COP26 – Is This Our Last Chance? 5 Teaching Resources on the Climate Crisis
This weekend I attended a kids birthday party as one of my daughter’s friends was turning four. Kids were running around joyously as they were burning off that sugar rush from the birthday cake. Screams and chuckles filled the air as they chased each other into the night. ‘They are doomed, and they don’t even know it!’ said a mother I was speaking with, who was a climate change researcher. I was stunned by her deep pessimism on the (lack of) hope she had for the future generation, as she explained to me just how critical the current climate crisis really is from a scientific standpoint. She frankly suggested that we are already too late, and there’s not much we can do about it.
This profound sentiment of disappointment and disillusion was also shared by the global community over the past week at the COP26 summit. You can already guess what Greta Thunberg had to say about it.
Even the UN Secretary General, António Guterres, had to apologise to the public.
As educators though, I am sure that most of you would not let these comments extinguish your flames of hope. I am sure you will remain resilient in driving change through the action of your students, and that we still have time to turn this around. What do you have planned for your next lesson in social studies, geography, or any subject for that matter? If it is not about this wake-up call that COP26 has reminded us of, then we must rethink and take action now! I have picked out five easy-to-use resources on how to tackle the climate crisis so that you can use them in your lesson next week.
1 - BBC Teach
Interactive and live Lessons
An abundance of video and other multimedia resources will spark off lively discussions in your classroom and hopefully inspire your students to take action.
Top Pick: The Regenerators - a collection of easy-to-use resources that will develop your students’ understanding of different climate change issues. inspire your students to start taking small practical steps in their daily lives.
FREE downloadable resource packs
Most teachers will know (if not already signed up) about Twinkl, my favorite teaching resource site. Although I would highly recommend subscribing to their paid resources, you can get free access to these COP26 school resources developed in partnership with the WWF. They are incredibly well-adapted to different age groups and grade levels. Exceptionally user-friendly materials that will save you so much time!
Top Pick: COP26 Teacher’s Guide - the place to start as it takes you through step by step in preparing to plan for a lesson on the topic.
3 - ClickView
Videos specially curated for teachers
Finding video content for your lessons can be a very time-consuming and challenging task, as any teacher can testify. There is an overwhelming volume of YouTube videos we can use to teach climate change but the likelihood is that you are bombarded with advertisements, low quality, and often inappropriate content. This is why ClickView’s video platform is perfectly catered for teachers, ensuring safe, reliable, and engaging content that will fit perfectly with your lesson plan. Try out their free resources page with lots of high-quality video content accompanied by downloadable resources.
Top Pick: The Voices of Youth Activism - an impactful video introducing the history of environmental youth activism and showcasing the inspiring works of seven young activists from across the world.
4 - Bin Twinning
Single PDF document with lots of activities and case studies
I hadn’t been aware of Bin Twinning, a UK-based charity that funds sustainable projects in promoting recycling and waste reduction until I found this resource. This single PDF document is packed with activities, quizzes, games, case studies, and project ideas.
Top Pick: Burning waste in Pakistan - A case study with activity ideas to demonstrate the complexity of the climate crisis that developing countries are facing.
Teacher showcase of teaching the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
We worked with Participate Learning to showcase some of the most inspiring teachers who have taught SDGs in their classrooms and successfully incorporated them into their curriculum. Katie Gourlay talks about how she used the biography of Malala and sustenance farming to teach students about several SDGs. You can draw inspiration from her experiences and pick up practical tips on how to implement them in your classroom.
As teachers, we have so many priorities to juggle and so little time. Well, our planet is also facing the same problem, but it depends on all of us to make a difference and take immediate action. There has never been a more critical time in human history and our students are the ones to bear the consequences. I hope readers will find some of these resources useful and hopefully inspire more positive changes worldwide, one lesson at a time.
How do you teach your students to take action to tackle this climate crisis? Did you find any of these resources useful? Share your ideas and insights with fellow educators in our brand new Makematic Community. This month, we have launched 2 new FREE CPD courses: Teaching Social Studies with Multimedia and Teaching Difficult Topics. Click here to join now!