California Objective 43: Government and Law – Environment


Ann Kopel 


Portland Community College – Southeast Center

Level 3 ESOL – Integrated Skills (Class size: 63 students in two classes with about 3/4 new to EL Civics and the rest continuing students)


Understanding Global Warming


Competency Area: Government and Law – Environment

Language and Literacy Objective: Identify environmental problems and recognize appropriate steps for resolution.

Crossroads Cafe - Episode # 3  Worlds Apart (will be used later)


Background: For the 2007-8 school year, we decided to focus on the environment. During Fall term our class looked at energy use, particularly electricity, but also at other energy sources such as natural gas, oil, and gasoline. Winter term looked at the use of water in our community.

Current term: Spring term (Spring 2008) we are focusing on food, where it comes from, and how our food choices affect the process of global warming that is occuring.


CASAS Objective and Activities: Describe the problem of global warming orally and in written form


Activity 1: To enhance listening and understanding

1.     Watch the trailer for “Inconvenient Truth”

  1. Watch trailer without stopping
  2. Watch trailer again and teacher pauses to explain what they are seeing
  3. Teacher uses the Visual Presenter to show photos, graphs, and illustrations from the book “Inconvenient Truth” by Al Gore to more fully explain why our planet is experiencing global warming and what is causing world-wide.


Activity 2: To present new vocabulary and build reading skills

Students read a teacher prepared handout about global warming.

Handout: Global Warming Crisis 

Activity 3: To practice grammar and writing skills – recognizing subjects and verbs and writing complete sentences

Students do a grammar practice where they must use the reading on global warming to help them complete 10 sentence sentence fragments by adding a subject or verb (whichever one is missing in the fragment). They must also write 2 original complete sentences.

Handout:  Global Warming Writing Activity


Activity 4: To practice critical thinking, oral, and writing skills

Students respond to this presentation:

1. As a class, develop a vocabulary list of words they need to use to talk about this topic.

2. In small groups of 3-4, students discuss these questions

• What is the problem?

• Why is this a problem?

• Who can help?

• What can I do to help?

3. Individually, students write their answers to these questions.

4. Students return to small groups to share their papers and ideas with the other members of their group.

5. The group members choose one presentation to represent the group and orally explain why they like this presentation

(Samples to follow)

6. Students complete a written survey that lets them evaluate this lesson.

1 = true           2= false          3=don’t know or can’t decide

1. I feel like I learned something from this lesson.

2. I liked this lesson.

3. I feel that this lesson was a good use of class time.

4. I think this lesson should be used again for other students.