Climate Change


The lesson introduces students to climate change and its effect on the Earth and the atmosphere.  Though climate change, global warming, and other environmental issues can become controversial with many people in society taking sides, the lesson presents the facts.  Students are made aware of the debate and the lesson includes an opportunity for students to debate information related to climate change.  It is important for the teacher to encourage students to use common sense, and regardless of any controversy, it is wise to recycle, reuse, and reduce things they use each day.

Climate Change Lesson Plan Includes:

  • Full Teacher Guidelines with Creative Teaching Ideas
  • Instructional Content Pages about Climate Change
  • Hands-on homework activities
  • Answer Keys
  • Common Core State Standards
  • Many Additional Links and Resources
  • Built for Grades 4-6 but can be adapted for other grade levels.

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The lesson presents the facts about climate change and its effects on the Earth and its atmosphere.  Climate change, global warming, and other environmental issues can become controversial, challenging topics with many people in society taking sides.  The lesson makes students aware of these disputes, and presents an opportunity for them to debate opinions about climate change in a respectful, controlled setting.  The lesson emphasizes the important of “reduce, reuse, recycle” particularly for everyday items, and the use of common sense regardless of controversy.  The lesson can be used with other lessons relating to the environment.

Sample Classroom Procedure / Teacher Instruction: 

  1. Ask students: What is the difference between climate and weather?
  2. Allow for responses and discussion. Ask students:  Which changes more often: climate or weather?  How do you know?
  3. Allow for responses and discussion. Ask:  What are some of the things you have heard or read about in the news or on the Internet related to climate change?
  4. Allow for responses and discussion. Introduce Climate Change.
  5. Distribute Climate Change content pages. Read and review the information with the students.  Save the final question for the lesson closing.  Use the additional resources to enhance understanding.
  6. Distribute Activity page. Read and review the instructions.  Place students in groups of 3 or 4.  Allow students time to serious discuss and debate their responses and opinions related to the questions.  Remind students to write personal opinions in the spaces provided following each discussion.
  7. Once all groups have had ample time for discussion, students share responses with the class.
  8. Distribute Practice page. Check and review the students’ responses.
  9. Distribute the Homework page. The next day, check and review the students’ responses.
  10. In closing, ask students: Name 5 specific things you can do today to help the environment and reduce greenhouse gases.

Common Core State Standards: 

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.4.1.c, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.4.5, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.5.1.c, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.5.5, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.6.4, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.6.7, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RST.6.10

Class Sessions (45 minutes): At least 2 class sessions

Additional Resources: 

Want more science resources? Check out our other Science Lesson Plans!

Additional information

Grade Level

4th Grade, 5th Grade, 6th Grade