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Teacher Spotlight (5/23): Rough Draft Modeling with Understanding Global Change

Updated: May 1, 2023

About the Teacher Spotlight Program

The Teacher Spotlight Program for the San Diego Science Project (SDSP) is designed to support and share innovative and exemplary instructional practices and curriculum resources for K12 science instruction. This is rooted in the mission of the SDSP to build and support science educator networks and deliver science resources in response to the interests and needs of educators. The goal for each spotlight is to show regard for the expertise of teachers and inspire others to implement similar equity-centered instructional practices.


Instructional Practice Resource: Rough Draft Modeling with Understanding Global Change

Our first Teacher Spotlight comes from Rachel Meisner at Castle Park High School in Chula Vista. Rachel recently participated in a Climate Design Summit where teams of teachers learned about the Understanding Global Change (UGC) framework to support students with modeling complex climate-based phenomena. As a practice she used with her students during the launch of her anchoring phenomenon, sea level rise, she asked students to use UGC models and select icon cards to engage in a rough draft explanation of the phenomenon video. As students explore later investigative phenomena, they will revise their UGC model with evidence to support a more complete explanation.


“With the implementation of NGSS the biggest change in my teaching practice has been the use of anchoring phenomena with every unit. An integral part of this is having students take the time to try to explain those phenomena, often with models, throughout the unit. The UGC model is a great scaffold for helping students think of my earth-science related phenomena and I am excited to see how UGC helps students become more effective systems thinkers.”


Click the image above to see some rough draft modeling in action with students.


The icon cards are being used to support student reasoning with the phenomenon.


About the Resource

This instructional practice was shared by Dr. Rachel Meisner. Dr. Meisner is a teacher at Castle Park High School and is a Teacher Leader for the San Diego Science Project's Community of Practice.


To learn more about these modeling practices, you can visit Understanding Global Change. Want to attend an event to learn more about this framework and how to integrate climate education into your units? Click here to complete our interest form to attend the upcoming Climate Champions Design Summit on September 13th and 14th.


Have a resource to share with us in a future Teacher Spotlight?

Click here to Nominate yourself or another teacher for sharing a resource to the Teacher Spotlight Program.

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