In this video, students discuss their understandings of Greenhouse Gases. Students struggle to express an expert understanding of greenhouse gases because they conflate the natural greenhouse effect and an enhanced greenhouse effect. While many people understand that the greenhouse effect is natural, they may also associate greenhouse gases with global warming and, therefore, label these gases as bad. Yet, life on Earth evolved in a certain way because of how these gases regulate Earth's temperature.

Watch this video of 6th-grade students in South Gate, California—an urban community. As you watch this video, consider how you would respond to these students and their understandings in your classroom:

  1. 1) Emily thinks the Greenhouse Effect and greenhouse gases are bad and is confusing the Greenhouse Effect with amplified warming. What strategies would you use to respond to Emily?
    2) Christopher believes greenhouse gases are good because they benefit plants. How would you adjust instruction to help Christopher build on his understanding?
    3) Eliazar remains uncertain even after discussion of greenhouse gases. How would you respond to Eliazar’s confusion? What additional activities would help Eliazar understand these concepts?

This resource is from the Changing Climate Environmental Literacy Teacher Guide.