Post-Challenge Activity: Climate Change and Space Exploration

Encourage your students to reflect on the articles they’ve read about the environment in the Taking On Climate Change Text Set with Kennedy’s “We Choose to go to the Moon” speech, newly available at 5 reading levels.

Discussion Questions:

  1. How is researching climate change similar to researching space? How is it different?
  2. Why do we pursue scientific progress even when it is expensive and controversial?
  3. Kennedy says, "We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard.” What are some other hard things that we may have to choose to protect our planet? Have you ever chosen to do something hard to pursue a goal?    

Write Prompt:

In the speech “We Choose to go to the Moon,” what reasons does John F. Kennedy give for going to the moon? Find at least two reasons. Are they also good reasons for researching climate change? Explain why or why not. Extra credit: Use evidence from a Newsela article about climate change to support your argument.

Persuasive Speech Activity:

  1. As a class, identify three things that make the speech “We Choose to go to the Moon” convincing.
  2. In small groups, have students write persuasive speeches about why we should or should not take action on climate change. Instruct students to include at least one of the three convincing strategies they found in Kennedy’s speech.
  3. Have a student from each group present the group’s speech to the class. After the speeches, have the class vote on whether we should or should not take action on climate change.


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