How to Teach Climate Change in Schools
Climate change is a global problem affecting every living thing on Earth. While it’s often talked about on TV and online news and through various campaigns, it’s only through education that the next generation can learn and take the correct actions.
It’s likely that the children in your class already ask questions about climate change. However, it’s not an easy topic to explain. Read on below to find out how to teach climate change in schools.
1. Always teach the facts
It’s important to always teach the facts about climate change. Whether you do your own desk research or look for YouTube videos that explain the current thinking around climate change, there is a lot of content out there. Finding content to explain the science behind the greenhouse effect and how global warming affects the Earth is a good starting point.
2. Empower children
You can empower children by playing games, which can help them investigate ideas that the whole family can do to help save the planet. This can be done by creatively reusing household items, waging a war on plastic or reducing the amount of carbon dioxide in the air. Kids will feel empowered to make a difference going forward.
Upcycling is a popular trend. It’s excellent for keeping trash out of landfills and keeping CO2 out of our atmosphere. Upcycle items that you would usually throw out to create something useful in the home.
3. Inspire their own opinion
Your class likely loves to share their opinion on topics such as climate change. Encouraging them is a great way for them to find their voice. Use letter writing tips to help your children craft compelling letters asking politicians for support in combating climate change. Perhaps they can get the neighbourhood involved or maybe even create a petition that can be sent to the government. Get the class to present their case to each other, helping them improve their public speaking skills.
4. Talk about famous figures
Climate change is a hot topic which has seen various famous figures regularly campaign for the right actions to be taken for a better future.
One of the most notable figures of recent times is Greta Thunberg. She spearheaded the “Fridays for future” campaign movement, which saw thousands of children strike on a Friday, to demand action from political leaders to take actions to prevent climate change. Greta took on these campaigns as a teenager, making her a great ambassador for children learning about climate change.
Sir David Attenborough is another name synonymous with conversations about the environment and climate change because of his lifelong work to help save the planet and its incredible wildlife. His recent television series, Blue Planet, is a great example of highlighting the issue with single-use plastics and is a perfect series for teaching children about what is happening around the world.
5. Connect with nature
Positive wellbeing comes from a closer connection to nature. Having a close relationship with nature is important in keeping us emotionally, psychologically and physically healthy. How much we notice, think about, and appreciate our natural surroundings all affect how we treat our planet.
Your students should have lots of chances to spend long periods of quality time outside.
You can support your class and engage them with the natural world by:
- Sitting quietly, using all their senses to take in the world around them
- Talking with your class about how the natural world makes them feel
- Asking them to find something beautiful and comment on it
- Encourage your class to create art poetry, dance or music that is inspired by the environment
- Find ways to make a space for nature on your school grounds.
6. Add Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to your curriculum
Sustainable Development Goals are designed to make the world a better place. The goals are embedded within the curriculum, giving learners a global outlook in their curriculum.
While many teachers feel that the curriculum is already overstuffed with lessons and content. However, Sustainable Development Goals build on concepts and ideas already attached to the current curriculum.
Placing the SDGs into your curriculum can help learners to see the links between subjects and key ideas of sustainability. Linking learning to SDGs allows them to see how the ideas apply to the real world around them.
7. Download the Challenge 2025 Teaching Pack
The Challenge 2025 Climate Change Education Pack features a set of lesson ideas and resources which help pupils understand the dangers of air pollution and how it’s caused. The climate change teaching resources feature lesson plans, interactive slides and activity sheets that have been mapped against the KS2 Art, Science and English curriculums, allowing students to learn about air pollution while helping their wider development.
This KS2 climate change teaching pack features everything you need to do all the above to engage your class on climate change and take down the villainous, Smoggy. It will also give the children a chance to design their own “clean air superhero” for a chance to win their school £2,500 worth of EGO Power Tools.
Download our pack today and gain everything you need to teach climate change in your school.