An Inconvenient Truth (2006) is Al Gore’s environmental documentary chronicling the impact humanity is having on the environment. Even though the documentary was made by a politician, I left out any biased political references on the documentary guide and stuck to the scientific and environmental messages. The documentary makes a strong case for human-influenced climate change using solid scientific facts, logical argumentative points, and solid unbiased reasoning. It also explores and debunks the misinformation often presented when talking about global warming or climate change. The documentary guide has a total of 44 questions. It consists of mostly higher-order thinking questions, with some more basic questions included. This documentary explores scientific concepts including pollution, climate change, global warming, the greenhouse effect, ozone depletion, carbon dioxide levels, trend lines, glacial melt, severe weather events, climate vs weather patterns, educated populace, and moral issues concerning climate change. The documentary is well-suited, but not limited to, the following classes: ecology, environmental science, or the humanities.
Blue Planet (1990) is an ecological documentary filmed originally in IMAX. It was filmed using footage from the space shuttle flights, which lends to an inclusive view of humanity’s impact on the planet. It is interesting how we view the planet a single unified organism when our perspective changes to that from space. The documentary does not get very technical as to the scientific explanations for human induced climate change, but it does present the concepts in an easy to understand manner. This would be a good documentary to show from grades 6 through 9. Higher order thinking questions dominate the guide, but there are some basic fact questions scattered in as well. The best use for this film would be as an introductory explanation to climate change, geography, and how the two relate to the evolution of life on Earth. It also shows the fragility of life and what makes it so special to our planet in the cosmos.