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Climate Change, Research


9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Earth and Space Sciences, English Language Arts


60 minutes

Regional Focus

North America, United States, USA - Northeast, New Jersey


Google Docs, Google Slides


This lesson plan is licensed under Creative Commons.

Creative Commons License

Climate Change Local Research

Created By Teacher:
Last Updated:
Dec 8, 2022


In this lesson, students explore four major categories of climate change, identify one to further research, and create a fact sheet. 

Step 1 - Inquire: Students read New Jersey's Changing Climate and identify the four specific effects of climate change in New Jersey.


Step 2 - Investigate: Students discuss two open-ended questions related to the fact sheet.


Step 3 - Inspire: Students choose one category from the fact sheet and discussion, engage in their own research, and create their own fact sheet and infographic.


  • This lesson can be used in English, social studies, computer science, digital art, or science classes. It can be easily adjusted to be multidisciplinary.

  • Students are given voice and choice in this lesson.

  • Students become agents of change in their own communities, identifying problems and solutions.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should be familiar with the basics of climate change.

  • Students should be familiar with school-appropriate websites from previous school-related research.


  • Students’ communication can be as simple or as thorough as you desire. They will need more time to research and craft their communication if you want their writing to be more fact-based and robust.

  • Students can work independently or in a group with adjusted requirements.

  • Teachers can use subject and grade level vocabulary already being learned in class. Teachers can add more vocabulary words in the glossary slide of the Teacher Slideshow.

  • To deepen a social studies or global connection, students can explore the history of their chosen issue, how other countries are addressing the issue, or focus on a global solution strategy.

  • To connect to computer science or digital art, students can create their infographic and fact sheet digitally.

  • To further develop practical science or engineering skills, students can work together to create and implement a workable solution at the school, home, or community level.

  • Some students may wish to communicate their advocacy via social media. Make sure to follow all school rules and monitor students’ progress if you allow this in the classroom.

This lesson introduces students to factsheets and infographics and how powerful they can be in providing and relaying information. Students start the lesson by reading through a factsheet/infographic about New Jersey’s changing climate followed by a partner discussion about how the factsheet makes them feel. Students are then able to pick one of four categories, do research about their topic, and create their own factsheet and infographic. Student factsheets/infographics are shared and compared/contrasted with one another. This lesson allows for multiple instances of student autonomy and provides a creative outlet for discussing climate change. It is hereby recommended for teaching.

  • Students read the one-page climate change fact sheet New Jersey's Changing Climate and identify the four specific effects of climate change in New Jersey.

  • Students discuss the following questions:
    • How do you feel as you read this fact sheet?
    • What concerns you the most about what you read?
    • How does this make you feel about the future?
    • Does the infographic on the left of the fact sheet help you understand the situation better?
  • Teacher poses the question, “Of the four categories — increased rainfall, extreme events, sea level rise, and increased temperatures — which do you think is most concerning? Explain why." Teacher opens it up for a class discussion.

  • Teacher poses the second question, “Of the four categories, which do you think should be addressed first?”

    • Teacher may ask, “Which is the easiest to address?”

    • Student answers can be the same as their answer to the first question, or they can be different. However students answer, teachers should have them explain why their answer to the second question is the same or different.

  • Based on their answers to the questions in “Investigate” and the class discussion, students pick one of the four categories on the fact sheet.

  • Students engage in their own research and self-discovery on the impact of their topic on their specific region/location.

  • Students will use school-approved websites, relying on previous instruction for research skills. Teachers can display a list of school-appropriate research sources.

  • Students create their own one-page fact sheet focusing on addressing one of the four categories. They will identify the main problem in their category and highlight 1-2 possible solutions to their specific region.

  • Students will create an infographic to go along with their fact sheet.

  • Students can design this by hand on paper or digitally.

  • Depending on time, teachers can choose to shorten or lengthen this assignment.

  • Teachers should save time for students to share their fact sheets with the class and brainstorm options for awareness outside of the classroom.

  • Some ideas for sharing projects outside of class include school newspaper, school or class website, school or community bulletin board, local businesses, etc.

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