Climate Change in the Classroom Part 4: Climate Change Activities for Any Class

Climate change lessons and material doesn’t have to be isolated in science classes alone. This blog is number four of a four part series about the activities, lessons, and standards that teachers from various subject areas and grade levels are using to teach climate change in their classrooms. Content was collected from teacher papers completed for graduate credit through Hamline University after attending our 13th annual Summer Institute for Climate Change Education. Educators wrote about the importance of teaching climate change and the new ways they will bring climate change to students in earth science, chemistry, language arts, and other classes from grade 3-12.

Valerie and Mark offer a discussion and plan on how they will integrate climate change into social studies and earth science classes. However, these two examples could be integrated into any subject area or grade level!

Valerie J., St. Michael Albertville Middle School West, MN

I am excited to explore more [Arc GIS] Story Maps not only for myself but also to possibly work together with my social studies team to explore some cross content three-dimensional learning opportunities. This was something I was very excited to share. I shared a Google Doc with my social studies team with links to the maps we explored. They were beautifully written, fun to explore, engaging, and content-relevant! They also made me want to try them with “Breakout Boxes” which we purchased this past year. I thought it would be a great way to integrate the two ideas by having students use a Story Map with written clues to complete a breakout box at the same time.


Mark K., Sartell Middle School, MN

One of the most powerful tasks I have in my classroom is my daily current events. This is the informal teaching that varies greatly by the day. I often get compliments from other teachers, parents, students, and administration that I make earth science relevant for TODAY.  My current events are five- to ten-minute discussions on a recent and relevant newspaper article. On average, the current event is climate change-related about once a week or once every other week. Depending on class time, sometimes the students will read the article, answer questions, discuss, or dig deeper into the words and big ideas. My students will NOT leave my class unaware of what is going on with climate change.

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