three students look at a computer together

10 Climate Change Games for the Classroom

By: Vanessa Wilson

Jun 22, 2022 | 14 minute read

Want to increase student engagement and interest in the classroom? Educational games are a fantastic way to boost student motivation and help them develop their critical thinking and problem-solving skills. By using climate change games in the classroom, you will inspire students to learn about the impacts of climate change, find solutions, and take action. We’ve gathered 10 digital and physical climate change educational games to use in the classroom and/or link to any LMS system such as Google Classroom. Students will be excited to learn these concepts in a fun and engaging manner.

What Type of Shopper Are You?

Grade: 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th

Subjects: Social Studies, Economics, Social-Emotional Learning, Climate Action

Resource Type: Interactive Media, Game

This interactive game published by StC makes students more aware of their shopping habits and if they are susceptible to greenwashing efforts. Students learn about the four different types of shoppers - competitive, methodical, spontaneous, and humanistic. The game asks students to watch various company ads, decide if they would buy the product, and explain their choice. At the end of the game, students will learn what type of shopper they are based on their choices and they will earn a Greenwashing Badge from Captain Climate.

Climate change games for the classroom get students actively thinking about how they can make an impact in their community. This game can be paired with the video Everything You Need to Know About Greenwashing and this lesson plan Is This Greenwashing? to introduce students to the term greenwashing. Students can complete the activity with a peer to collaborate and discuss their answer choices, or the game can be a full class activity. Teachers may ask students to reflect on their choices by holding a group discussion or completing a written reflection activity.

Where Are All the Trees?

Grade: 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th

Subjects: Science, Social Studies, Biology, Justice

Resource Type: Interactive Media, Game

Trees are vital for the health of the Earth and all its inhabitants. They provide us with the oxygen we need to breathe and remove pollutants such as CO2 from the air. In this game, students play the role of an urban planner and must make a decision about whether more trees are needed in the Los Angeles area. Throughout the game, students watch two informational videos - one on proper tree planting and another on areas in severe need of tree cover. They will then analyze a Los Angeles tree equity map and decide where they should plant the trees. At the end of the activity, students will earn their Urban Forest Badge from Captain Climate.

The activity allows students to develop problem-solving skills by asking them to take the best course of action to solve an environmental problem. Teachers can use this activity as a formative or summative assessment to gauge student learning as it offers instant feedback. This game ties in well with this Tree Equity Score interactive, where students can examine data on the number of trees found in their communities.

Students should be familiar with terms such as urban planning and tree equity.  Teachers can pair the game with the Cities, Trees, and Inequality lesson plan. This game may be added during the “Investigate” phase so students can learn more about the benefits of trees and disparities amongst tree planting in different areas. In social studies classes, students can complete the Tree Equity Score interactive map, which will develop their spatial thinking skills and help them learn more about the places around them. They may collaborate with their peers and decide on the best places to plant more trees according to the map data.

The Best Solutions to Climate Change

Grade: 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th

Subjects: Science, Social Studies, Biology, Earth and Space Sciences, Social-Emotional Learning

Resource Type: Interactive Media, Game

In this activity, students will participate in a fortune-telling game where they learn about four different solutions to climate change. Students will watch four videos on the following subjects - eliminating food wasteempowering girls & womenrenewable energy, and eating a plant-based diet. After watching the videos students will decide which climate change solution they believe to be most effective and then answer questions to see if their answer aligns with their chosen fortune. Upon completion, students will earn their Climate Solutions Badge from Captain Climate.

This game provides students the opportunity to make their own choices, which teaches them how to make informed decisions. Students need to learn about the impact that individuals have on climate change and the importance of adopting different strategies to combat the climate crisis. 

Teachers will need to provide students with a basic background of climate change terms before assigning this activity. Students should be familiar with terms such as “climate” and “climate change,” along with some background information about the causes of climate change. By pairing this activity with StC’s lesson - What’s the Best Solution to Climate Change - students will expand their knowledge about climate change and learn how to write an evidence-based paragraph to inform others about powerful climate solutions.


Grade: 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th

Subjects: Science, Social Studies, Biology, Earth and Space Sciences, Geography, Engineering, Computer Science & Design Thinking

Resource Type: Interactive Media, Game

In this interactive and engaging game students are in charge of developing and taking care of their own town. With the help of advisors, students will build their town and learn about the negative impact humans have on city ecosystems. While creating their town, students will be asked to build homes and farms, and then manage and sell farm products for revenue. Students will observe how difficult it is to adopt sustainable farming practices and preserve ecosystems.

The resource is free and easy for students to access as it requires no login or download. It can be used in numerous subject areas including, but not limited to science, social studies, and biology. On the main game website, you can find middle and high school standards to incorporate into lesson plans. Teachers can pair the game with the TedEd video - Can we create the perfect farm? In this video, students learn about the history of farming practices, the negative impacts of current farming methods, and possible solutions for more sustainable farming. After completing the game, teachers can assess students with an exit ticket. Sample exit ticket questions include:

  • Write down 3 things you learned while playing the game.
  • List 1-2 things you want to learn more about.
  • What is the problem faced in the game? Possible solutions?

Carbon Cycle Game

Grade: 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th

Subjects: Science, Chemistry, Earth and Space Sciences

Resource Type: Interactive Media, Game

This yard game interactive activity will help students learn about the carbon cycle using a board game-style platform.  Students can play individually, with another peer, or on the web against other opponents. The game allows students to engage in a low-risk competition activity while motivating them to learn about one of nature's most important cycles. The game requires no login or download and includes a tutorial on how best to play the game.

Students should be familiar with the basics of the carbon cycle. Assign students this Carbon Cycle interactive resource before the game to teach them the basic processes. After students complete the game, teachers can do a misconception check with the class. Teachers will show students commonly misconceived phrases about the carbon cycle and have students correct the misconceptions based on the information they learned during the game.

Environmental Education Group Games & Activities

Grade: K, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th

Subjects: Science, Social Studies, Biology, Justice, Social-Emotional Learning

Resource Type: Interactive Media, Game

This NEEF website offers a variety of physical games and activities for students to play. The games vary in subject matter from biological populations to renewable resources and community roles. The site provides directions for each game, supply lists, and optional activity recommendations.  Activities can be adapted for various grade levels and subject areas.

These activities from NEEF require minimal supplies and are easy to incorporate into any class. The activities stimulate engagement and collaboration among peers as they help students acquire knowledge of these concepts in an entertaining way. Students that are categorized as ESE or ELL may need to be paired with a peer to assist them in playing the game. Before playing, students may need to learn about the scientific terms incorporated in the game. Teachers can use the debrief questions to assess student comprehension of terms and concepts after the activity.

Water Cycle Game

Grade: 6th, 7th, 8th

Subjects: Science, Earth and Space Sciences

Resource Type: Interactive Media, Game

In this activity, students will explore the processes of the water cycle and observe how water travels all over the world by playing a digital card game. Key terms include condensation, evaporation, precipitation, runoff, and groundwater expansion. Learners of all types will benefit from the visual and hands-on aspects of the game. This activity offers students a choice of playing individually, with a partner, or with multiple players.

This game will help visual, kinesthetic, ELL, and ESE learners comprehend complex water cycle terms and processes by offering a different mode of engagement and learning. Students in need of reinforcement can learn key terms using the digital cards, each of which offers a vocabulary word, definition, and picture. Students may benefit from watching the tutorial to gain a better understanding of the goal and rules of the game. Students that are not comfortable with technology can be paired with a peer to play the game. Teachers can also project the game and play it as a whole class activity, or separate the classroom into two groups (red and blue); the group with the most points wins.

Wind Simulator Game

Grade: 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th

Subjects: Science, Earth and Space Sciences

Resource Type: Interactive Media, Game 

This wind simulation game teaches students how high and low-pressure systems cause wind patterns. In the game, students are asked to drag an arrow according to their observation and the movement of the wind. When they move the arrow to show the correct movement of the wind particles, they can move on to the next level of the game. Each level shows different wind patterns, which challenges students and increases their critical thinking skills.

The game can be used to enhance or assess knowledge of wind and storm patterns. Students can first learn about the basics of wind movement by viewing the Effect of Atmospheric Circulation on Climate. This resource includes a reading activity, images, video, and comprehension questions. 

River Runner

Grade: K, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th

Subjects: Science, Earth and Space Sciences

Resource Type: Interactive Media

In this interactive topographic map activity, students are asked to place a water droplet anywhere in the world and observe as the droplet moves through different water sources. This map is a great introduction to the water cycle as students can learn how water moves through various locations. Students will learn the name of the different sources of water and can stop, restart and control the pace of the activity. It also allows students to share their completed path with a link that can be shared with peers for collaboration.

Students will benefit from this map activity by learning about the different surface waters around the world. This activity can be used cross-curricular in science and social science or geography courses. In social science and geography classrooms, teachers may have students research the different landforms and water sources in the area the droplet traveled. Science teachers may have students dive deeper into how the project ties together with the processes of the water cycle.

Elementary students can first learn the basics of the water cycle by completing this coloring activity, Coloring Page: The Water Cycle and then discussing it in small groups or as a class. After students complete the interactive, teachers can show students The Roles of Water in Earth’s Surface Processes video, which discusses the water cycle and its importance to organisms and geological processes. Students only need to watch the first 2 minutes and 40 seconds of the video; the rest is information for teachers to learn how to best teach the concept.

Habitat Game

Grade: 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th

Subjects: Science, Biology, Earth and Space Sciences

Resource Type: Interactive Media, Game 

This game introduces students to the different habitats found around the world such as deserts, coral reefs, jungles, and marshes. Students are asked to match the different animals to their habitats by dragging and dropping them from a selection of organisms. The game provides its players with instant feedback, so students will know if they have placed the animal in its correct habitat. This activity will serve as a primer activity for students to learn about terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems and can be used with elementary and middle schoolers.

The game is free to play and requires only a laptop or desktop. Students can play individually or pair up with a peer to discuss what they have observed. If students do not have access to laptops, the game can be displayed on a smartboard or other interactive display to play as a class. Teachers can use this game as a preliminary activity to assess students' knowledge of habitats. Pairing this game with the Habitat Basics video will enhance student knowledge of the different habitats and organisms found throughout the world. A whole-class discussion after completing the game will help students reinforce their understanding of the game and concept.

Students can watch this Climate Change Wildlife and Wildlands video to learn about the negative impact humans have on animals and their habitats. The website includes an “Explore Your Eco-Region” section where students can learn about the 11 ecoregions found throughout the world. Each ecoregion link includes a case study and inquiry activities for different grade levels.

Playing games to reinforce science concepts will enhance participation in the classroom. These activities will make complex concepts fun and engaging, and students will become active contributors to their learning. Games are student-centered activities that enhance important 21st-century skills such as creativity, communication, critical thinking, and fostering a growth mindset. Finally, using these games in the classroom will develop connections between students and their peers and form positive classroom memories. Find more climate change games for the classroom on our site.

About the Author

Vanessa currently teaches 7th-grade comprehensive science and previously taught 6-8th grade Dual-Language Science for 6 years. She has a  Bachelor's in Environmental Science/Anthropology. Her passions include learning how to incorporate technology into my lessons, reading science books, and spending time in nature with her children. Vanessa is passionate about teaching climate change because she wants her students to learn how to become change agents and protect their future.