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An ICAN environmental awareness program
Climate Change?!

Climate change refers to long-term shifts in temperatures and weather patterns. These shifts may be natural, such as through variations in the solar cycle. But since the 1800s, human activities have been the main driver of climate change, primarily due to burning fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas.

Burning fossil fuels generates greenhouse gas emissions that act like a blanket wrapped around the Earth, trapping the sun’s heat and raising temperatures.

Examples of greenhouse gas emissions that are causing climate change include carbon dioxide and methane. These come from using gasoline for driving a car or coal for heating a building, for example. Clearing land and forests can also release carbon dioxide. Landfills for garbage are a major source of methane emissions. Energy, industry, transport, buildings, agriculture and land use are among the main emitters.

Is it too late to stop climate change? - Kurzgesagt


Have You Heard?

You've probably heard about climate change and global warming, maybe from your parents, your teacher, or even on TV. But do you know what they are or what causes them? Do you know they're harmful to Earth and you as a human? Today we're going to talk about climate change and global warming, why they're important, and what causes them.

Understand what it is..

To understand what climate change is, first you need to understand what climate is. Climate is the big picture of weather, put together with information like temperature and rainfall, for a region of Earth. For example, the climate of Alaska is cold and snowy, while California stays warm and doesn't see much snow.

the greenhouse effect

So, what's causing global warming? It's being caused by a phenomenon scientists call the greenhouse effect. A greenhouse is a glass house people build to create the perfect environment to grow plants. Earth has its own sort of greenhouse - the atmosphere. The greenhouse gases high in Earth's atmosphere, such as water vapor, carbon dioxide, and methane, create a shield around Earth and act like a greenhouse.

Rays from the Sun pass through this layer of gas to warm Earth. Earth then gives off heat, which is shot back into space. The greenhouse gases stop some of the heat from escaping, keeping Earth warm enough for us to live. This is the greenhouse effect. Without this, life on Earth wouldn't be possible. It's a good thing for us!

Rain Cloud
Planting a Tree

ICAN wants to extract learning from solving the climate crisis through analyzing big agenda into smaller parts.

Here is how it works, ICAN is training students to think big topics and to break it down to smaller details that students can learn a lot from. Climate change can be divided into smaller parts and those parts into smaller details. By mastering these smaller details, the student can be an expert in climate change as a whole. 

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This is done using MINDMEISTER Mind Map, a program allows students to break down ideas into smaller helpful ones! 

The goal is to help kids create their own version of mind maps with solutions that are based on science, math and history!

Activities to teach kids about climate change

Science Experiment

1. Do a lab.

Lab activities can be one of the most effective ways to show children how global warming works on an accessible scale.

Ellie Schaffer is a sixth-grader at Alice Deal Middle School in Washington, D.C. In science class, she has done simulations on greenhouse effects, using plastic wrap to trap the sun's heat. And she has used charcoal to see how black carbon from air pollution can speed the melting of ice. 

These lessons have raised her awareness — and concern. "We've ignored climate change for a long time and now it's getting to be, like, a real problem, so we've gotta do something."

Many teachers we talked with mentioned NASA as a resource for labs and activities. The ones in this outline can be done with everyday materials such as ice, tinfoil, plastic bottles, rubber, light bulbs and a thermometer.

On the Earth Science Week website, there's a list of activities and lesson plans aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards. They range from simple to elaborate.

Watching Movie Together

2. Show a movie.

Susan Fisher, a seventh-grade science teacher at South Woods Middle School in Syosset, N.Y., showed her students the 2016 documentary Before the Flood, featuring Leonardo DiCaprio journeying to five continents and the Arctic to see the effects of climate change. "It is our intention to make our students engaged citizens," Fisher says.

Before the Flood has an action page and an associated curriculum. Common Sense Media has a list of climate change-related movies for all ages.

The 2006 film An Inconvenient Truth and its 2017 sequel, An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth To Power, have curricular materials created in partnership with the National Wildlife Federation.

Child Studying

3. Assign a novel.

Rebecca Meyer is an eighth-grade English language arts teacher at Bronx Park Middle School in New York City.

She assigned her students a 2013 novel by Mindy McGinnis called Not a Drop to Drink.

"As we read the novel, kids made connections between what is happening today and the novel," Meyer says. "At the end of the unit, as a culminating project, students chose groups, researched current solutions for physical and economic water scarcity and created PSA videos using iMovie about the problem and how their solution could help to combat the issue."

She described the unit as a success. "They were very engaged; they loved it," she explains. "A lot of them shared this information with their families. When parents came in for parent-teacher conferences, they mentioned their kids had been talking to them about conserving water."

Not A Drop To Drink belongs to a subgenre of science fiction known as "cli-fi" (climate fiction) or sometimes eco-fiction. You can find lists of similar books at websites like or at the Chicago Review of Books, which has a monthly Burning Worlds column about this kind of literature.

Looking for English topics for younger students? EL Education covers environmental topics, including water conservation and the impact of natural disasters, in its K-5 English language arts curriculum.

School Laboratory

4. Do citizen science.

Terry Reed is the self-proclaimed "science guru" for seventh-graders at Prince David Kawananakoa Middle School in Honolulu. He has also spent a year sailing the Caribbean, and on his way, he collected water samples on behalf of a group calledAdventure Scientists, to be tested for microplastics. (Spoiler: Even on remote, pristine beaches, all the samples had some.)

He has assigned his students to collect water samples from beaches near their homes to submit for the same project. He also has them take pictures of cloud formations and measure temperatures, to see changes in weather patterns over time. "One thing I stress to them, that in the next few years, they become the voting public," he says. "They need to be aware of the science."


5. Assign a research project, multimedia presentation or speech.

Gay Collins teaches public speaking at Waterford High School in Waterford, Conn. She is interested in "civil discourse" as a tool for problem-solving, so she encourages her students "to shape their speeches around critical topics, like the use of plastics, minimalism, and other environmental issues.

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