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A Wide World of Resources Promoting Climate Literacy

(I keep adding to this list.)*

Here is something you don’t want to miss. Graphic artists and collaboration in the international community will add another layer to the discussions. (Thanks to TMN for the connection.) 11/12/21

Can YOU Fix Climate Change? A pragmatic, reasoned explanation of the complexity of climate change. It might be used with middle-school students and older. Use it in conjunction with Times picture book and climate discussion with students from Spring, 2021.

Katherine Hayhoe about How to Talk about Climate Change: View her TED Talk

Denver Wants to Fix a Legacy of Environmental Racism   NY Times 9/30/2020 Perspective on undoing with trees and green spaces and the effect on a city’s future. Tensions here, too. Will it mean gentrification?

“How Decades of Racist Housing Policy Left Neighborhoods Sweltering,” August 24, 2020, NY Times. This article with data visualization explores the decades-old redlining policies that have compounded the effects of a warming world, heat, on the most vulnerable populations in cities throughout the country.

The New York Times Magazine features climate change as its topic this week. (7/25/2020)

The Literary Hub devotes time and attention to Climate Change every week. Here’s the latest: “Lessons from the Desert…” (7/9/2020)

“The Connections between Race, Pollution, and Covid-19” from Undark magazine(6/30/2020) discusses recent reports substantiating the correlation between pollution, race, and Covid for Black communities and other communities of color, using studies by the American Lung Association and Harvard.

8 Podcasts about Climate Change & Activism for K-12 Students (6/23/20)

While these mini-reviews from Literary Hub are for adult readers, the premise behind Heather Houser’s article, “When Scientific Data Shapes Climate Literature,” is clear: the arts and science can fertilize each other in the growth of climate change literacy. Her new book, Infowhelm:Environmental Art and Literature in an Age of Data, sounds like one for us to read.

Climate JUSTICE: Links Between Racism and the Environment (NY Times, 6/5/2020)

“The Climate ‘Hot 10 Songs’” excellent resource for pop music and connections to climate change. This is such a great place for ELA teachers to start.

Pandemic-related EPA rollbacks: NPR, June 2020

Nine-part report from Hechinger (a collaboration with the Huffington Post):”Climate Change: Are We Ready?”

Profile of Greta Thunberg for Rolling Stone, March 26, 2020, would be great for a found poem for Earth Day or Poetry Month

Corona Virus Holds Key Lessons on How to Fight Climate ChangeThis article published by the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies in its Yale Environment 360 newsletter examines some of the parallels between the two crises we are facing. Even after the pandemic has receded, the wisdom of this analysis for action will be valuable and worth discussing with students. A “what have we learned” Socratic seminar, perhaps?

“We’re Standing on the Edge of a Cliff: An Interview with Lauren Groff” (2/14/2020) This article has information about Greenpeace’s efforts to enlist artists in a climate-change awareness effort. Worth reading.

New Yorker, Sept. 8, 2019, “What If We Stopped Pretending?” I have put this article up top, front-and-center, because it is the most recent and perhaps the one that most captures the truth about our present crisis. It is for adults, but college students might well mull it over. In the end, despite Franzen’s stark analysis, there is hope, but it is revised. The incremental changes, the long haul are worth bringing to the forefront of our thinking and worth exploring with students of all ages! They are “under 30”—most of them—and  Although the actions of one individual have zero effect on the climate, this doesn’t mean that they’re meaningless. Each of us has an ethical choice to make. .

NPR Public Attitudes (4/24/19): “Most Teachers Don’t Teach Climate Change; Most Parents Wish They Did”  Terrific, RECENT graphs to think about this topic in ANY subject area!

Teaching Climate Change to Adolescents by Beach, Share and Webb and published by NCTE.

THE site of aggregated resources  from Beach, Share, and Webb

An EXCELLENT guide overall is A People’s Curriculum for the Earth edited by Bill Bigelow and Tim Swinehart. It outlines interactive games and provides lessons for understanding to engage all learners. Bigelow just wrote this article for Rethinking Schools which includes a link to “Teach Climate Justice”.

Understanding Climate Change, Grades 7-12 This resource presents clear science concepts for basic understanding without too much as does the Cornell Guide, embedded in SLIDE 19 of this presentation for OCTE, Spring 2019.  A comprehensive review of this title from Middle Web is included here.

 Drawdown The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming.  See the website, too. Hawkins and the team members explore solutions. Great texts for found poetry, writing reflections, informational text.

**Take this interactive quiz based on Drawdown principles. Great for discussion and fun learning. (8/26/19)

**Just posted on the ELATE Facebook group: PoeticEarthMonth. This one is worth exploring and connected to Drawdown.

NY Times primer on climate change This interactive article uses Q & A format, engages, and informs.

PBS Learning Media comprehensive resources

Alliance for Climate Education (site for schools addressing climate change)

The Science in Kid-Galvanizing from Nat Geo “Cool It” issue from Nov. 2015 is loaded with problems and solutions...real yet hopeful.

Consider joining Teachers First—an amazing aggregation of resources for teachers—and search “Curriconnects Book List Living Green.” This features books for all ages with climate literacy at their center. They also offer a “Teachers’ List” of resources to choose from. Search: “Earth Day TeachersFirst Editors’ Choices.”

** Visualizing Change is an excellent source for educational materials and reframe cards: NNOCCI (NOAA + NSF supported)

Another resource is Understanding Climate Change by Tucker and Sherwood and published by NSTA.

A Student’s Guide to Global Climate Change (EPA)

National Environmental Education Foundation NEEF features resources for each day of Environmental Ed Week here

Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) See Human Impact  and Climate Change cross discipline ideas. It gives rationale for ELA exploration of this topic.)

Alliance for Climate Education (site for schools addressing climate change)

Food and the Climate: Terrific interactive feature about how our food choices impact the climate. Couple with TED Talk Matthew Cutts, “Try Something New for 30 Days”and/or “Why I’m a Weekday Vegetarian” by Graham Hill. **Related Quiz (might be great for motivation and discussion!)

5/6/2019 Warning about Biodiversity Loss   (older students; call to action writing)

Getting Started:

Read this phenomenal approach to climate literacy. What a terrific way to collaborate with science and language arts!

Writing from Local Photos (one week exercise)

Place-based writing from Teachers & Writers magazine (Strengthen the bond, the reciprocity, between humans and the natural world.)

TreadLightly! This resource focuses on accessing the great outdoors for recreation while promoting stewardship. It looks at public lands use in the best ways. (See place-based writing above.)

HAD TO INCLUDE THIS because it so clearly shows the trade-offs inherent in living and sharing resources. Students studying argument would benefit reading because so often they approach opinion as one-right-answer writing. Here they encounter how complex solutions can be. Creative and critical thinking!

Emissions inequality:  Conversation article

Greta Thunberg at the UN: This is great for quick-writing and more!

SLJ article about Thunberg’s #YouthStrikeClimate ties into the youtube above

Create a CLASS CURATION. See rationale and how at Cult of Pedagogy.

“The Audit” by Rachel May short story featured at

Postcards from the Edge Born in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, this site features stories of various people affected by climate change in different parts of the country.

Psychology to Action: TED Talk

Why We’re Wired to Ignore Climate Change by psychologist George Marshall (great stuff here to talk about with ( particularly hs and older) students!)

Poem Collection: The Environment These poems are perfect for reflection and inspiration and a collection of lesson plans

Poetry, again, because it’s a place to begin and no one does reflective, daily writing opportunity-posts as well as Maria Popova in Brainpickings!

 Short Story: “How Close to the Savage Soul” Search this site for “The Audit” another thought-provoking short story offered full-text on this site.

Climate Change webquest (featured in Teaching Climate Change to Adolescents)

PBS  multimedia related to sustainability: “Flipside Science”

Music for Reflection: (see pdf) Latest list connected to climate justice

Climate Stories Project

Youth Activism at iMatter Youth Movement

Stories and hope from OXY online mag

Emissions inequality:  Conversation article

NY Times article about subsidized housing...economic inequality

Common Sense Media Climate Change info

A run-down of graphic lit  with the environment in mind (from Book Riot)

Cli-Fi Review

Plastic Use Calculator

**Motivating Change NY Times article “These Days, It’s Not about the Polar Bears”  Don’t miss the links embedded here.

USE THIS WITH STUDENTS...Climate Visuals “Climate change has an image problem.”  The psychology of effectively addressing this topic with audience at the heart matters. (See George Marshall and Cornell Guide above) explores how to effectively communicate this message

Food Insecurity and the Global Food Crisis

New Yorker article about political shift(?)  in Louisiana (disheartening)

Greta Thunberg’s US Trip- excellent Times article (8/13/2019)

Middle school teacher goes to the Arctic and observes climate change first-hand with scientists. Link to her blog, an interview, VERY KID FRIENDLY and at the end a project planned with her eighth graders for carbon capture.

STEM/STEAM resources from KQED

“Meat Is Murder. But You Already Know That.” This review of Jonathan Saffron Foer’s most recent essay collection addresses individual choice and consequences. Older students/college might be interested. Foer quote: “Although it may be a neoliberal myth that individual decisions have ultimate power, it is a defeatist myth that individual decisions have no power at all.”  The quote might be useful for reflection/quick writing.