Unit Introduction

Introduction to Climate Change and Michigan Forests 

Climate Change and Michigan Forests is a 10-day middle school life science unit based on forest ecology research conducted at the University of Michigan. This curriculum incorporates hands-on data collection, technology in the classroom, exploratory learning, and a field trip to a local forest to enhance student knowledge of forest ecology and climate change research techniques. Optional exercises are provided throughout the unit. Utilize these activities if you have more than 10 days to complete the unit, or if your students need a more thorough review of specific topics.

Climate Change and Michigan Forests introduces students to plant growth and climate change concepts, current forest ecology research methods, and how climate change can impact forests. In this unit, students use scientific modeling to describe and predict the impacts of global climate change on forests. A focus on using scientific modeling to organize ideas, analyze data, and make predictions reflects the predominant current research techniques used at state and federal agencies, and by scientists and other researchers around the world. Understanding how, and why, scientific models are used in scientific research is an important aspect of science, and climate change, literacy. In addition, each lesson was designed to meet Michigan Grade Level Content Expectations.