Carbon Dioxide, Temperature, and Human Impact

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This lesson on carbon dioxide, temperature, and human impact was developed by Hanna Nielsen at the Coastal Ecosystems Institute, and it centers on a short animation called “Worse than Poop!”, created by filmmaker Vanessa Warheit. 

Worse Than Poop! is an award-winning 6-minute film featuring an 8 year old climate “scientist”. It was released in 2014 and has screened at film festivals internationally. As Warheit puts it, “Worse than Poop!” focuses on the idea that “poop, like CO2, can be good - if you have the right amount to sustain the life cycle. But when you have a lot...that’s a problem.” By graphically illustrating the quantity of CO2 pollution created by gasoline-powered transportation, the film gives an overview of climate change and basic atmospheric chemistry, touches on the short and long carbon cycle, and introduces kids to the benefits of renewable energy sources and alternative transportation choices.

This lesson plan is designed for 6th grade, but the film is appropriate for grades k-8.

Subject Area: Earth and Human Activity: Climate Change 

Next Generation Standards: MS-ESS3-1.

For more on carbon dioxide, temperature, and human impact, visit the Climate Change Collection

Lesson Plan Resources

Lesson Plan
Lesson tags: 
Good for Parents
Creative Commons License: 
Attribution Non-commercial NoDerivative CC (BY-NC-ND)
This resource is a part of the following collections: 
60 Lessons and Resources, 3 Collections


December 2020
November 2020
Great Lesson Plan!!! I am going to use it next week.