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
  • lesson plans
  • support materials
  • curriculum connections.

Student activities including:

  • self-guided information
  • investigations
  • energy saving actions.
Teaching resources

Primary

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

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 

Secondary

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

Climate Change Teaching Mini Unit: Over 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 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 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 

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. 

Information websites

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

Video resources

My Eco Friendly House - student-created claymation of a man taking people through his eco friendly house. (2:10 mins)

Island President - from ENTV Trailer for the movie The Island President, a documentary about Mohamed Nasheed, then President of the Maldives, and his struggle to get world leaders to action on climate change. The Maldives' Islands make up the planet's lowest country, only 1.5 metres above sea level. (2:36 mins)

Jonathan Foley: The other inconvenient truth - A TED talk suitable for senior secondary students. Agriculture has become the largest driver of climate change, biodiversity loss and environmental destruction. In this video Jonathan Foley explains how we can farm for the whole planet. (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)

Polar bear survival - An excerpt from the ABC program Four Corners, this activity explores what is threatening the survival of the world's largest land carnivore, the polar bear. It has questions to answer as you view the video coverage, as well as activites after viewing. Suitable for upper primary and secondary. (some content may be inappropriate for younger students).

Wine-grape growing and climate change - Excerpt from the ABC News, explores how the growth and survival of living things are affected by the physical conditions of their environment. There are questions to answer as you view the video coverage, as well as activities after viewing. Suitable for Year 10 Science students.

Coorong salinity - Excerpt from the ABC Catalyst program, explores wetlands, swamps and lagoons and questions what changes might occur if the amount of water in such areas decrease. There are questions to answer as you view the video coverage, as well as activities after viewing. Suitable for secondary students.

Increasing threat of megafires - Excerpt from the ABC Four Corners program, exploring the cause and effects of bushfires. There are questions to answer as you view the video coverage, as well as activities after viewing. Suitable for upper primary and secondary (some content may be inappropriate for younger students).

Plants and increased levels of carbon dioxide - Excerpt from the ABC Catalyst program, explores what plants might look like in 100 years time if carbon dioxide levels continue to increase. There are questions to answer as you view the video coverage, as well as activities after viewing. Suitable for secondary students.

Greenhouse effect tips towards climate catastrophe - Excerpt from the ABC Four Corners program, looks at the dramatic unusual weather events and asks if they are due to climate change. There are questions to answer as you view the video coverage, as well as activities after viewing. Suitable for secondary students.

Seals help climate research - Excerpt from the ABC Catalyst program, explores how seals are helping scientists research the Antarctica. There are questions to answer as you view the video coverage, as well as activities after viewing. Suitable for secondary students.