Climate Change Activity: Mapping Carbon Emissions


Students map global carbon emissions to see where the most carbon is entering the atmosphere.

Grades 7-10


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Students use real data to color-code a map of 68 countries based on their per capita carbon emissions.

In this activity, students will:

  • READ a 1-page article about greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide, what per capita means, and the activity directions.
  • CONSTRUCT a World Map by attaching 2 provided pages (it’s easy!).
  • COLOR CODE countries on the map according to their per capita carbon emissions.
  • ANSWER 11 analysis questions focusing on the greenhouse effect, sources of carbon emissions, and how developed countries compared to underdeveloped countries.

Related Standards:

  • NGSS MS-ESS3-5: Ask questions to clarify evidence of the factors that have caused the rise in global temperatures over the past century.
  • NGSS MS-ESS3-4: Construct an argument supported by evidence for how increases in human population and per-capita consumption of natural resources impact Earth’s systems.
  • NGSS Science & Engineering Practice: Analyzing and interpreting data

Teacher Notes:

  • To make differentiation easier, an abbreviated data set is provided, as well. The countries on the abbreviated data table still provide a good global picture but with a decreased workload.
  • The World Map is very easily printable. It comes as two 8.5 x 11 printable pages and very, very simple instructions on how to match them up.
  • While this activity is intended for a middle school audience, it would also be appropriate for high school students in their study of NGSS HS-ESS3-5.
  • Please note: This resource is NOT editable.
  • Check out more climate change resources in the climate change section of our shop!


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