Try It

Use what you learned about the components of a well-written explanation to write an explanation based on the claim, evidence and reasoning you identified in the Newsela article "Climate change confirmed? Last year called the warmest on record"opens in new window from Writing Explanation Part Iopens in new window.

Reread “The Warmest Years Yet” section of the article, and recall the claim, evidence and reasoning below:

Temperatures in 2014 were higher than average temperatures in the 1900s.


  • December 2014 was the warmest month ever measured, NOAA reported.
  • May, June, August and September set new records for monthly highs.
  • A hotter 2014 continued a trend: 9 of the 10 warmest years ever recorded have occurred since 2002, NOAA said.


  • The climate scientists said that this warming trend could only be explained if you looked at human activity. They blamed burning fossil fuels.
  • “Greenhouse gas trends are responsible for the majority of the trend that we see,” said NASA scientist Gavin Schmidt.
  • Because more greenhouse gases are being released, Schmidt added, “we may anticipate further record highs in the years to come.”

Use information from the “The Warmest Years Yet” section of the article and the claim, evidence and reasoning above to write an explanation about why recent years have been some of the warmest we have seen. Be sure to refer back to the text in the article for additional information that may be used to support the claim and strengthen your explanation. You must paraphrase and/or reword statements from the text as you organize ideas for an explanation written in your words.

Refer to the Writing Explanation Checklist below before and after you write your explanation. You may also wish to use the Writing Explanation Graphic Organizeropens in new window to help guide your writing.

Writing Explanation Checklist

  • Claim is clearly stated in the introduction.
  • Evidence and reasoning are included in the body to support the claim.
  • Transition words are used to connect ideas.
  • Domain-specific vocabulary is used when appropriate.
  • A formal writing style is applied with an objective tone.
  • The conclusion restates the claim.

Use a separate sheet of paper or word processing program such as Microsoft Word to draft your explanation. When you have finished, submit a copy of your explanation to your teacher.