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Climate Status Investigations
Department of Energy
National Energy Technology Laboratory
Curriculum Grid
Day One | Day Two | Day Three | Day Four | Day Five | Day Six | Day Seven | Day Eight | Day Nine | Day ten
Possible Causes Day 4:
Possible Causes (Language Arts)
Let's Get to the Core of It! (Science)
Eating Up Energy (Math)
Stakeholders Grid (Social Studies)

Possible Causes Concept Map- Teacher Sheet | Possible Causes Concept Map- Student Sheet

National Education Standards Met:


Language Arts discipline


Goal: Students review information from the Stakeholder Grid and Economic Activity to identify possible causes of greenhouse gas emissions.

Objectives: Students will:

  • Use a graphic organizer
  • Review factors that influence emission rates
  • Rate factors/causes

Materials (For class of 30 students):

  • Inspiration Software or copy of Possible Causes - Student Sheet
  • Possible Causes - Teacher Sheet (for your reference)
  • Completed Stakeholder Grids

Time: 45 minutes

Standards Met: M1, LA1, LA3, LA4, LA7, LA11


  • Have students get out their completed stakeholder grids.
  • Review each stakeholder's hypothesis.
  • Pass out student sheets.
  • Ask students to fill in possible causes of global climate change in the cloud boxes. (One cause per cloud)
  • While students fill in their charts, write the following scale on the board:
    --1 star = small impact to total greenhouse gas emissions
    --2 stars = medium impact to total greenhouse gas emissions
    --3 stars = large impact to total greenhouse gas emissions
  • Review possible causes with the class.
  • Using the scale on the board, ask students to rate the causes in the question mark box.
  • Ask students to share their ratings.
  • After reviewing the concept map, ask students if there is any information they are missing about global climate change and greenhouse gas emissions. 
  • Make a list of their ideas on the board or on poster paper.  You will want to save the list.
  • When students suggest that they do not know how greenhouse gases impact them, tell them that the next lesson in the unit focuses on effects!

Possible Causes Concept Map- Teacher Sheet


*Percentages from Table ES-3: U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions Allocated to Economic Sectors$File/tablees-3.pdf

Possible Causes Concept Map- Student Sheet



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