For teachers

Teacher Background

When/what should we teach about climate change?

Beyond Ecophobia:

If we want children to flourish, says educator David Sobel, we need to give them time to connect with nature and love the Earth before we ask them to save it (no bad news before 4th grade).

Climate Change Worries Children:

Truth and Consequences: Teaching Global Warming Doesn’t Have to Spell “Doom” (article about teaching climate change):

Global Climate Change: What to Teach and When.  Connect Magazine. Nov./Dec. 2007.  Synergy Learning:

Scientific Content:

NASA climate site: award winning site with interactive pages on sea ice, temperature, CO2 and sea level:

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC): Represents Nobel prize winning work of thousands of climate scientists.

Climate Change 101  Pew Center:  Download reports: OverviewScience and ImpactsAdaptationTechnologyBusiness International FederalStateLocalCap and Trade

Climate Literacy:  Essential Principles of Climate Science–A Guide for Individuals and Communities.

Union of Concerned Scientists Middle/HS/Adult:  Regional consequences of climate change. Also, Northeast Climate Choices

Early Warning Signs of Global Warming TG:

National Center for Atmospheric Research: Teacher Workshop on the Science of Climate Change (middle school):

EPA Climate Change.
Downloadable fact sheets.

Clean Air:  Cool Planet. Get informed/take action.  Climate 101, Carbon calculators, implications.

History of Climate Change Science: By the author of The Discovery of Global Warming, Spencer Weart.

How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic: Responses to the most common skeptical arguments on global warming

Skeptical Science:  Getting Skeptical About Global Warming Skeptics. Summary of skeptic arguments, sorted by recent popularity vs what science says.

Materials/Lessons Climate Change:

Climate Change for Kids: Appropriate curriculum development K-6.  Bruce Larson, NSTA 2009. Change for Kids.html

AAAS Climate Change Guide (concept maps from Atlas)

AAAS Resources for Teachers:

Climate Choices and Children’s Voices. (Gr. 3-6)  Excellent site with video clips of real people reporting effects of climate impacts around the globe. Topics:  Weather and climate, properties of CO2, sources of CO2, energy, food miles, case studies, tips for reducing CO2.  Video, PPT, animations.  (Carbon calculator, uses metric  1000 kg = 1 tonne)

Teachers’ Guide to High Quality Educational Materials on Climate Change and Global Warming: Middle/HS  Great summary of 10 Things you need to know about climate change:

Climate Classroom.  National Wildlife Federation. Good PPT show and presenter’s guide. Gr. 5/6

Challenger Center Climate resources 6-9

Units that present a climate-focused event as seen through the lens of four of Earth’s interconnected spheres: Lithosphere, Hydrosphere, Biosphere and Atmosphere.

Beyond Weather and the Water Cycle:  On-Line Magazine for Elementary Teachers. Great resource integrating science and reading, including printable books on climate.

Ontario Ecoschools:  Curriculum framework for energy conservation and waste minimalization in Grades 1-8

Keystone Center: 5-8 and 9-12  Website with over 65 interdisciplinary lessons on climate.  Provides new ways of thinking about the problem and potential solutions.

Climate Backpack (middle): Teacher Guide available on-line: (2003 version—new one will be out 7/09)  Clean Air-Cool Planet

K-12 Schools:  Climate Change Education—Curriculum, Professional Development, fact sheets, books:

Climate Discovery:  Lessons middle/hs.

Greenhouse Effect and Global Warming (activities) middle/hs.  Detect CO2 with cabbage juice

Windows to the Universe: Climate and Global Change.  Excellent source Gr. 5-12. Topics:  What is climate?  What controls climate, Climates of the past, Effects of climate change.  Choice of 3 reading levels.

Materials/Lessons Energy:

Alliance to Save Energy; Creating an Energy Efficient World.  Energy education resources for all grade levels.

Northeast Sustainable Energy Association: K-12 Energy Thinking (middle school).

Connecticut Energy Education Gr. 5-12 Lessons: Energy Efficiency, Climate Change, Energy Basics

Earthday. What is Energy Quest: (Grade 4-7) Energy on-line text, games, science fair ideas, California.

Citizen Scientist Projects for Young People:

Journey North: Intro to the science of seasonal change (phenology) and animal migration.  Gr. 2-12. Wonderful free interactive web site funded by the Annenberg Foundation; over 15 years of migration data in archives.  Printable books and slideshows available on this site:

Kids observe signs of spring and report to thousands of other students around the country.  Samples:
International Tulip Gardens
Fall migration of monarchs and whooping cranes also documented.
Climate page::

Project Budburst (Collaborative Phenology) –

Canadian Project: PlantWatch:

Harvard Forests’ Schoolyard Program: Interesting Introductory Guide that sequences inquiry/learning opportunities: A great Canadian Climate Change Project:

Globe Program:  Gr. 3-12.  Seasons and Biomes:


Teacher’s Domain: Gr. 3-12  Short videos.  Free subscription.  Select Earth science-weather and climate.

NASA Video: Arctic Ice Melt:  This is an amazing video of the Arctic ice melting, over the course of the past two years.

Classroom Encounters with Climate Scientists (NSTA recommended video clips-includes Dr. Bill Moomaw, Tufts). Grades 6-12:

Breathing Earth:  Graphic Display of  Births, Deaths and CO2 (middle/hs):

Climate Change BBC Weather Centre: animation greenhouse effect

Carbon Calculators:

EPA extensive list of calculator sites

EarthDay Footprint: Calculator—how many Earth’s to support your lifestyle? (includes location and age)

Yahoo Calculator (includes apartment choice)

Books For Teachers:

Environmental Literacy Council.  Global Climate Change:  Resources For Environmental Literacy. Teacher resource. 2007.

Consider the Earth, Environmental Activities for Grades 4-8. Gates, Julie. 1999. Sections on water, soil, wildlife, plants, ecosystems, weather, oceans, and environmental issues such as global warming, hazardous wastes, over-population, and air  pollution

Greening School Grounds: Creating Habitats for Learning , Tim Grant and Gail             Littlejohn (editors),Toronto: Green Teacher, 2001, Grades K-12

Green Teacher Education for the Planet.

Green Teacher is a magazine that helps educators enhance environmental and  global education inside and outside of schools. Green Teacher, PO Box 452, Niagara Falls, NY 14304-0452.

Teaching About Climate Change: Cool Schools Tackle Global Warming. Grant, Tim. 2001. New Society Publishers K-12

Teaching Green – The Elementary Years: Hands-on Learning in Grades K-5. 2005. Tim Grant and Gail Littlejohn, (editors), Toronto: Green Teacher
Features 50 of the best teaching strategies and activities from Green Teacher magazine

Teaching Green –The Middle Years: Hands-on Learning for Grades 6-8

Teaching Green- The High School Years: Hands – on Learning for Grades 9-12

MA Science and Technology/Engineering Standards and Strand Maps:
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