Pika Models + Climate Change Lesson Plan

Pika Models + Climate Change Lesson Plan

BAESI’s new “Pika Models + Climate Change” lesson plans are adapted from the 2016 Science Framework for California Public Schools (pp. 839-841). Students explore the life of pikas, tiny mammals that live in alpine areas, and how they are being impacted by climate change. After a brief introduction which includes a reading, short video, and story which includes a mathematical model, students engage in a kinesthetic simulation to gain first-hand experience of life as a pika, and how the animals can be impacted by shrinking habitat. Students then create line graphs with data from the simulation and analyze it.

Part II of the lesson allows students to create their own model to teach others about pikas and their connections to their ecosystem, and/or how the pika or another organism is being impacted by climate change and/or other human activities. Numerous adaptations/extensions are listed at the end of the lesson, including ways to explore additional data from online computer simulations and how they can incorporate current and projected climatic data into their models.

There are two versions of the lesson that are both highly adaptable to meet the needs of all learners:

Both versions of the lesson are aligned to NGSS & Common Core State Standards, as well as California’s Environmental Principles and Concepts. They can be easily adapted for other grades and non-formal education settings, as well. We hope you and your students enjoy the simulations and other activities and we’d love to hear your feedback about it!

Sea Ice, Glaciers and Sea Level Rise

In these documents, teachers are given two examples of a similar activity. Think about how you can modify activities to make them more or less structured using these examples, and try them out in the classroom!

Clicking the links will download the files.

Sea Ice, Glaciers, and Sea Level Rise lesson (.PDF)
Sea Ice, Glaciers, and Sea Level Rise – more structured (.DOC)
Sea Ice, Glaciers, and Sea Level Rise – less structured (.DOC)