In the summer of 2018, a teenage climate activist named Greta Thunberg walked out of her school, sat in front of the Swedish parliament, and started a campaign protesting government inaction on climate change. Her drive, commitment, and unwavering message earned her an international stage and have enabled her to become a model for young people around the world.
Although as educators we might not want our students to directly mimic her strategy of leaving school, we can learn from her example as she marries knowledge and action in the pursuit of positively impacting our world. (Learn more about Greta's ideas in her TEDx Talk.)
During the summer, students will encounter new perspectives, engage in novel experiences, and continue to forge their unique identities and value systems. Welcome them back in the fall by encouraging them to voice these discoveries and develop informational literacy skills to become experts in the areas they care about.
If your students are, like Greta, driven by concern for our environment, check out these learning plans that build STEM knowledge and engage students in active reflection on the relationships between humans and the natural world.
In this lesson, students will build an understanding of the dynamics and composition of the atmosphere and how its local and global processes influence climate and air quality. Topics include analyzing global atmospheric changes in CO2, CH4, and stratospheric O3, and the consequences of climate change, changes in weather patterns, increasing ultraviolet radiation, and rising sea levels.
Environmental issues affect us all in our daily lives and as part of the global community. This learning plan uses an inquiry approach to address issues concerning the environment presented as a summit conference.
In this project, students knit nests for birds or other small animals while learning about the role of rehabilitation, animal survival, and release programs.
Kay Weisman reflects on how to integrate climate change lessons into the classroom. She provides resources and suggestions on how to create effective learning experiences for students using the Stripling Model of Inquiry.
The debate over climate change has continued for decades and remains one of the hottest issues in the United States. In this activity plan from our sister site History Hub, find instruction ideas, reference materials, and essays from multiple perspectives that will allow students to explore all sides of the issue.