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How to teach children about climate change


How to teach children about climate change


Humanity continues to face one of the most significant problems in modern day. Climate change. The future also holds the scare of it getting out of hand, with people wishing they would’ve listened earlier. Climate change is still very present, despite being front page of the newspaper just over 30 years ago. So, why isn’t it being taught enough within a teaching environment? What can educators do to develop the youth’s understanding of the serious issue?

As teachers, we need to ensure that global warming is a core part of the curriculum, instead of just having a one-off lesson once every school year. Students need to know the causes and effects of climate change, as well as what we can do to tackle it. Here are a few recommendations for teaching our students about climate change.


Start with the basics - Throwing long and wordy terminology at students will only cause an abundance of disinterest amongst the class. This is why keeping it short and to the point will engage the students more, meaning they are more likely to listen. Terminology such as greenhouse effect, climate change, global warming, rising sea levels, habitat loss will make a great start to a rich understanding of the problem. These terminologies can be tested every now and then, in test conditions, with marking, etc. This allows us to see which students struggle in certain aspects, so it can guide us to make decisions in making progress with said student.


Let them voice their opinion on it - It’s simple. By giving them a chance to voice their concerns, it helps them feel more engaged in the lesson. If students feel more engaged, they listen. And finally, if they listen, they will understand. Make time for discussions in the class, by going round in a circle, and allowing them to name something that they would do to help towards the common goal. This develops their knowledge, and at the same time enhances skills such as creativity and critical thinking. Innovative solutions and thinking around a problem is the foundation of a successful student. September 2019 showed just over 6 million people around the world joining the global climate strike. This displayed that everyone has a voice in our efforts to tackle the crisis, as well as required leadership to make a change.


Present the relationship between human activity and climate change - This is an essential part of acknowledging the problem, as it can show flaws in what students are doing, and the eco-friendly alternatives.  Examples such as deforestation, agriculture, and burning fossil fuels all contribute to the greenhouse gas emissions that are bad for the environment. These actions might be out of student control, so a more suitable example includes walking, cycling, and using public transport, where less gas is used on the roads. Another good one is saving energy at home. This consists of lowering the heating and turning off any light bulbs that are not in use.


These are just a couple of ways in which we can enhance our student’s understanding of climate change. A lack of understanding can result in students carrying out certain activities that contribute to it all. In a teaching environment full of keen learners, the teaching of climate change is essential in creating a better future.