Between the dramatic wildfires in Australia and the methane gas released from permafrost in the Arctic, climate change has been on everyone’s mind. Most secular homeschooling families would like to teach their kids about climate change and help them understand how to be part of the solution. If this describes you, it’s time to check out Our Climate Our Future. It’s a curriculum offered by Alliance for Climate Education, and it’s totally free to use. Once you sign up, you’ll get regular (but not daily) emails from the organization, which can be useful in helping you stay engaged and direct your attention to specific resources from the site.
Educator Resources are split up into five categories: Lesson Plans, Classroom Activities, Webinars, Our Climate Our Future, and Student Reading, with some overlap (for example, a document labeled Student Reading may be recommended in a Lesson Plan). The section labeled Our Climate Our Future is a good place to start. It contains just three links, which will lead you to an FAQ, a worksheet and answer key for a 40-minute introductory video, and a discussion guide for the same video.
Lesson Plans each provide a synopsis and outline of the lesson, expected time spent, learning outcomes, planning/materials, a context video, and standards met. Most list sources and references as well. The lessons are designed for high school classrooms and can be easily adapted for a home setting. The same can be said of the Classroom Activities provided by Our Climate Our Future. So far the site offers 14 lesson plans, on topics like Analyzing the Rise of U.S. Wildfires, Agriculture and Climate Change, and Hope After Hurricanes. The Lesson Plans are well-organized and in-depth, combining videos, discussion, and data analysis to give students a nuanced view of each topic. Classroom Activities encourage students to draw a heat map of pollution in Oakland, CA, write a letter to the editor, or organize a climate summit in their community, among others.
Aside from lessons and activities designed to be facilitated by an instructor, the Student Reading and Webinars can be navigated by students independently. The Student Reading documents are well-researched and referenced and are written by Rebecca Anderson of Alliance for Climate Education. Anderson has been educating about climate change with ACE since 2008 and is their sitting Director of Education. She holds a BA in Geosciences and an MS in Geological Sciences and has plenty of field research experience, so this curriculum provides a unique opportunity to learn from an expert for free.
The organization’s webinars provide opportunities to dive deeper into climate justice topics. Our Climate Our Future doesn’t just teach the data associated with climate change: the ultimate goal of this curriculum is to inspire youth-led climate action. It certainly seems like a good way to reach that goal. After working through all the resources made available here, students will be informed on the science and issues around climate change and will be well-equipped to help create a better future.
So when you’re feeling overwhelmed by sad pictures of polar bears and koalas, you can move forward with an action step: teach your student (and probably yourself!) about climate science and activism, and choose together how to change despair into inspiration.
To access the curriculum, you can find the organization HERE.
If you’re interested in learning more about Alliance for Climate Education, more information about climate change education and activism is available at their WEBSITE.
This resource is completely free to use, but if you love the curriculum or support this mission, you can give to ACE HERE