As the world’s leaders head to Glasgow for the crucial COP26 climate summit this November, it’s easy to forget that these elder statespeople are unlikely to feel the effects of their actions. Irrevocably, it is our children and their children’s children who will inherit the earth left behind. And if we don’t act now, it’ll be too late to prevent the effects of climate change.
Though Greta is great, she can’t speak for every young person. Pupils need to be given a platform this autumn and beyond. We must fire up a mass youth movement that can save us from humanity’s greatest crisis.
Mobilisation can begin in the classroom. PSHE and citizenship lessons are brilliant at generating energetic discussions that can inspire and educate – especially on big issues like the climate emergency. We have compiled some lesson plans, assemblies and resources to get you started.
Climate Change (KS2, ages 7-11)
In this flexible lesson plan of four parts, learners explore what climate change is and what is causing it. They consider who is responsible for climate change. Is it individuals, politicians, businesses? They are then challenged to think of a variety of ways they can tackle climate change both at home and at school.
COP26: Climate Action (KS2, ages 7-11)
This resource was created especially to coincide with COP26. By the end of the lesson, pupils will be able to explain what the COP26 is what its four goals are. They will learn what the UK is doing to reduce carbon emissions, and will ultimately plan and carry out their own actions to reduce the school’s carbon emissions.
Saving Energy (KS1, ages 5-7)
How do we use energy in our daily lives? This lesson will demonstrate how vital electricity is in society and, introduce the class to basic environmental concerns of burning fossil fuels and nuclear power. Pupils will learn how they can help the environment with energy-saving behaviours.
Pollution (KS1+2, ages 5-11)
We have three resources that address the issue of pollution: there are two lessons on plastic pollution (KS1 and KS2) and an interactive session called “Expedition to Planet Blue Ball” (KS1, ages 5-7). The latter tells an animated story in which creatures from a friendly planet are invited to help clean up Earth.
Litter: The Picnic (KS1, ages 5-7)
Protecting Local Habitats (KS1+2, ages 5-11)
One of the key arguments against littering is that it can harm wildlife by ruining their habitat. Pupils will examine how living things are suited to their habitats and are thus at risk when their home is lost. As a class they will take part in activities that are designed to introduce them to habitats in their local area before participating in social action that will support or renew habitats in their area. Download the KS1 and KS2 resources now.
How Should We Farm? (KS2, ages 7-11)
In this lesson pupils will learn about different farming methods. They will consider the advantages and disadvantages of these methods and learn how to identify labels that indicate how food has been farmed. Finally, they will explore the shopping habits of their school community and consider the wider implications these habits may have.
The Value of Trees (KS2, ages 7-11)
How do trees support life on earth? In this flexible three-part lesson, pupils will understand the vital role trees play in our environment. They will examine the effects of deforestation and learn how they can help to renew forests.