#parent | #kids | Lesson of the Day: ‘Bad Future, Better Future’

4. What is one new thing you learned about climate change from the article? What’s the connection between the burning of fossil fuels, greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide and climate change? What role does transportation and food production play in Earth’s warming?

5. The illustrated “book” concludes:

And here’s the good news: We already know how to make many of these changes. In fact, they’re already happening in many places — just not fast enough. That’s because the biggest challenges we face are not about science, they are about people.

World leaders and business people have to get serious about addressing climate change, and the rest of us have to help, if we want The Better Future to be the real future.

Will we do it? The choice is ours.

Do you agree with this statement? Do you think that the biggest challenges in addressing climate change are not about science, but about people? If so, what does this say about the role of storytelling and persuasion in tackling the problem? What other obstacles to action and change do you believe should also be considered? What perspectives, if any, do you think are missing from the story?

6. What is your reaction to the digital children’s book? What did you find most surprising, provocative or memorable? What messages, emotions or ideas will you take away from this story? Compare your brainstorm in the warm-up activity to the choices Ms. Rosen and Ms. Parshina-Kottas made to convince readers, young and old, of the threat that climate change poses to Earth? Which storytelling choices do you think were most effective and persuasive? What questions do you still have about climate change?

Option 1: Ask questions about climate change reporting.

Julia Rosen is an independent journalist covering science and the environment from Portland, Ore., and a guest on our live climate change panel for students on April 22. We’re inviting students to submit their own video questions for this live event.

After reading the article, what questions do you have for Ms. Rosen? For example, you might want to know more about:

  • the history of climate change

  • the effects of climate change on the present world and our possible future

  • why Ms. Rosen chose to tell the story of climate change in the form of a children’s book

  • what it’s like to cover science and the environment as a journalist

  • anything else related to climate change and the news media

Brainstorm a list of questions. Then choose one or two to ask in a video which you can submit here.

Option 2: Create your own children’s book on climate change.

Now it’s your turn: Write and illustrate a children’s book exploring the past, present or future of climate change, building on your brainstorm from the warm-up and using Ms. Rosen’s article as a mentor text.

Who is your audience? Teenagers, young children or perhaps even adults? What information would you include? What storytelling techniques would you want to incorporate? How would you balance imparting factual knowledge with good storytelling? Would you use characters, and if so, fictional or real? Would you include possible scenarios for the future, both good and bad? What messages would you want readers to come away with?

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