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.

NB this page was last updated November 2016, a few links may be broken or out of date but many more are still relevant and useful.

Resources

  • Doc Academy: a new educational project that has been published to help get important issues around the environment and climate change into Secondary school classrooms around the UK. Free brand new Key Stage 3, 4 and 5 lesson plans for English and Geography, all written and approved by teachers. These lesson plans accompany film clips from the award winning documentary 'Thank You For The Rain', which tells the story of Kisilu, a Kenyan farmer experiencing the effects of climate change.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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.