Climate change

Climate change can be a challenging concept to teach. These resources will help students understand how they can investigate energy use and develop actions to be energy efficient. This can help them to contribute to reducing potential climate change.

Here you’ll find:

Teaching resources including:

  • information on climate change
  • units of work and lesson plans
  • support materials
  • curriculum connections.

Student activities including:

  • self-guided information
  • investigations
  • films and documentaries

Supporting wellbeing including:

  • climate psychology information 
  • bushfire support programs
Teaching resources


Climate Change and the Environment Investigation: Tuning in
Stages 2 to 3 | Cross KLA | Unit of work, student activity | Education Services Australia

How are living things responding to climate change?: A stage 3 STEM unit developed through a cross school professional learning community,
Stages 3 | STEM | Unit of work  | Dapto Learning Community & the Illawarra Environmental Education Centre, NSW DET.

Climate Report 2018  BTN Clip and Teacher Resource 
Stages 2 to 3 | Cross KLA |  ABC

Primary and Secondary

The Language of Climate Change Science: A pre-school to Yr 8 teaching and learning progression
Stage 1- 4  | English, Science, Geography | Primary English Teachers Association of Australia 

Climate Change Preparedness - Students work through the steps in the sustainability action process to investigate the science of climate change, the risks facing their local community and local environment and take action to adapt and become more resilient to a changing climate (currently under review)
Stages 3 to 5 | Geography | NSW Environmental & Zoo Education Centres

Stand Up for Your Climate/Future - Using climate change as the central issue, this teaching and learning sequence seeks to strengthen students’ critical and creative thinking skills as an integral part of becoming socially and scientifically literate and active citizens.There are 8 modules linked to the Australian Curriculum. 
Stages 3 to 6 | Cross KLA | AAEE 

CSIRO Sustainable Futures - This is an innovative school-based education program that combines the latest climate science with education for sustainability. Includes interactive student activities, case studies, online games and videos descirbing cutting edge research.
Stages 2 to 5 | Cross KLA | Units of work, information, student activity | CSIRO

Cool Australia - Primary & secondary climate change education resources 
Stages 1 - 5 | Integrated Inquiry Australian Curriculum aligned lesson plans | Cool Australia

Climate Change Resources via Scootle Scootle is a national digital learning repository which provides Australian teachers with access to more than 20,000 digital learning items, provided by a wide array of contributors and aligned to core areas of the Australian Curriculum. All Australian educators, from pre-service teachers through to principals, have access to Scootle.
Stages 1 to 5 | Cross KLA | Units of work, information, student activity | Education Services Australia

Adapt NSW Climate Change Teacher Resources
Stages 3 - 6 | Cross KLA | Information, units of work | Department of Environment & Heritage 

Climate Change - provides accurate observations and information about our changing climate. 
Stages 3 to 6 | Cross KLA | Information | Australian Bureau of Meteorology

Climate Change: ABC educational resources and supports the teaching of science and geography as part of the Australian Curriculum.
Stages 3 to 6 | Cross KLA | Information | ABC Education

Global warming and climate change - outlines the science and impacts of global warming and climate change and some possible solutions.
Stages 3 to 6 | Cross KLA | Information | World Wildlife Fund

Our climate system: how it works and changes - explains the processes that drive our climate with particular reference to NSW.
Stages 3 to 6 | Cross KLA | Information | NSW Office of Environment and Heritage

Raising children to thrive in a climate changed world - Information sheet about the skills and capacities that children will need to keep working to restore a safe climate, and a guide for parents to respond to the current crisis of climate change. 
Information | Australian Psychological Society 

Understanding Climate Change - provides answers to some common climate change science questions.
Stages 4 to 6 | Science | Information | CSIRO

Climate Change Resources for Rethinking online database and PDF summary of teaching resources. Resources for Rethinking is developed by Learning for a Sustainable Future (a not-proft Canadian organisation) and connects teachers to lesson plans, books, videos and other materials that explore the environmental, social and economic dimensions of important issues and events unfolding in our world today.
Stage 3 - 6 | Cross KLA | Units of Work, Activities | Learning for a Sustainable Future


Climate Change Teaching Mini UnitOver approximately seven weeks, students explore the carbon cycle and the four global systems: biosphere, lithosphere, atmosphere and hydrosphere. Students will investigate greenhouses gases and carbon dioxide and describe the relationship between the carbon cycle and climate change. 
Stage 5 | Science | Unit of work, activities | Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority

Coral Bleaching Teaching Unit: Students will observe different animal and plant cells under the microscope and will investigate the structure and function of different animal cells and observe and describe the function of chloroplast in plant cells. Students will investigate zooxanthellae and their symbiotic relationship with coral and use this understanding to explain coral bleaching.
Stage 4 | Science | Unit of work, activities | Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority

Climate Change Science and Solutions: Free e-book presents scientific information on a series of climate change topics relevant to Australia and the world. It articulates how human activities affect our climate, what changes we have seen already, what further changes we can expect, and what we might do to reduce future changes and live with those that are now inevitable.
Stage 4 - 6  |Science, Geography | Information | CSIRO

This is what climate change looks like: Australian Climate Council Report highlights recent examples of the impacts on Australian ecosystems. 
Stage 4 - 6 |Science, Geography | Information | Australian Climate Council

Challenge based learning for sustainability Case study report on a challenge-based learning model, implemented with Yr 7 students at Newington College. Students worked over a 4 week period to identify, refine, and present practical solutions to a real problem: ‘How can we make our school more sustainable?’ 
Stage 4 | Department of Education & Training

Switched on Schools: Australian Youth Climate Coalition provides a range of programs to ignite students interest in climate justice. Through a  unique peer-to-peer approach, high school students develop their understanding of sustainability and build skills in change-making. Climate Justice Summits and Student Leadership Programs. 
Stage 4 - 6 | Australian Youth Climate Coalition 

Our Climate Our Future: Alliance for Climate Education (American NFP) provides short videos on different climate topics including explaining climate change, climate science, justice and activism. Educator resources include teaching activities and information resources. You need to create a login, it is based on American examples but transferable, it is free and videos are good quality. 
Stage 4 - 6 | Science, Geography, Art |  Alliance for Climate Education

Student activities

These resources focus on climate change and are provided for teachers to incorporate into a classroom program. They can be investigated by students independently or be used as part of a program in the class.

Interactive computer activities

Your Ecological footprint - how much land area does it take to support your lifestyle? Take this quiz and discover your biggest areas of resource consumption, and learn how you can tread more lightly on the planet.

The Carbon Cycle - an animation explaining the carbon cycle with an interactive element from the Make it wood website produced by Planet Ark.

Australian Greenhouse Calculator helps you explore how your lifestyle contributes to greenhouse gas emissions. 

Mt Resiliance an augmented reality experience which allows you to see how we can prepare our towns for the weather we're likely to see on a warmer planet. To visit, you’ll need a smartphone or a tablet.

Information websites

Climate Kids NASA answers the big questions, incorporates facts, information and games explaining evidence for climate change throughout the planet.

Film resources

Films, festivals and documentaries - Legacy, Young Voices for the Planet, Environmental Film Festival Australia, Documentary Australia Foundation, Happen Films, Green Film Festival, Picture This Festival for the Planet , The Outlook for Someday

ARIES videos: Sustainability explained by Science, An illustrated explanation of the science behind the meaning of sustainability (7:22mins), Jonathan Foley: The other inconvenient truth - A TED talk suitable for senior secondary students (17:47 mins), Costing the Earth - from the Prince of Wales Accounting for Sustainability project Stephen Fry outlines the case for financially accounting for the environmental costs of human activity. Suitable for older students. (3:33 mins). 300 Years of Fossil Fuels in 300 Seconds (5:30mins). 

ABC Education resources:  

Supporting wellbeing

Climate change affects our mental health. The recent bushfire emergency has created distress and trauma for many children, their families and communities. Below is a list of resources that may be useful for people who are grappling with how to support students through challenging times. This is by no means an exhaustive list, rather a starting point to support student and educators wellbeing. 

Support services are available, including

Online wellbeing resources

Online climate psychology resources

  • Psychology for a Safe Climate: A NFP that aims to contribute to a psychological understanding and support within the community, helping people face the difficult climate reality. View Publications section: Staying Engaged in the Climate and Bushfire Crisis, Lets Speak About Climate Change, Stories about Climate Change. 
  • Australian Psychological Society: Coping with Climate Change Distress, Climate Change Empowerment Handbook, Talking with Children about the Environment
  • UNICEF: Blog tips How to talk to your children about the Australia's bushfire emergency
  • ABC All in the Mind Radio National: Climate Change Anxiety (Audio, 29mins)

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