Resources for teaching students inside and outside the classroom and training staff to teach climate change confidently

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Page Contents:

Climate Change

Talking to Children About Climate Change

  • Guide for talking to children about climate change and making sure you are being age appropriate for this emotive topic.
  • Leeds DEC have designed a ‘Climate curriculum’ in consultation with experts suggesting key learning outcomes by the end of each key stage of learning e.g. key terminology & impacts of climate change
  • Imagine the Future: this film helps people to think what a low carbon future could be like and inspires people to work towards this positive vision:

Understanding Eco-Anxiety

  • Navigating Chaos – a host of fantastic psychological insights into hope, particularly when faced with doubts such as “it’s not enough” or “it’s not fast enough”. 
  • Civil Beat – resources for stress free ways of talking to children about climate change. 
  • Gen Dread – a newsletter by Dr Britt Wray on staying sane in the climate and ecological crisis. 
  • An article by Dr Renee Lertzman about accepting and articulating our emotions.

Teaching Resources for Primary

  • Good books for primary-age children include:
    • Little Book for BIG Changes by Kirsten Liepmann, Karen Ng, and illustrated by Mona Karaivanova
    • All books in the Wild Tribe Heroes series
    • Our Planet by Matt Whyman
    • The Journey Home by Frann Preston-Cannon
    • The Trouble with Dragons by Debi Gliori 
    • George Saves the World by Lunch Time by Jo Readman and Ley Honor Roberts 
    • Greta and the Giants by Zoe Tucker
  • The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals are a set of 17 goals designed to support human development without destroying the planet. This video explains the goals and there is a wealth of great teaching activities related to each of the goals.
  • Why does eating healthily affect the outcome of the Global Goals? Plate Pioneerz.
  • Transform Our World have a range of useful teacher-related resources from individual lesson plans and assemblies, to full-scale year-long programmes, on a range of sustainability and environment-based topics. Age group is specified.
  • Transform Our World have a resource to help you get started with the SDGs
  • Damian Gameau’s film, 2040 presents a very positive vision of a low carbon future and is a great stimulus for work on understanding climate change and how to address it. A new 2040 Education Portal provides schools and educators with a comprehensive package of free curriculum-aligned educational resources and explains how to run a 2040 film screening in your school. To get a flavour of the film, please view this interview with Damian Gameau
  • Sustainability and Environmental Education (SEEd) provide resources for primary school educators to teach about a number of topics concerning nature e.g. energy & climate change, water, nature & biodiversity, food & farming
  • UNESCO provides multimedia educational resources for primary schools including ideas for classroom activities under the topic of ‘climate action’.
  • Encounter Edu has compiled a list of resources for KS1-4 organised into activities, multimedia and teaching resources with both units and individual lessons.

Teaching Resources for Secondary

  • 39 Ways to Save the Planet, 14 min podcasts (BBC Radio 4) . Positive ways for tackling Climate Change and Diversity Loss, also demonstrating many innovations to inspire pupils today into working on these challenges with their IT and STEM skills development in a few years time. Suitable for 15+
  • The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals are a set of 17 goals designed to support human development without destroying the planet. This video explains the goals and there is a wealth of great teaching activities related to each of the goals.
  • Why does eating healthily affect the outcome of the Global Goals? Plate Pioneerz.
  • Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s Simple Explanation of Climate Change video. Useful for students who still need convincing that climate change is a problem that is caused by human activity
  • Transform Our World have a range of useful teacher-related resources from individual lesson plans and assemblies, to full-scale year-long programmes, on a range of sustainability and environment-based topics. Age group is specified.
  • NASA Climate Kids– a website designed for children to explore and learn about climate change
  • The Economist Foundation–  teaching resources to spark discussion on climate change (you may need to scroll down a bit to find the relevant section)
  • Paul Turner, Head of Geography at Bedales School in Hampshire, has compiled a variety of resources in order to equip teachers to teach the climate emergency. Including material to read, videos to watch & content to teach
  • 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
  • UNESCO provides multimedia educational resources for secondary schools including ideas for classroom activities under the topic of ‘climate action’. Also provide a digital library course for secondary school teachers
  • Encounter Edu has compiled a list of resources for KS1-4 organised into activities, multimedia and teaching resources with both units and individual lessons
  • Damian Gameau’s film, 2040 presents a very positive vision of a low carbon future and is a great stimulus for work on understanding climate change and how to address it. A new 2040 Education Portal provides schools and educators with a comprehensive package of free curriculum-aligned educational resources and explains how to run a 2040 film screening in your school. To get a flavour of the film, please view this interview with Damian Gameau

Jo McAndrews on supporting children in the face of climate change

The World’s Largest Lesson: The UN’s Global Goals
WWF-UK Penguins and Polar Bears

St Dominics children on food waste

Neil DeGrasse Tyson’s Simple Explanation of Climate Change

Beaumont School SustFest 2019

Greta Thunberg and George Monbiot: Protect/Restore/Fund Natural Climate Solutions. Secondary+
How much carbon is produced from the production of a cheeseburger? Upper Primary and Lower Secondary (7 +)

Energy Saving

  • Join The Pod– interactive sustainability website with resources such as the ‘Switch On to Switching Off lesson plan’

Gardening and Healthy Food

  • Royal Horticultural Society– the RHS has numerous projects for encouraging gardening in school, including the RHS Campaign for School Gardening
Sir John Lawes Eco-Garden

Reducing meat consumption

Creating Space for Wildlife

Flyers for families

Sustainable School Eco Posters

Don’t forget, our eco posters are a great thing to send home to families for discussions in the home.

Oakwood Flyers

As part of #SustFest19, Oakwood Primary School, St Albans put together 11 excellent flyers that they sent to their school community of parents and carers every day for 2 weeks. Click here to access the Oakwood flyers and do share them with your families.

Teacher and Staff Training

  • edX– Climate Change: The Science and Global Impact
  • Climate Conversations: Run a conversation within a group of staff colleagues, after school, either as a two hour session or two one hour sessions. If you want to talk about climate with your colleagues, but aren’t sure how, here are some ready-made materials to help you.