We are Not in this Together: The Unequal Impacts of Climate Change

byKariann Flynn

This three-to-four-week English language development curriculum unit is designed for middle school multilingual learners and explores the inequitable distribution of health, housing, and economic burdens that result from the effects of climate change. In this unit, students will analyze and gather data from case studies of communities affected by climate-fueled flooding events, and the subsequent government response. Students will read and learn about historic government policies of racial discrimination in housing and how this has segregated communities along racial and socioeconomic lines. At the end of this unit, students will develop evidence-based arguments about the disproportionate effects of flooding on the community of Southbridge, a predominately Black, low-income community in urban Wilmington, Delaware. In addition, students will learn about the advocacy of Southbridge residents to fight for and acquire flood-mitigating resources to protect their community. This unit will intentionally scaffold student understanding of environmental justice and argumentation skills for future application in response to environmental justice issues.

(Developed for English Language Development, grades 6-8; recommended for English Language Arts, grades 6-12, and Environmental Science, grades 6-8)

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