: Provides a lecture-format comprehensive overview of climate change.
  • Bathtub Model: Students will describe the bathtub model and how it relates to (traditionally) greenhouse gas concentrations and (additionally) energy. Based on the bathtub model, students will construct a chart of flows (mass of greenhouse gases entering the atmosphere) and stocks (concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere).
  • Life-Cycle Thinking and Personal Carbon Footprint: Throughout a hands on experiment of taking apart a toaster, students will identify the seven main life-cycle stages of a product. Rank the carbon footprint of personal transportation, air travel, home energy usage, food consumption, and all other activities.
  • Ocean Acidification: Students learn about the impact of ocean acidification on marine organisms firsthand through an experiment with shells.