Global warming is still a topic that stirs a range of emotions in people. Is it real? Is it made up? Is it something to worry about or not? Will it actually affect you?

But, love it or hate it, the topic is not going to go away.

We have just had some training on how to teach this and I thought it was worth sharing with you.

Take the premise ‘Global Warming is going to cause more extreme weather patterns’.

Then, think of the compass points (N, S, W, E), except in this lesson they are not going to represent compass points but thinking points.

With regards to this premise:

E = Excited

What excites you about this idea or proposition? Are you excited because the weather will get hotter or colder? Are you excited because more extreme weather means global warming is happening and governments will be forced to do something about it?

What’s the upside?

W = Worrisome

What do you find worrisome about this idea or proposition?  What’s the downside? Does it mean that plants will die, people will die and mass migration will be forced on us? Are you worried as it may mean that the place you call home will no longer be home for you?

N = Need to Know

What else do you need to know or find out about this idea or proposition?  What additional information would help you to evaluate things? Where can you go to find this out? Are there any sources of impartial new or scientific research that you can access?

S = Stance or Suggestion for Moving Forward

What is your current stance or opinion on the idea?  How might you move forward in your evaluation of this idea or proposition? Do you need to look at yourself? Do you waste too much carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases? Can you cut down on this? If so, how? What about others? Your family,m friends, school? Can you do anything to get these to cut down on the greenhouse gases they are emitting? And what about on a national level? Is there anything you can do?

Projected change in annual mean surface air temperature from the late 20th century to the middle 21st century, based on SRES emissions scenario A1B. Source: U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, via Wikimedia Commons

The ideas of compass points can be applied to most premises and it does, I feel, make you look at things from a different perspective.

Has your teacher carried out a similar activity with you? If so, what premise(s) were you given? Please share them below – I would love to read more about them.

These ideas were inspired by the Powerpoint: Visible Thinking Routines