A Companion Activity to the Drip Drop! Music Video

Main content

Drip Drop! is a music video intended to engage young people in a conversation about climate and water. The kid-friendly video has a catchy tune and a modern approach, providing educators with opportunities to begin a dialogue about important issues about climate change specifically related to water resources. While the music video is intended for engagement, some of the lyrics may contain generalizations or ideas that might not apply in all circumstances. This provides the opportunity for a dialogue with learners of all ages. See the music video.

A man in tropical clothing and two backup singers from the Drip Drop! music video about climate change

The purpose of this lesson is to guide educators in using the music video with children and to provide some guidance around the issues it raises. This lesson is designed to align with media literacy standards that support science content standards addressed in the science class. Following this awareness session, educators are encouraged to use resources in the Climate and Water Teaching Box for science activities that provide deeper learning opportunities.

Learning Objective

  • Learners will be able to identify how different types of media communicate science ideas related to climate and water.

Time

  • Preparation time: 30 minutes one day prior to teaching this activity to preview the video and review the science concepts
  • Class time: One class period (45 minutes), plus optional extensions

Educational Standards

Next Generation Science Standards

  • ESS2.C: The Roles of Water in Earth’s Surface Processes
    • Water continually cycles among land, ocean, and atmosphere via transpiration, evaporation, condensation, and crystallization, and precipitation, as well as downhill flows on land. (MS-ESS2-4)
    • The complex patterns of the changes and the movement of water in the atmosphere, determined by winds, landforms, and ocean temperatures and currents, are major determinants of local weather patterns. (MS- ESS2-5)
  • ESS2.D: Weather and Climate
    • Weather and climate are influenced by interactions involving sunlight, the ocean, the atmosphere, ice, landforms, and living things. These interactions vary with latitude, altitude, and local and regional geography, all of which can affect oceanic and atmospheric flow patterns. (MS-ESS2-6)
  • ESS3.D: Global Climate Change
    • Human activities, such as the release of greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels, are major factors in the current rise in Earth’s mean surface temperature (global warming). Reducing the level of climate change and reducing human vulnerability to whatever climate changes do occur depend on the understanding of climate science, engineering capabilities, and other kinds of knowledge, such as understanding of human behavior and on applying that knowledge wisely in decisions and activities. (MS-ESS3-5)

Common Core Standards

Language Arts Standard 10:

  • Understands the characteristics and components of the media
  • Understands the different purposes of various media (e.g., to provide entertainment or information, to persuade, to transmit culture, to focus attention on an issue)

Materials

Directions

  1. Ask learners to share what thoughts come to mind when they hear the phrase "climate change." List what learners say on a board without commenting so everyone can come up with initial thoughts. Capture these initial thoughts so they can be viewed at the end of this lesson.

  2. Ask learners, “What are some examples of ways the media portrays climate change?”

  3. Explain that learners will view a short music video that portrays climate change. As they watch the video, encourage them to both listen for ideas that were listed on the board earlier and listen for some new ideas that were not discussed.

  4. Ask learners to describe what the Drip Drop! music video is trying to communicate. Accept all answers without comment.

  5. Show the entire video a second time so learners can take notes and record new ideas the second time.

  6. Have learners work in one of six small groups to explore the lyrics and science explanation in the table below. Distribute the Drip Drop! Small Group Table to each group. Each group should explore one box of lyrics and record their thoughts and questions in the "What questions do you have now?" section.

  7. Once small groups have recorded their thoughts and questions, have each group share their thoughts with the class.

  8. (Optional): Provide each small group with one of the Drip Drop! Points to Ponder Cards to engage in additional content taken from the Climate and Water Teaching Box.

  9. Ask learners to write a paragraph that describes the purpose of the Drip Drop music video. Give them the following directions: You may choose one or more of the following choices. Defend your response with evidence based on how you interacted with the video for this lesson. The purpose of this video is to:

    1. Provide entertainment
    2. Provide information
    3. Persuade
    4. Transmit culture
    5. Focus attention on an issue
    6. Other (describe)
  10. To wrap up, have learners return to the list they made on the board at the start of the activity. Use the ‘Sole Mate’ strategy described below to reflect on any changes in their thinking based on the video/lesson.

Sole Mate Strategy:

  • Write one idea or concept that you found particularly interesting or important from the initial class discussion or video—this is the "what?"
  • Write why that concept or idea is important—this is the "so what?"
  • Think about how your thinking has changed based on that video (lyrics/science)—this is the "now what?"
  • Find your "sole mate" - someone who is wearing similar shoes— to share the "what, so what, and now what?" with each other.

Background

Global climate is warming. As the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has increased, global average temperatures have risen. Warmer conditions are having an impact on our planet. The world's surface air temperature warmed 0.6° C (1.1°F) on average during the last century. This may not sound like very much change, but it has caused a big impact. Over the next century, climate is expected to warm even more. Warming has many impacts on Earth's water and ice.

In the table below, lyrics from the Drip Drop! video (left) are shown with science explanation (right).

Lyrics Science Explanation

Part 1

So hot in the atmosphere

Melting H2O

I’m hot

He’s hot

Too hot

Drip Drop (Drop)

Climbing out of control

Climate is warming. The global average temperature of Earth’s atmosphere warmed 1.1 degrees Fahrenheit in the 20th Century. That rise in temperature is a global average, which means that all the temperatures from locations worldwide and through all seasons are averaged together. Scientists project more than double that amount of warming during the 21st Century.

Part 2

I was like “Good gracious!

What’s up with the glaciers?”

When I went away

On my summer vacay

See my Aunt Arctica

Same time each year

But I kind of freaked out

When some snow disappeared

Ice rivers flowing

Permafrost un-frozen

Glacial erosion

Miles are going

Dumping and sinking

Right into the sea

Calving off in huge chunks

The size of NYC

Ice-scrapers break off

And turn into bergs

Tons of freshwater run off

Only making it worse

In general, glaciers are disappearing due to warming temperatures. Almost all mountain glaciers around the world are shrinking. In the northern hemisphere, the ice sheet on Greenland is melting. In the southern hemisphere, the West Antarctic ice sheet is melting too. On the other side of Antarctica, the East Antarctic Ice Sheet is increasing in size because of more snowfall.

There is variation throughout the year: glaciers and ice sheets grow in size during the winter when temperatures are cold and snow is common and then shrink in summer when temperatures are warmer.

Part 3

Sea levels go up

Salt water slows up

High tides’ll show up

Coral don’t hold up

When the water’s brackish

It’s bad for the fish

The ocean’s feverish

I’m not cool with this

The seven seas are rising twice as fast

As ever been recorded in decades past

Forecast soaked shores all along the coast

Who knows what’s in store when the waves encroach?

There are two reasons that sea level is rising and both are because climate is warming. First, there is more water in the ocean as glacial melt water makes its way to the seas. Second, warming ocean water takes up more space because the water molecules move further apart, causing the water to expand, which also makes sea level rise.

Rising sea level is a problem for coastal communities, especially when the sea level rises temporarily during storms (called storm surge) and during unusually high tide events (like king tides).

Warmer ocean water is harmful to corals and other marine life that require very specific environmental conditions.

During the 20th Century sea level rose 8 inches. The rate of sea level rise is speeding up and scientists predict sea level will rise between 1 and 7 feet during this century, depending on how much climate change occurs.

Part 4

And on another subject, Arctic ice

Is Earth’s home-grown natural cooling device

It’s melting too, which ain’t good news

When all that chillin’ white’s got the blues

Sea ice is nice for reflectivity

Bouncing back the sun’s blazing energy

The albedo is perfect

A frozen flat surface

Rocket ricochet

Bye bye solar rays

X ray, gamma ray Infrared, ultra violet

Caliente CO2

Traps and amplifies it

This positive feedback

Ain’t so positive

Melted ice turns dark

No longer reflective

It heats up hotter

Melting even more

Beware!

There’s a polar bear

Knocking on your door

The ice that covers much of the Arctic Ocean around the North Pole is called sea ice and is made of frozen seawater. Every winter the amount of ice increases as cold temperatures allow more seawater to freeze. Then, during summer, some of the sea ice melts. Over the past several decades, more ice has melted during the summer than has formed during the winter. This means that there is less ice in the Arctic Ocean than there used to be.

Because ice is white, it reflects most of the incoming solar energy out to space. The dark ocean surface that is exposed when the ice melts absorbs solar energy, which causes more warming in the Arctic, which melts more ice. This vicious cycle (called a “positive feedback”) is responsible for speeding up warming.

Polar bears and other Arctic life are affected by the loss of sea ice. The bears use sea ice platforms when they are hunting for fish and seals in the ocean.

Part 5

Evaporate Precipitate Circulate Vapor

Can’t escape the atmos

Where does it go?

Heads back into the hydro

Stop, drop & roll

The higher the temp

The more the steam

Buckets dump from the clouds

Torrential stream

Stormy weather

It’s like a bad dream

Get it together

Climate on caffeine

When it rains it pours

And floods the floors

The deluge don't seep

Or absorb too deep

Cause the ground’s dried out

Subterranean drought

Plants can’t go without

I wanna scream and shout

The water cycle is speeding up due to climate change. With warmer temperatures, there is more evaporation of water into the air (turning from a liquid to a gas). More evaporation can cause dry areas to become drier. Long term drier-than-normal conditions are called drought, which is a problem for farmers, ecosystems, and anyone who relies on water.

More evaporation of water into the air can cause more clouds to form. Those clouds cause intense storms (precipitation), which can cause flooding.

Looking into the future, scientists project that some areas will have a higher chance of drought and other areas will be subject to extreme rainstorms.

Part 6

True, the climate’s changed naturally throughout time

But it’s human fingerprints at the scene of this crime

We’re breaking records.

We’re getting hotter.

Gotta act now.

Gotta save our water.

While saving water is a good idea and works with the rhyme in this song, the most important take away from the video is the importance of humans reducing CO2 emissions.

 

Credits

This lesson was developed by John Ristvey, Director, UCAR Center for Science Education