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There are many great resources for climate science educators on the web.  Some are in the form of lesson plans or classroom modules.  Others have useful videos, data sets, or activities for kids both in and out of the classroom.  Below are links to some of these resources.  Please send us feedback (positive and negative) on these resources, as well as your own curricular materials that you're willing to share or links to some of your favorite resources, to

1. The EPA's "A Student's Guide to Global Climate Change" and Educator Resources

This archived EPA site has a wealth of curricular material aimed at middle school students and teachers, such as student-friendly summaries of climate science and climate action, an emissions calculator, and educator resources, including standards-based lesson plans and tips on how to use them.  Here are summaries of and direct links to the lesson plans.

LessonDescriptionType of ActivityTimeNational Science
Learning Standards
Weather and Climate: What’s the Difference? (PDF)
(13 pp, 1MB)
Students learn the differences between weather and climate. They collect local weather data for a defined period of time, and then compare these data with longer-term climate data for their community.Outside data collection and classroom computer activity; Internet access neededThree class periods of 30 to 60 minutes, plus 10 minutes for data collection per day (for one or more weeks)
  • Content Standard A: Science as inquiry
  • Content Standard D: Earth and space science
Mapping Greenhouse Gas Emissions Where you Live (PDF)
(11 pp, 752K)
Students use an EPA database of greenhouse gas emissions from large US sources to learn about the major greenhouse gases, what industries they come from, and where these emission sources are located.Classroom and computer activity; Internet access needed45 to 60 minutes
  • Content Standard A: Science as inquiry
  • Content Standard D: Earth and space science
  • Content Standard E: Science and technology
Carbon Through the Seasons (PDF)
(14 pp, 1MB)
Students learn about the carbon cycle, how concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the Earth’s atmosphere vary as the seasons change, and how the overall amount of CO2 is increasing in the atmosphere and changing the carbon cycle.Classroom activity60 to 90 minutes
  • Content Standard A: Science as inquiry
  • Content Standard D: Earth and space science
  • Content Standard E: Science and technology
Getting to the Core: Climate Change Over Time (PDF)
(15 pp, 1MB)
Students analyze the link between atmospheric temperatures and carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations by looking at ice core data spanning hundreds of thousands of years.Classroom activity60 minutes
  • Content Standard A: Science as inquiry
  • Content Standard D: Earth and space science
  • Content Standard E: Science and technology
Tree Rings: Living Records of Climate (PDF)
(12 pp, 876K)
Students analyze tree ring patterns to draw conclusions about precipitation patterns in the past and compare their own analysis with actual data.Classroom activity; Internet access needed60 minutes
  • Content Standard A: Science as inquiry
  • Content Standard C: Life science
  • Content Standard D: Earth and space science
Sea Level: On the Rise (PDF)
(6 pp, 457K)
Students learn about the relationship between climate change and sea-level rise.Educator demonstration and classroom experiment60 to 75 minutes
  • Content Standard A: Science as inquiry
  • Content Standard B: Physical science
  • Content Standard D: Earth and space science
Corals and Chemistry (PDF)
(7 pp, 700K)

Students learn how increased carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the burning of fossil fuels are changing the acidity (pH) of the ocean and affecting corals and other marine animals.

Educator demonstration and classroom experiment

45 to 60 minutes

  • Content Standard A: Science as inquiry
  • Content Standard B: Physical science
  • Content Standard C: Life science


2. NASA's Global Climate Change Resources for Educators 

This site has links to resources at a variety of reputable websites, as well as a gallery of multimedia and interactive tools.  Here are summaries of and direct links to some of these resources.

  • NASA's Climate Kids  NASA’s Climate Kids website brings climate science to life with fun games, interactive features and exciting articles.
  • Climate Change Lessons: JPL Education  This collection of climate change lessons and activities for grades K-12 is aligned with Next Generation Science and Common Core Math Standards and incorporates NASA missions and science along with current events and research.
  • National Climate Assessment Teaching Resources  Part of NOAA's "Teaching Climate" section, the National Climate Assessment offers a wealth of actionable science about the causes, effects, risks and possible responses to human-caused climate change.
  • NOAA: Teaching Climate  This website contains reviewed resources for teaching about climate and energy.
  • ESSEA Climate Education modules  The NASA-supported Earth System Science Education Alliance (ESSEA) provides modules for teachers taking ESSEA courses, but teachers may also use the modules with their students.
  • Climate Literacy & Energy Awareness Network  The CLEAN project, a part of the National Science Digital Library, provides a reviewed collection of resources students' understanding of the core ideas in climate and energy science, coupled with the tools to enable an online community to share and discuss teaching about climate and energy science.
  • U.S. Department of Energy Lesson Plans and Activities  A collection of energy-related lesson plans, labs, projects and other activities for grades K-12 on energy-related topics, searchable by topic and grade level.


3. KBS Climate Change Lesson Plans:  Exploring the Evidence 

The W.K. Kellogg Biological Station at Michigan State University has links to literature and lessons plans related to K-12 climate science education, sorted by grade level, as well as links to other valuable online resources.


4. ClimateChangeLIVE Lesson Plans

The ClimateChangeLIVE site is a comprehensive distance learning project developed by the U.S. Forest Service and 26 Federal and NGO partners.  This is a link to their lengthy list of K-12 lesson plans, organized by grade level.  The rest of the site contains additional valuable resources for teachers and students, including links to their webcasts.


5. Polar Climate Change Lesson Plans

These lesson plans are the result of a project by the American Museum of Natural History to bring together educators for an online training program.  From the website's description:  "These curricular unit plans help students explore and understand climate change with particular attention to the impact of climate change on the polar regions. Topics include the role of the polar regions in the global climate system, the impact of changing temperatures on ecosystems, and the effect of increased CO2 on food webs. Grade levels range from middle school to undergraduates. These lessons were developed by educators who completed the Museum's online teacher professional development course Climate Change. Seminars on Science offers Climate Change and other courses year round for educators who are interested in professional development or graduate credit. The development and review of these lesson plans was made possible through the PoLAR Partnership."


6. Stanford School of Earth, Energy and Environmental Science curriculum 

This site contains comprehensive climate change curriculum for middle and high school teachers.  From the description on the website:  "The climate change curriculum is captured in an Excel-style template that includes a unit cover page – an overview of the entire unit as a whole – followed by daily lesson plans. Each lesson plan begins with a Bellwork (BW) exercise that students can do as the teacher executes the necessary administrative tasks at the start of the period. A set of activities and their brief description are in the left column while a list of materials and resources are indicated in the right column. Many days end with a suggested Homework (HW) activity. The authors of this curriculum expect teachers to integrate assignments into the already established classroom culture and expectations. The materials and resources that relate to each lesson plan can be found immediately following each lesson plan’s template."


7. Lesson plans from Scholastic and the EPA

This site contains four lesson plans for Grades 6-8 and two lesson plans for Grades 9-12 that are explicitly aligned with three sets of standards (Common Core, Excellence in Environmental Education, and Next Generation Science).


8. 5 Ways to Teach About Climate Change in Your Classroom (NEA Today)

This article from the National Education Association's NEA Today news site has tips for teachers.

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