“It’s not climate change–it’s everything change.” Margaret Atwood, 2015
Climate change is the most pressing issue of our times. It can be studied in any subject: English, math, social studies and science. We need multiple disciplines to understand and have the tools to respond to climate change. Videos, visuals and lesson plans can fit the age range and subject you are teaching. Most important, are ideas for how students can actively create change in their own schools and communities.
Our Climate Our Future has excellent teacher lesson plans and award winning videos on climate change. Videos, Actions, and all many lesson plans. Easy email login and all resources are free.
CLEAN is a collection of 700+ free, ready-to-use learning resources rigorously reviewed by educators and scientists suitable for middle school through higher education classrooms. From producing a play, to a lesson on climate resilient cities, this site divided into 2 general topics: climate and energy. Each project comes with teaching tips, reviews of the science and pedagogy.
NASA site includes climate change facts to easily present in your classes as well as recent articles and solutions and energy innovations. Under “Resources” there is a search engine or graphics and multi-media to quickly bring up teaching tools for your lesson.
Climate Kids is for 4th-8th graders to use for their own research, or to explore specific topics as a class. It also includes games and activities related to climate change that could be used as a hands-on part of the lesson or something students complete with their families.
Yale Climate Connections
Yale Climate Connections includes a wealth of reporting, commentary, and analysis on climate change. It is updated daily with a wide variety of current articles, radio stories, videos, and webinars. It has a search engine by topic that is easy for students to narrow down articles in their area of interest. This can be used as a research site, or a way for classes to keep up with the latest climate news.
This group is an important center of scholarly research on the most effective ways to communicate climate change. Based on this research, the site is full of very accessible 2 minute podcast clips on a wide range of actual climate stories. You can search under “topics” (Communicating Climate to Faith and Ethics) to find a real life short examples of true stories.
MIT Climate has worldwide discussion and learning, weekly podcasts and news. Find climate change education, research, innovation & discussion — from MIT and beyond.
NOAA easy to use portal to access resources from one location. Materials are organized by themes aligned with common teaching topics. They cover Oceans and Coasts, Weather and Atmosphere, Climate, Marine Life and Freshwater. Each of these topics have links to multimedia, lesson plans and games for students to learn.
Carbon’s Casualties explores how climate change is displacing people around the world. There are reports on eight communities around the world, including photos of how people’s communities are being affected. This is a great research site for middle/high school students who are looking for the ways people, culture, and animals are already grappling with climate change. As with all NYTimes articles, the first 3 articles are free, reading more articles would require a subscription.
Reuters Investigates: Ocean Shock
Reuters Ocean Shock has high quality reporting, graphics and photos of what is happening to our oceans. It looks at different communities and areas of the ocean from across the globe. From lobstermen in Maine to fishermen in North Carolina, livelihoods are at stake. For sardine-eating Portuguese and seafood-loving Japanese, cultural heritages are at risk. Ideal for middle/high school students who want to delve into a topic and see how climate change affects our oceans, people and their cultures.
Our Children’s Trust elevates the voice of youth to secure the legal right to a stable climate and healthy atmosphere for the benefit of all present and future generations. Through our programs, youth participate in advocacy, public education and civic engagement to ensure the viability of all natural systems in accordance with science.
Trial of the Century: Teacher Tool Kit
Teacher Tool Kit has useful and empowering educational tools. First there is information on the case itself, along with detailed lesson plans and classroom handouts for middle and high school. There are links to moving videos and Ted talks for some of the youthful case defendants. There is also a powerpoint presentation, “Pathway to Climate Recovery” that not only shows the effects of climate change, but also step by step outline of what can be done to solve the problem. Finally, there is a link that can help students organize local governments and school boards to make climate action resolutions.
Ensia is a solutions-focused nonprofit media outlet reporting on our changing planet. This is an excellent research site where students can be inspired by people working on solutions. Very easy to search for topics of interest.
Climate Stories Project
Climate Stories Project gives a voice to the emotional and personal impacts of climate change. Often, we discuss climate change only from the impersonal perspective of science or the contentious realm of politics. Today, though, more and more of us are feeling the effects of climate change on a personal and community level. Climate Stories Project allows people from around the world to share their stories and to engage with climate change in a direct way.
Classroom Resources: How to engage students in creating their own Climate Stories . Students learn about local impacts of climate change, speak about their own responses to the changing climate, and conduct interviews with elders and others about climate change. Students can share their interviews on the Climate Stories Project archive of climate stories and can use recorded interviews to create and and share projects such as podcasts, documentary film, or art projects.
Climate Impact Lab
Climate Impact Lab is an excellent resource for middle/high school students to dig into the research and visual mapping on climate change. It is has maps of the United States and the Globe and students can see historical temperatures, current, and projected temperatures. Helpful for students to visualize how what areas of the world will be most impacted by changes in temperature.
Teaching Climate Change to Adolescents
Book Website: Teaching Climate Change to Adolescents
“When addressing climate change with young people, we need to stress the severity of the crises and also draw on their imaginations, their hopes for their future and and the world, and their willingness to share ideas, take stands, and become involved.” Richard Beach, 2017 Teaching Climate Change to Adolescents