Top
Get science ideas & lessons right in your inbox!

Teaching About the Greenhouse Effect and Global Warming for Middle School

The greenhouse effect for middle school science

Teaching about the Greenhouse Effect, Global Warming, and Climate Change can be tricky.  First of all, there are a lot of people out there that have strong opinions about global warming and climate change. Second of all, it is a complicated topic. 

I would start by teaching about the Greenhouse Effect.  The greenhouse effect is a normal process that balances our global temperature. 

The greenhouse effect is the process by which radiation from a planet’s atmosphere warms the planet’s surface to a temperature above what it would be without its atmosphere. If a planet’s atmosphere contains radiatively active gases they will radiate energy in all directionsgreenhouse effect

After explaining to the students that the greenhouse effect is a natural phenomenon and it helps our Earth to stay a comfortable temperature, I would make sure they understand that without the greenhouse effect, our Earth would get very cold.

I would use slide shows and nonfiction reading to introduce concepts about the Greenhouse effect and probably also a hands-on science investigation.

lab on greenouse effect



recording data on global warming

greenhouse effectI would also have students make a simple model in their interactive notebook showing their understanding of the Greenhouse Effect.
 
Once, they have an understanding of the Greenhouse Effect, I would introduce them to the enhanced greenhouse effect, which occurs when excess greenhouse gases are in our atmosphere. Less infrared energy can escape the atmosphere because of this excess gas, so our planet gets warmer.  
 
However, I would not want students to take my word for it!  I would want them to look at the data themselves from some reputable websites, like NOAA. 

I provide students with QR codes that take them to reputable sites to gather information.

QR Codes on Climate DataStudents would record data and draw their own conclusions. 
interactive notebook inserts climate change
 

This unit is available for download in two places:

  1. Here on Teachingscience.us
  2. Lynda’s TPT Store

Both downloads are identical in every way – if you download directly from this site, you’re giving me the maximum amount of support! Either way, your satisfaction is 100% guaranteed.

This site uses 100% secure checkout with PayPal, and after checkout, your download is instantly available.

Thank you, and I hope you enjoy using this unit in your classroom!

NGSS MS-ESS3-5. Ask questions to clarify evidence of the factors that have caused the rise in global temperatures over the past century.
It is also available here in teachingscience.us 
 
Global Warming Middle School Science Unit
 
Middle School NGSS Unit Global Warming
 

This resource also works for Utah SEEd 6.3.4
 
 
Thanks for visiting and don’t be afraid to teach controversial topics!  Just let students look at the data and draw their own conclusions. 
 
Would you like a free game on Carrying Capacity for Middle School Science?
 

FREE Carrying Capacity Game

Start Here

I am so impressed with this unit which manages to be distance learning and hands-on at the same time.  Really well thought out and engaging activities that allow students to practice each of the eight Science and Engineering Practices.  Really no prep for me!

 
Science and Engineering Practices Distance Education Unit

Tina S

Teaching Science with Lynda R. Williams
5
2016-05-03T18:05:39-06:00

Tina S

I am so impressed with this unit which manages to be distance learning and hands-on at the same time.  Really well thought out and engaging activities that allow students to practice each of the eight Science and Engineering Practices.  Really no prep for me!   Science and Engineering Practices Distance Education Unit
The elephant article was excellent but I also thought the lab on dissecting a flower was broken down so easily, even telling me where to get inexpensive flowers!  This resource helped me teach this challenging standard in an engaging way.  Worth every penny!

 
Structure and Function NGSS 4-LS1-1 and 4-LS1-2

Richard S

Teaching Science with Lynda R. Williams
5
2016-05-03T18:07:52-06:00

Richard S

The elephant article was excellent but I also thought the lab on dissecting a flower was broken down so easily, even telling me where to get inexpensive flowers!  This resource helped me teach this challenging standard in an engaging way.  Worth every penny!   Structure and Function NGSS 4-LS1-1 and 4-LS1-2
As always, Lynda provides perfect alignment with the standards.

 
Age of the Earth and Geologic Time Scale NGSS MS ESS1-4

Sharon M

Teaching Science with Lynda R. Williams
5
2016-05-03T18:24:44-06:00

Sharon M

As always, Lynda provides perfect alignment with the standards.   Age of the Earth and Geologic Time Scale NGSS MS ESS1-4
Thank you so much for creating this resource! It is such a fun and engaging activity for my students, especially during distance learning.

 
Honey Bee Digital Escape Distance Learning

Expedition Fourth

Teaching Science with Lynda R. Williams
2020-11-03T20:44:55-07:00

Expedition Fourth

Thank you so much for creating this resource! It is such a fun and engaging activity for my students, especially during distance learning.   Honey Bee Digital Escape Distance Learning
My students loved this unit. I was able to present different elements of it throughout the month. It is hard to find interesting non-fictional, age-appropriate text for my students that they will enjoy. This was a great unit that aligned well for my students who have very different goals within the same group.

 
Compare and Contrast Two Texts on Reindeer

Heidi J

Teaching Science with Lynda R. Williams
2020-11-03T20:45:49-07:00

Heidi J

My students loved this unit. I was able to present different elements of it throughout the month. It is hard to find interesting non-fictional, age-appropriate text for my students that they will enjoy. This was a great unit that aligned well for my students who have very different goals within the same group.   Compare and Contrast Two Texts on Reindeer
5
3
Teaching Science with Lynda R. Williams