Session 3: Know your teaching practices

By the end of studying this unit, participants should be able to.

  • Explore various ways in which we can teach learners about The Evolving
  • Designed a few the different activities to teach climate change topics in the NS curriculum.
  • Link pedagogical approaches to relevant climate change topics related to the topic: The Evolving Planet.

Here are some questions for you and your students/learners to think about:

  • How self-aware do you think you are?
  • How do you think you become more self-aware of climate change and your socio-environmental environment?
  • Determine where you could improve, such as eating a fresher, locally sourced diet or reducing the amount of waste you produce.
  • How do you think you can increase your students or learners’ self-awareness and awareness of the world they live in situated in climate change?

In this section we explore various ways in which we can teach learners about The Evolving Planet. The activities are designed to model several different methods and processes detailed in the Fundisa for Change Methods and Processes to Support Change Oriented Learning booklet.


In this method we initially use structured questions to focus learner’s attention on aspects of the information. Questions then change to become more interpretive in nature, allowing learners to make connections between new and existing knowledge. Links to CAPS This activity helps to develop the following knowledge and skills as described in the CAPS: Interpreting and sequencing data from the different eras and periods; Interpreting information; Raising questions; Hypothesising; and Graph reading and interpretation skills.

Core knowledge

Paleoclimatology is the study of the climate that existed before humans began collecting instrumental measurements of weather (for example, temperature from a thermometer, precipitation from a rain gauge, sea level pressure from a barometer, wind speed and direction from an anemometer).

Paleoclimatology: The study of past climate. The word is derived from the Greek root “paleo” which means “ancient,” and the term “climate”. From the paleooclimate perspective, climate change is normal, and part of the Earth’s natural variability related to interactions among the atmosphere, ocean and land as well as changes in the amount of solar radiation reaching the Earth. The geologic record includes much evidence of large-scale climate changes.

Some of the major factors resulting in climate change in the past, sometimes so severe as to result in mass extinctions, are: For more on this method, see the Methods & Processes book, p. 14.

Teaching Climate Change 17 Volcanic eruptions which cause vast quantities of carbon dioxide to be emitted into the atmosphere, ash clouds blocking sunlight, potentially acid rain and large-scale floods of basalt lava; Plate tectonics and continental drift; Sea level falls from the sinking of tectonic plates or sustained global cooling; and Asteroid impacts, the largest of which produced a crater of more than 100km wide.

Developing your teaching practice


Click on this image to access an example of a learner activity and a rubric

Activity 2: Rising Sea Levels (Refer to graph above)

Poster Activity

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N.B. Please remember to keep a copy of all your activities for your portfolio. Submit this to your tutor.

Exploring pedagogy  based on the Environmental process learning model.

In this activity, research on the past occurrences of ice ages leads to insight into what may be necessary to survive another ice age.

Core knowledge Activity

During the last 2.6 million years, ice ages or glacial ages, have occurred a number of times. These are periods of extreme cooling of the Earth’s climate where ice sheets and glaciers cover large areas of land. It is thought that at times in Earth’s history, Earth was almost completely ice-bound with life surviving predominantly in the oceans. During one of these times, nicknamed “Snowball Earth”, the average temperature of Earth fell from 15°C to -50°C. Between ice ages there are warmer interglacial periods – such as the time we are living in now where the only remnants of the last ice age are the ice caps and the Greenland ice sheet. The most recent ice age peaked about 21 000 years ago and ended about 11 500 years ago. The causes of ice ages are not completely understood. It is also not known whether the anthropogenic influences on the climate system will delay or encourage the onset of the next ice age.

Activity 3: Evolving Planet - Teaching Practice

Based on the 4 Quadrants

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Explain the activity and present the activity/worksheet.
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N.B. Please remember to keep a copy of all your activities for your portfolio. Submit this to your tutor.