Global Warming Lesson Plans


Global warming, or climate change, is an important topic. It can be hard to teach, though, since it’s very controversial.

Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth: The Crisis of Global Warming is accessible to older elementary and secondar students, and includes lots of good graphics. How We Know What We Know about Our Changing Climate: Scientists and Kids Explore Global Warming is another useful book.

Here are some of our favorite links on the subject:

  • PBS has a lesson plan, with links to information and worksheets, using a Venn diagram to evaluate controversies about global warming. If political issues make you hesitate to do a science lesson on global warming, this lesson will help you fit it into your media literacy lessons instead.
  • Here is a site with clear and simple background information, plus useful links. This could be a good starting point if you have some lingering questions, yourself.
  • The Lawrence Hall of Science offers an excellent secondary-level science lesson plan, with multimedia links. This lesson plan lends itself to geography connections.
  • The Union of Concerned Scientists have done a fine cross-curricular lesson for high school, in this PDF file, which includes an oral history project.
  • Global Warming Art is a gallery of images illustrating different aspects of the subject. Have students choose one from the thumbnail gallery, either print it out or use Power Point to display the image, and then research the image well enough to explain it to the rest of the class. This activity will not only work on research skills and bring a variety of aspects of the topic to your class, but it might also engage students who resist other kinds of lessons. If this is a goal, emphasize the art connection here.
  • Ripple Effect Images examines the effect of climate change on women and girls in the developing world.  Watch their video, read their suggestions for action, and discuss their claims and ideas. Compare their approach with the methods used by other organizations you’ve learned about during your study.
  • has a large collection of links, for those who have time to explore the subject thoroughly.
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