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Citizenship, Media Literacy


6th, 7th, 8th


Social Studies


75 minutes

Regional Focus



Google Docs, Google Slides


This lesson plan is licensed under Creative Commons.

Creative Commons License

How Can Education Be a Solution to Climate Change?

Created By Teachers:
Last Updated:
May 15, 2024
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This lesson guides students to create their own education project as a means of informing and inspiring positive change.


Step 1 - Inquire: Students discuss what education and climate change are and whether they think education can be a solution to climate change.


Step 2 - Investigate: Students participate in a class activity to determine if learning new information can impact people’s intentions or behavior.


Step 3 - Inspire: Students create a climate change education project to educate members of their family, classroom, school, or community.

Accompanying Teaching Materials
Teaching Tips


  • Students reflect on their own education and how education can be impactful.
  • Students create their own education project to inspire change in their community.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Project Drawdown connects educating girls and family planning. Education and empowerment of girls and women is a very impactful climate solution.

  • The Investigate section activity should be judgment-free.

  • The embedded videos in the Investigate section in the Teacher Slideshow have been automatically formatted to play the most important parts of the videos.

  • Students should be able to complete their outlines and some research in the lesson plan’s allotted time, but additional time may be needed for students to conduct their education projects.


  • Students can write their answers to the education questions in the Inquire section as a "Do Now."
  • Teachers can assign a student to use a calculator to find the class percentages during the Investigate section survey questions.

  • Teachers can change the wording of the survey questions in the Investigate section to relate best to their specific class.

  • Teachers can use a thumbs up or thumbs down system to survey the class and ensure total buy-in.

  • Teachers can give students more time to explore beef, food waste, and renewable energy during the activity in the Investigate section.

  • Students can turn and talk to discuss learning during the Investigate section videos and readings.

  • Education projects can be done in groups, individually, or as a whole class project.

Scientist Notes

Education is a key solution to the global climate crisis. This lesson inspires students to understand how education can change peoples' behavior towards reducing their carbon footprint. It also contains activities and videos to build students' capacity to educate and lead in climate conversation and action. This lesson has passed our science credibility process and is recommended for teaching.


Primary Standard

  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 4: Taking Informed Action
      • D4.7.6-8 Assess their individual and collective capacities to take action to address local, regional, and global problems, taking into account a range of possible levers of power, strategies, and potential outcomes.

Supporting Standards

  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Speaking & Listening (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.6.2 Interpret information presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and explain how it contributes to a topic, text, or issue under study.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.7.2 Analyze the main ideas and supporting details presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and explain how the ideas clarify a topic, text, or issue under study.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.8.2 Analyze the purpose of information presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and evaluate the motives (e.g., social, commercial, political) behind its presentation.
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  • I used this lesson in my sustainability elective and it helped students better understand the role education can play in shaping individual behaviors. I adapted it for my high school class by making a copy of the slides and deleting the ones I thought covered information they had already learned. We are using it as a launchpad for project-based learning as students develop their own lessons for elementary school students on a sustainability topic. It generated a lot of good discussion and thinking about our own capacity to change, as well as the need for systems in place to help, as well as the challenges people face due to circumstances related to socio-economics or geography, for example. I highly recommend this lesson for middle or high school!
    4 months ago