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Heat Up Over Climate Change

Exploring climate change and the effects on the world's children; a peer education pack



The purpose of this education package is to ensure students connect climate change to the effects it is already having on children living in the world's most vulnerable communities. The pack is divided into four sections:

Know More - three activities to increase understanding of climate change and its effects on the world's children.

  • What Climate Change Really Means - 45 minutes- After watching a video and examining a  flow chart, students describe effects of climate change on children's rights.
  • Rising Tide - 30 minutes - Through active team simulation, students experience the effects of decreasing land mass due to rising sea levels.
  • Ready to Go? - 15 minutes - Through active team simulation, students learn what it would be like to have to quickly evacuate their home, then listen to the story of a child caught in this situation for real.
  • Feeling Angry? - 2 hours- After watching a video and taking part in the accompanying discussion, small groups of students decide on what messages they'd like to get out regarding climate change and then decide how they will do it.

Explore More - two activities designed to examine responsibility for climate change.

  • Big Emitters - 15 minutes - using a regular world map students work together to predict the top five world carbon emitters. They then compare their predictions to the Guardian's Carbon Atlas and discuss what's going on.
  • Climate Superhero Auditions - 40 minutes - students role play provided superhero descriptions. The goal is to create the perfect climate change action team. They then go on to discuss the impact of small team action verses every single person action.

Do More - A section that provides support and guidance for climate change action projects.

  • Be the Change - as long as needed - with teacher support and the do more guide to action, students decide on and plan for successful action against climate change.

Share More - A form to complete in order to report on successful actions taken.

While produced in conjunction with the Climate Change Conference held in Copenhagen in 2009, the resource has relevance and application today.

General Assessment

What skills does this resource explicitly teach?

  • Planning steps for a successful action project.


  • If used as intended, the action component will serve to empower students.
  • The lessons are very easy to use and all necessary computer links are supplied.
  • The lessons are pedagogically strong.
  • The tagd website provides all sorts of useful links to UNICEF resources.


  • Assessment tools will need to be developed by the classroom teacher.
  • Measurement and celebration of success are omitted from the action planning list.

Relevant Curriculum Units

The following tool will allow you to explore the relevant curriculum matches for this resource. To start, select a province listed below.

Themes Addressed

  • Air, Atmosphere & Climate (1)

    • Climate Change
  • Citizenship (1)

    • General Guide to Taking Action
  • Energy (1)

    • Energy Use

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives Very Good
  • The bias' are that awareness of the implications of our western world actions could change them, and that those who have their human rights met have the responsibility to uphold the human rights of other world citizens.
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives:
  • Satisfactory: absence of bias towards any one point of view
  • Good: students consider different points of view regarding issues, problems discussed
  • Very good: based on the consideration of different views, students form opinions and  take an informed position
Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions Good
  • Lessons provide a humanistic stage for discussion of the multiple dimensions of the problem.
  • Lessons are rooted in a human rights perspective.
Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions:

Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.

  • Satisfactory: resource supports the examination of  these dimensions
  • Good:  resource explicitly examines the interplay of these dimensions
  • Very Good:  a systems-thinking approach is encouraged to examine these three dimensions
Respects Complexity Very Good
Respects Complexity:

The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.

Acting on Learning Very Good
Acting on Learning:

Learning moves from understanding  issues  to working towards positive change — in personal lifestyle, in school, in the community,  or for the planet

  • Satisfactory: action opportunities are included as extensions 
  • Good: action opportunities are core components of the resource
  • Very Good: action opportunities for students are well supported and intended to result in observable, positive change
Values Education Very Good
Values Education:

Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.

Empathy & Respect for Humans Very Good
Empathy & Respect for Humans: Empathy and respect are fostered for diverse groups of humans (including different genders, ethnic groups, sexual preferences, etc.).
Personal Affinity with Earth Satisfactory
  • It is up to the teacher to tie in a concrete out-of-doors component.
  • Some of the lessons could easily be conducted in the out-of-doors.
  • The effect of climate change on plants and animals, other than the human animal, are not an aspect of the lessons.
Personal Affinity with Earth:

Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.  

  • Satisfactory: connection is made to the natural world
  • Good: fosters appreciation/concern for the natural world
  • Very Good: fosters stewardship though practical and respectful experiences out-of-doors 
Locally-Focused Learning Very Good
  • The subject is on the minds of young people and these lessons that encourage action empower them.
Locally-Focused Learning:

Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community. 

  • Satisfactory: learning is made relevant to the lives of the learners
  • Good: learning is made relevant and has a local focus
  • Very Good: learning is made relevant, local and takes place ‘outside’ , in the community 
Past, Present & Future Good
  • The lessons are rooted in the present and future.
Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.

Pedagogical Approaches

Principle Rating Explanation
Open-Ended Instruction Very Good
  • The lessons utilize coupled inquiry- a combination of guided and open inquiry.
Open-Ended Instruction :

Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.

Integrated Learning Very Good
Integrated Learning:

Learning brings together content and skills  from more than one  subject area

  • Satisfactory: content from a number of different  subject areas is readily identifiable
  • Good:  resource is appropriate for use in more than one subject area
  • Very Good:  the lines between subjects are blurred 
Inquiry Learning Very Good
Inquiry Learning:

Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.   

  • Satisfactory: Students are provided with questions/problems to solve and some direction on how to arrive at solutions.
  • Good: students, assisted by the teacher clarify the question(s) to ask and the process to follow to arrive at solutions.  Sometimes referred to as Guided Inquiry
  • Very Good:  students generate the questions and assume much of the responsibility for how to solve them.  . Sometimes referred to as self-directed learning.


Differentiated Instruction Very Good
Differentiated Instruction:

Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.

  • Satisfactory:  includes a variety of instructional approaches
  • Good: addresses  the needs of visual, auditory &  kinesthetic learners
  • Very Good: also includes strategies for learners with difficulties
Experiential Learning Good
  • Simulations help build student understanding that ultimately lead to their authentic action projects.
Experiential Learning:

Authentic learning experiences are provided

  • Satisfactory: learning takes place through ‘hands-on’ experience or simulation
  • Good: learning involves direct experience in a ‘real world context’
  • Very good: learning involves ‘real world experiences’ taking place’ beyond the school walls.
Cooperative Learning Satisfactory
Cooperative Learning:

Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.

  • Satisfactory:  students work in groups
  • Good: cooperative learning skills are explicitly taught and practiced
  • Very Good: cooperative learning skills are explicitly taught, practiced and assessed
Assessment & Evaluation Satisfactory
  • While discussion questions are provided, nothing is provided to capture student performance throughout the process. The final action project assignment would certainly be assessable.
Assessment & Evaluation: Tools are provided that help students and teachers to capture formative and summative information about students' learning and performance. These tools may include reflection questions, checklists, rubrics, etc.
Peer Teaching Poor/Not considered
Peer Teaching:

Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.

  • Satisfactory: incidental teaching that arises from cooperative learning, presentations, etc.
  • Good or Very Good: an opportunity is intentionally created to empower students to teach other students/community members. The audience is somehow reliant on the students' teaching (students are not simply ‘presenting')
Case Studies Very Good
Case Studies:

Relevant case studies are included.  Case studies are thorough descriptions of real events from real situations that students use to explore  concepts in an authentic context.

Locus of Control Very Good
Locus of Control: Meaningful opportunities are provided for students to choose elements of program content, the medium in which they wish to work, and/or to go deeper into a chosen issue.