23 October 2018

Climate Change and Our Environment

As I watch the change in season, I cannot help but think about how our planet is going through other changes. These changes are commonly referred to as climate change and it really is neither new nor hidden from view. All it takes is listening to weather forecasts - let alone watching the natural environment around us. From finding plastic in humans, to sea marine creatures dying by suffocation with tangled fishermen nets, to air pollution and so many other forms of pollution, discussing environmental issues in the classroom is a necessity. After all, this is the planet our learners will be inhabiting.  The short video below is an example of what is currently affecting different populations around the world: (Why hurricanes are getting worse - The Economist)

There are educational resources on the environment for all levels and here are some suggestions. 

Recycling is one step forward when thinking about how to make one's habits more sustainable. 

For younger learners there is The Recycle Guys which has activities and explanations of why recycling is important. 

Recycle City offers games on how to manage litter
and pollution as well as other resources for involving learners in recycling. 

Ollie's World is another option, with games on recycling and other resources for educators. 

has a range of learning activities and resources, also including tips and resources for educators.

Skeptical Science is another interesting source for lesson ideas and materials, with the added feature that it includes resources in several Global Warming & Climate Change Myths  provides hot issues within this topic and learners will certainly have a lot to contribute!
languages (as you can notice in the image on the left).  If you would like to have a debate/discussion in class, the Most Used Climate Myths also may be used as springboard for discussion.

Two interesting games for younger learners are the Young Meteorologist Program  with a game on a  Severe Weather Preparedness Adventure and Lifeboat to Mars.

Lifeboat to Mars PBS Kids requires
requires a sign in to PBS Kids though; however the game does offer interesting activities for young learners where they have to make decisions and choices for plants and so on.

For those who prefer using videos for lessons,  BBC Earth has a great selection of short videos on wildlife as well as BBC Earth Unplugged

Below is an example from BBC Earth:

This video (above) has actually been developed into a lesson by the British Council - whether you teach ELT or looking for inspiration, the British Council offers users to test their level of English and then search for content according to their level. And again, many of the lessons and short videos focus on contemporary issues and situations, including the environment.

For more advanced learners of English and/or more mature learners, The Economist  has plenty of videos which may be tailored for lessons where students need to thinking critically, debate issues and make decisions.

A recent project I have come across online is The Good Country. Whether you subscribe to this idea or not, it is interesting to share this with students and pose the question of how the environment could be managed in such a country.

In a world where climate change and environmental damage is harming so many, it is always worth bringing up the topic in classrooms and learners.

Further Suggestions:

This is the New Reality Drop. No Games, Just Truths

The World Bank Climate Change Knowledge Portal

Celebrating While Learning in Spring

Supporting Sustainable Development

Problems the Earth Faces - Resources for Educators

A Breeze of Summer Green

Going Green

World Environment Day 2018 - The Problem of Plastics

A Worldly Wish for 2012

NOOA - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Games, Quizzes, and Videos about the Environment

Can you beat my score on this climate change quiz?

What is Global Warming? from Future Of StoryTelling on Vimeo.

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