The following resources may be useful to educators taking action on climate change and biodiversity loss. Some of these resources are specific to a particular country or curriculum, others are suitable for use globally. They include learning resources for educators, resources for integrating climate and biodiversity into education, and resources for advocating for action. If you have climate or biodiversity education resources which you would like to contribute please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Courses/Educational Materials for Educators
- The SDG Academy offers free courses from sustainable development experts on topics relating to the Sustainable Development Goals. Several of the SDG goals relate to climate and biodiversity including Affordable and Clean Energy, Sustainable Cities and Communities, Climate Action, Life Below Water, and Life on Land. The SDG Academy courses include a climate science course by Dr Michael Mann.
- UN CC:Learn has various climate change learning resources available. These include climate change short courses, introductory learning modules, and videos. There are also several learning guides including an interactive on integrating climate change in education at Primary and Secondary level.
- The Australian Academy of Science has produced a booklet of questions and answers on the science of climate change. The booklet aims to give laypeople an understanding of climate change based on current knowledge. It is aimed at the Australian public therefore examples of climate impacts refer to Australia.
- Slides from a short course on media framing of scientific issues “Climate Change and the Media” by Dr Simon Lock and Dr Jean-Baptiste Gouyon.
- ‘Climate and Ecological Crisis? What’s all the fuss about?’ is a talk by David Ramsden MBE. The talk is aimed at people who want to know more about climate change or the ecological crisis, people who feel the crises are unreal or exaggerated, or people who have not previously engaged with the subject. The talk is suitable for adults or older teenagers. David can provide the talk as a PowerPoint Show so it can be presented by other speakers, providing the speaker has a good basic knowledge of the subject. To get the talk potential speakers can apply in writing to email@example.com.
- The Teachers Climate Guide is a package for teachers integrating climate education across subject areas. It contains explanations of climate change in the context of each school subject, exercises and visual material. The guide was produced by Pinja Sipari, a Finnish environmental educator, with input from over 100 educational and environmental professionals. The guide was originally made for Finnish teachers therefore Finland is often used as an example, however the material can be adapted for use in other countries.
- ThoughtBox offer a free climate change curriculum for school students aged 5-18. The programme allows students to explore causes and effects of climate change while practicing critical thinking, empathy and systems thinking. ThoughtBox also offer a teachers’ guide and parent pack to support adults with talking to children about big issues happening in the world. Schools are asked to register in order to download the curriculum and access a range of support resources, ideas and guidance.
- Drawdown Learn is an initiative to encourage education and learning about climate solutions based on Project Drawdown’s research. A range of educational resources are available for individuals to learn about drawdown solutions and reducing their carbon footprint. Educators can join the Drawdown Learn Teachers Network by using the #ITeachDrawdown hashtag on Twitter. There is also an unofficial Project Drawdown Learn Facebook group where educators can share resources.
- Climate Reality have developed inquiry based learning resources for Primary and High School students to learn about climate change. The units of work use the 5Es approach to inquiry and are available in English, Hindi and Indonesian. They include strategies to learn how the students’ school can be part of the global solution to climate change.
- Learning Rebellion have a range of resources for direct climate education for Primary and High School students. They also have resources to assist schools with declaring a climate and ecological emergency.
- Our Climate Our Future is an interactive video series produced by the Alliance for Climate Education for High School students. The video experience is aimed at educating students on the science of climate change and empowering them to take action. The videos include perspectives of young people who are directly affected by climate change.
- 2040 is a documentary about the solutions which could reverse climate change such as marine permaculture and decentralised renewable energy. It presents a positive vision of what society could look like if we implement these solutions. The documentary is currently available to view in Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Germany and France. It will be released in the United States, Canada and China in 2020. A schools DVD is available for Australia and New Zealand. Cool Australia have created 2040 lesson plans aligned with Australian upper Primary and High School curriculum. The makers of 2040 are seeking local partnerships to align their educational resources with curriculum in other countries.
- WWF UK have developed climate change and biodiversity resources for Primary and Secondary students. They include a resource which enables Secondary students to take action within the school setting through curriculum linked activities. This collection of resources is linked to the UK political context and curriculum.
- Sustainable Schools New South Wales have compiled a wide range of sustainability teaching resources for Australian teachers. These include climate change and biodiversity resources suitable for Primary and Secondary students.
- The Cambridge Climate Lecture Series is an annual event focusing on the current state of our global climate, possible solutions and the actions we need to take. The lectures are live streamed (UK Time) and past lectures are available at climateseries.com and on the Climate Series YouTube channel.
- Transform Our World is an online resource hub for teachers. It helps teachers to empower young people to lead action to tackle the causes of climate breakdown and biodiversity loss. Transform Our World runs monthly themed campaigns focusing on different areas of environmental action. These have included climate action and turning anxiety into action.
- Climate 7 (7 Ways in 7 Days) is a framework for adults and children to develop climate consciousness, developed by Rachel Forgasz. 7 ways in 7 days supports the transformation of consciousness by breaking down the process into manageable steps. Participants engage in focused contemplation on one way per day, making one kind of change every day of the week.
- Earth Day are celebrating their 50th anniversary with a year of teach-ins throughout 2020. Hosts can organise teach-ins on any environmental topic including climate change and biodiversity loss. This would be a great opportunity for environmental educators and lecturers in the climate and biodiversity fields to connect with citizens. Student activists could also get involved, hosting a teach-in in their school or local community. Educators can also sign up to get Earth Day’s Educator Network Newsbites. These are tips and resources for educators making schools more sustainable and carrying out environmental education lessons.
- Students can play Mission 1.5 to see the relative impacts of various climate solutions. Solutions are in the categories of green economy, energy, nature, transport, farms and food, and protecting people. Once players have chosen the most effective solutions in each category they can vote for which solutions their government should implement. The United Nations Development Program will analyse the voting data and pass the results on to governments. The game can be played in Arabic, Mandarin, English, french, Russian or Spanish.
- The Climate Change Action Toolkit is a series of activities designed to help students understand the impact of their food choices on the environment. Students look at foods that they consume regularly and compare their impact based on packaging and food miles. It is suitable for High School aged students.
- The Teachers Climate Guide by Pinja Sipari includes some tips on integrating climate education at the Primary level.
- An article by Head Teacher and Climate Change Teacher Fiona Cowan giving examples of climate change activities for younger students.
- NASA’s Climate Kids allows upper Primary School aged students to learn about climate change through games, activities and articles.
- Sustainable Learning have a collection of sustainability teaching resources linked to the UK curriculum. Topics include eco-schools, energy, food, nature, outdoor learning, transport and waste. Schools in the UK can also find a local expert for sustainability incursions and excursions.
Science Technology Engineering Arts and Mathematics (STEAM)
- Practical Action’s STEM challenges allow students aged 7-14 to come up with solutions to global climate change and energy problems.
- An interdisciplinary research team (Dr Jennifer Rudd, Dr Ruth Horry and Dr Lyle Skains) have developed a STEAM programme which encourages students aged 12-15 to think about their personal impact on climate change. The You and CO2 programme is a series of workshops where students engage with and create interactive digital fiction based on the theme of climate change. Educators can access the teacher’s pack through the You and CO2 website.
- This list of 12 free Science apps by Project Learning Tree includes 7 climate change learning apps. The apps are suitable for Middle and High School students and include a carbon footprint tracker.
- Project Learning Tree have put together a list of 12 climate change videos. These can be used to introduce the science of climate change to upper Primary School and lower High School aged students.
- Student groups of any age can Skype a Scientist to chat with them about their work. This includes school classes, after school programs or groups of adult learners. The scientists participating in this program work in a variety of fields including climate science, biology and ecology. Educators can request what type of scientist they would like to connect with.
- The Climate Lab Book is a blog written by climate scientists, edited by Professor Ed Hawkins. Professor Hawkins has compiled a collection of climate and weather visualisation resources including warming stripes and warming spirals.
- A scheme of work on climate breakdown for High School students by Paul Turner.
- Renewable energy lesson plans for College and University level Physics and Engineering students by Dr Pam Dugdale on Academia and My Grid.
- The Teacher-Friendly Guide to Climate Change includes both the basics of climate change science and perspectives on teaching the subject. It is aimed at High School Earth Science and Environmental Science teachers. It includes information and graphics that a teacher can use in the classroom.
- The Global Footprint Network has a calculator which students can use to work out their personal overshoot day. Jennifer Chikos has created an ecological footprint activity where students answer questions using information from the Global Footprint Network website. Some of the questions are based on the ecological footprint of the USA, but the resource could be adapted for other countries.
- The National Biodiversity Teach-In is a project by students and teachers of the Environmental Science classes at Elgin High School. The annual Teach-In is a series of webinars by biodiversity experts. The webinars are scheduled in USA Central Standard Time, but past webinars are available on the NBTI Youtube channel. The NBTI website also has some biodiversity learning activities for Elementary and High School students.
- Water and Life is a padlet by Jacqueline Fletcher, collating information on restoring the water cycle through ecosystem restoration. This is necessary for addressing the climate and biodiversity crises.
- Kiss the Ground have produced a five lesson soil health curriculum for Middle School students. The curriculum teaches about the carbon cycle, photosynthesis, soil science, various agricultural practices, and concludes with a regenerative soil-based project. There are two versions of the curriculum linked to Science standards for the US and Australia. This curriculum would tie in well with school garden projects.
- Michelle Sowey has compiled some philosophy resources for teaching Primary and High School students about the climate and ecological crises.
- A climate crisis psychology curricula developed by Daniela Aidley. This includes a collection of topic ideas, relevant literature and lecture slides. Slides are currently in German but the author is willing to help with translation.
Climate and Biodiversity Emergency Education Campaigns
- Teach the Future is a youth led UK campaign to restructure the educational system around the climate and ecological emergencies. TtF advocate for inclusion of climate crisis teaching throughout the education system and a transition to carbon neutrality for state funded education buildings.
- XR Educators are members of Extinction Rebellion who are teachers, lecturers and other educators. They are campaigning for structural change in the education system so that teaching addresses the realities of the climate crisis.
Climate and Ecological Emergency Declarations
- Climate Emergency Declaration and Mobilisation in Action (cedamia) are running a climate emergency declaration campaign for schools. Schools or universities can submit their emergency declarations and the actions they will take to cedamia. They will then be added to the map of educational institutions around the world who have declared an emergency.
- A step-by-step guide for schools and colleges declaring a climate emergency written by Edmund Stubbs. The stages covered in the guide are: gathering feedback for your climate emergency declaration; pitching your climate emergency declaration; launching your Eco Council; launching your climate emergency declaration; and going forward following the declaration.
- Fossil Free is a project by 350.org working towards fossil fuel divestment. Educators employed by tertiary institutions can check whether their institution has divested using Fossil Free’s divestment commitment list.
- Green Schools Alliance is connecting and empowering schools to become sustainable. Schools can use a Sustainability Tracking and Roadmapping Tool (START, launching 2020) to analyse their sustainability. This provides a roadmap for achievable improvements. START is currently based on the USA, but with enough interest and commitment can be tailored to other countries. Educators can join discussions on specific aspects of school sustainability. Groups (schools, clubs, districts) can access an interactive online space to organise their sustainability efforts.
- Schools, colleges and universities can move beyond sustainability to become Earth Protector Educational Institutes. Earth Protector Educational Institutes is a global, collaborative movement of schools, colleges and universities setting out to protect the Earth, using an interactive process including specific goals and guidelines. These educational institutes will work with staff, students and parents as well as local communities and organisations to protect land, wildlife, soil and water. The Earth Protector Educational Framework will be launched in April 2020. Earth Protector Communities is part of the Stop Ecocide campaign which supports the legal and diplomatic work to make Ecocide an international crime.
- Parents for Future UK have compiled some ideas to encourage schools to be more sustainable. These are aimed at parents but are also relevant to educators. Some of the resources listed in this article are specific to the UK, others are applicable worldwide.
- Schools, universities and colleges can install Ecosia as their default search engine. Ecosia use their advertising revenue to plant trees in deforested areas. Ecosia’s servers are powered with energy from their own solar plant. Together with tree planting this makes them a carbon negative search engine. This article details how to run an Ecosia on campus campaign to encourage students to search with Ecosia.
- A free PDF copy of The Permaculture Student 2 by Matt Powers. Permaculture provides a framework for ecological and sustainable problem solving and design. Permaculture principles can be applied to school garden design so that it is sustainable, ethical, and regenerative.
Educators Declare Poster
Please consider placing a copy of the poster in your workplace or sharing with your networks. Educators around the world, from preschool teachers to university lecturers, are eligible to sign the declaration.