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5 Ways to Teach About Climate Change in Your Classroom

Here’s a fact: In 2016, Earth reached its highest temperature on record, trouncing the record set just a year earlier in 2015, which beat the previous record set in 2014. Our planet is warming, and its temperatures are fast heading toward levels that scientists believe will threaten humans and the natural world. Another fact: Educators need to help students learn about climate change, caused by human activity. But how do we do it in a way that engages and inspires them?

1. Dive In!

The water is warm and getting warmer. “Just plunge in and teach it!” says Kottie Christie-Blick, a fifth-grade teacher from the suburbs of New York City, who joined the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA’s) Climate Stewards program in 2012 and consults on climate-change education. The topic is so important, says Christie-Blick, that no delay is defensible. “Start now,” she urges, and learn more as you move forward.