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

The following resources are for use with students to help them understand climate change, how it impacts on the environment and people, and what can be done to minimise these impacts.

Theses sites are provided by a variety of government, not-for-profit or commercial organisations.

Primary

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

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
Stages 1 - 5 | Integrated, Inquiry Australian Curriculum aligned lesson plans | Cool Australia

The carbon cycle and us - links to explain the carbon cycle.
Stages 3 to 6 | Cross KLA | Information  | Sites2See NSW DEC

Climate Change -  provides accurate observations and information about our changing climate. 

Stages 3 to 6 | Cross KLA | Information  |  Australian Bureau of Meteorology

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

Adapting to Climate Change in Wales - contains useful information, strategies and activities to springboard ideas for teaching climate change to students in New South Wales.
Stages 3 to 6 | Cross KLA | Information, Student activities  |  Welsh educational forum

Schools Climate Kit

Stages 3 to 6 | Cross KLA | Information, Lesson Plans, Student activities  | Clean up Australia

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

Secondary

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

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.

Video resources

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

Indian agriculture -  video on the challenges faced by Indian agriculture due to climate change. (5:09 mins)

Communicating Climate Change - an animated video to get the conversation started, suitable for older students. (4:43 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).

Cyclone Yasi and Bushfire disaster, Victoria 2009 - Excerpts from the ABC Behind the News program, both activities explore how people cope with extreme weather conditions. There are questions to answer as you view the video coverage, as well as activities after viewing. Suitable for upper primary (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.

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.

OzClim - Explore climate change scenarios for Australia. Students can generate climate change scenarios from 2020 to 2100. They are guided through the process of generating their own climate scenarios and can download maps and projections data. Suitable for upper primary and secondary students.

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

Check out Cool Australia's Digital Toolbox where you'll find video clips, documentaries, images, articles, stories and news for each major topic, including water.

Was this page helpful?

Thank you for your feedback.

Would you like to tell us more?

Share this

Share to Facebook Share to Twitter More...
Page last updated: 12 December 2016