Modeling your World: Lesson Plan

Examine the links between climate change and natural and/or health-related disasters, and discover ways to increase climate resilience. 

UNC-TV Media

Alignment to NC Essential Standards

  • EEn.2.7.3 — Explain how human activities impact the biosphere.

Learning Outcomes

  • Students will discuss the importance of responsible environmental decisions and their impact on the biosphere.

Essential Questions

  1. List the U.S. Climate Resistance’s Steps to Resilience.
  2. Describe three potential disasters that can result from climate change.

Essential Vocabulary

  • Deforestation
  • Desertification
  • Global Warming
  • Overharvesting
  • Invasive species


Take students through the Steps to Resilience table on the U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit website. Have students record in their notebooks the following:

  1. Step 1: Identify the Problem: Focus on climate stressors that threaten people, buildings, natural resources or the economy in your area.
  2. Step 2: Determine Vulnerabilities: Identify specific populations, locations and infrastructures that may be impacted by the climate problem you identified.
  3. Step 3: Investigate Options: Compile a list of potential solutions, drawing on the experience of others who have addressed similar problems.
  4. Step 4: Evaluate Risks and Costs: Consider risks and values to analyze the costs and benefits of favored options. Select the best solution for your situation and make a plan.
  5. Step 5: Take Action: Implement your plan and monitor your progress. As necessary, adjust your plan to move toward your desired outcomes. Be prepared to iterate, if needed. 


Refer students to the U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit Topics page. Students will choose one of the following potential topics and subtopics from the page, and work independently to gather information about the topic.





Working in teams according to the chosen topic, students will present their findings to the class through a video, tripod or oral report.

Required Elements: 

  1. Define the topic: What are tsunamis, wildfires or infectious diseases, and what kind of threat do they cause?
  2. List examples: What are examples of severe tsunamis, wildfires or infectious diseases, and what kind of impact did they have?
  3. Link cause and effect: What are the connections between climate change and tsunamis, wildfires, or infectious diseases? Be as specific as possible. 


Students will view the video “Modeling Your World,” taking notes on the following discussion points:

Discussion Questions: 

  1. NEMAC student Sarah Gibson says in the video that “land use decisions and climate change have a direct impact on the community.” What does she mean by that, and what are some examples that she might be referring to?
  2. The video’s narration states that “NEMAC’s staff hopes to give people prior warning so that changes can be made before there is emergency.” What does that mean, and how can it happen?


Working in teams according to the chosen topic, students will create a report in which they apply the five Steps of Resilience in a meaningful way to help decrease occurrences or mitigate impact of tsunamis, wildfires, or infectious diseases related to climate change.