On the back of the COP26 conference in Glasgow and the growing pressure on our leaders to bring about change to slow down the pace of climate change, your pupils are probably wondering what they can do to help. We have put together a list of some of the best resources across the internet for talking about climate change in the classroom.
Before you get stuck into this list, have a read of this article from National Geographic about how to talk to children about climate change. It’s thoughtful and sets the tone. This is not an easy topic to dig deep into with children, it can be scary and worrying for us all to think about an uncertain future. It’s also a complex issue with lots to be done and billions of stakeholders that need to act.
Free Resources to Support Climate Change Conversations
Twinkl COP26 Resources
There are lots of well put together resources here for teaching KS1, 2 and 3. Dive in for worksheets and a set of resources made in partnership with David Attenborough and the WWF. It’s well worth a look if you teach primary school children in particular, and for KS3 teachers too.
WWF COP26 School Resources
The resources here are a real class act and offer a variety of resources and activities for all ages including school-wide action ideas. Some of the links will send you over to Twinkl because they partnered to create them together.
Environmental Agency – Zone Recycle Devon
There are four lessons for KS1 and KS2 to teach about the issue of plastic pollution. Everything you need is right there for the taking and the ideas are interactive and immersive.
Edsential Climate Change Resources
This platform has a wealth of ideas and resources to talk about climate change in the classroom. It directs you to free downloads, ideas and challenges that your class can take part in at school. Have a look around and see if anything sparks an interest.
BBC Bitesize Regenerators
There are some lovely ideas to try at school here as well as lesson ideas and inspiring stories from children. Most of the information here is aimed at primary school children but could be adapted for secondary school too.
Royal Meteorological Society – Simulating a World Conference
This is a fantastic resource for secondary school students (including years 12 and 13) to simulate their own world climate conference. Everything you need to to run the activity is right there including notes for you, the teacher. This gives pupils a real chance to have their say and problem solve for themselves.
Let’s Go Zero
Join the UK wide initiative for schools to be carbon zero by 2030. At the time of writing over 750 schools have already signed up and are working on reducing their carbon footprint right now. There are online tools in the works to support each school on their journey.
Educational Recording Agency
Sign up for a free account to access video and sound clips that stimulate conversations about climate change and the environment. They are organised into primary and secondary school appropriate playlists which make them easy to sort through.
British Council – The Climate Change Challenge
Download the free climate change challenge resource with 20 activities for your pupils to do. They cater to children of all ages and each challenge has a powerpoint or resource sheet to go along with it.
Make sure you send us your favorite resources or activities so we can add them to the list. It is by no means exhaustive and we learn best from sharing with one another.
Mental Health and Eco-Anxiety
Climate change is a big topic to dig into and it can feel overwhelming for all of us, and this is especially so for children and young people. It can feel like there is no solution and that the planet doesn’t stand a chance – this is where the worry and fear kicks in. Prepare to talk to your pupils about their anxiety for the environment with this useful article from Mental Health Innovations.
Healthy conversations and individual actions are important and they do matter. Let your pupils know that their concerns are valid but that there is hope and lots that we can do. The resources here are a jumping off point for many positive actions that you, your class and your school can make. You’ll probably have plenty of fun along the way!
Essential Reading for You
Finally, here is a review of one of the best books we have read surrounding climate change from Bill Gates. It’s a little something for you and your climate change learning journey if you haven’t read it yet.