Climate Change in Schools

Climate change will affect our children much more than older generations. But what is an age-appropriate way to engage them in the subject? This page is intended as a starting point for teachers and others to find resources for climate change education.

Events

The Climate Coalition hosted Speak Up Week of Action from the 8th to the 16th of October 2016, which invited people to discuss climate change and converse with their local MP, showing that the public care for the environment as well as appreciating the work done by their MP. It encouraged the involvement of pupils (from ages 9-14 - KS2 and KS3) and provided information and resources to educate and raise awareness, in the form of engaging activities. Even though the event has passed, you can click here regarding resources and ideas for such an event.

Resources

  • Climate Coalition (For The Love Of...): includes information about the main issues of climate change for children from 11-16 years old, workshops, ways of taking action (in school, contacting your MP or organising an event), developing statistical and mathematical approaches to global issues (for both 11-14 and 14-16 year olds)
  • Teach Climate Change: resources are available for KS1 to KS4 pupils, covering a whole range of curriculum subjects and climate change categories (such as adaptation and climate impacts, energy efficiency and sustainable design)
  • Climate Generation: resources are available include educating the public and students from grades 3 to 12, in order to build climate literacy. Resources include, but not restricted to, lesson plans, research projects and group discussions. Some topics covered include how to communicate the issue of climate change, effects of global warming, ways of mitigation climate impacts and climate solutions being discussed on the national and international stage
  • Oxfam Education - Climate Challenge: available for 7-11 and 11-14 year olds. Includes lesson plans, engaging activities, games and discussions to help investigate the causes of climate change, the consquences, mitigation and adaptation and more
  • Oxfam, Making the Change: Female Climate Fighters: resources include cross-curricular ideas to support learning and critical thinking about climate change. Provided are information about climate change, personal stories, a short film narrated by the poet, Roger McGough, relating to the issues of climate change, and ideas to engage students through activites and discussions
  • My2050 Schools Toolkit: set of activities that can be used to engage students in debates, use of the my2050 simulation and other activities. Aimed at KS3 and KS4 pupils. Topics covered include maths, science and geography mainly and help develop critical thinking, analytical enquiry, discussion and debate, etc.
  • Friends of the Earth: aimed at helping young people explore environmental issues, citizenship and sustatinable development. Resources can be used by primary and secondary pupils (5-10 years and 11-16 years respectively), and can be used in local group education networks
  • Big Picture - Health and Climate Change: includes articles, image galleries, interviews from people around the world giving their perspective on climate change, lesson plans and activities (such as ideas for debates and games). Resources cover adaptation, responses, ideas to mitigate the effects, the controversy behind climate change, those affected by climate change and more
  • Solar Aid - Sunny Schools: aimed at primary school students, addresses the issue of climate change and solar power by increasing understanding around energy and global citizenship. Resources available include lesson planes, case studies, presentations, worksheets, photocards and activity sheets. Assembly ideas, book lists, quizzes and other resources are also available
  • Practical Action: resources are available for KS1 to KS4 pupils and students older than 16. Includes PowerPoint presentations, activities, posters, challenges, images, videos and games covering energy, climate change and disaster risk reduction
  • Power Down: resources are available for KS2 and KS3 pupils including ways to learn about climate change and its impacts, investigate ways of reducing energy waste and act, by coming up with solutions to climate change issues. Resources come in lesson ideas, videos, images, whole lessons, photo cards, activity and information sheets. Can either be downloaded for free or a package can be bought for £15
  • Met Link - Climate Change Schools Resources: resources contain lesson plans and mutlimedia materials for KS1 to A level pupils. Climate change reports available for science and geography teachers
  • Wildscreen Arkive: resources are available for pupils aged 5 to 18, including presentations, worksheets, activity packs, games, quizzes and more. Topics covered focus on endangered animals, plants and fungi - what they look like, what makes them special and why they should be protected
  • NASA Climate Kids: resources available include videos, games, projects and articles to help inform and raise awareness
  • Met Office - Guide to Climate Science: explains the details of climate change, its effects, modelling climate change, future predictions, its impacts, mitigation and adaptation
  • Co-op: Green Schools Revolution: resources are available for primary and secondary schools, covering biodiversity, fairtrade, water, energy and healthy living
  • The Guardian - How to teach... climate change: includes links to several sites covering climate change. Resources available cover games, activities, reports, presentations, posters, teachers notes and more
  • teaching4abetterworld.co.uk: David Hicks was formerly Professor in the School of Education, Bath Spa University, where he taught Education Studies. He now focuses, and has published several books and articles, on climate change, education for sustainaility and the shift to a post-carbon future. Click here to download some of his works for free. In his Sustainable Schools, Sustainable Futures publication (2012), David Hicks recommends some books and articles covering educating people (students included) on sustainability (pages 71-72 and 264-265)
  • Science Museum - Carbon Cycle Caper: resources include notes for teachers, questions, process cards and a presentation. Students "play out" the carbon cycle, understand how it has affected our use of fossil fuels since the Industrial Revolution and its impacts on the climate
  • Science Museum - Climate Report: resources include notes for teachers and templates for cubes, which the students make. Cubes cover three areas - Australia, Russia and Costa Rica - in 2011 and what could happen in 2051. Students will learn the difference between weather and climate, appreciate the diversity of climate types around the world, and its impact, and predictions of what could happen in the next 40 years

Health Warning

As part of their charm offensive, some companies, which support the use of gas, coal, etc., run educational events and produce resources for schools. We recommend that you avoid resources produced by these companies, e.g. BP, as we don't think they are the most unbiased source when climate change is involved.