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3rd, 4th, 5th


Science, Climate Action

Resource Types

  • Activity - Classroom, 45 minutes
  • Worksheet

Regional Focus




Colour in Your Carbon Footprint

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  • In this activity, students color a footprint illustration to correspond with the level of emissions that result from their lifestyle choices.
  • Students will learn how their daily activities affect the planet and some solutions to reduce their impact.

Teaching Tips


  • This resource encourages students to take personal responsibility for their own lifestyle and activities.
  • This resource presents solutions to reducing one's carbon footprint in the teacher guide, which teachers can use to facilitate classroom discussion.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should be familiar with carbon emissions, their impact on the environment, and where they come from.
  • The teacher must print and distribute the illustration to the students.
  • Teachers and students have the opportunity to expand their knowledge by reading the additional material in the "Sources" section.


  • Students can write a summary of the activity, including an explanation of greenhouse gases, carbon footprint, and climate change.
  • Teachers can ask students to brainstorm ways to reduce their carbon footprint and explain how those ways will help the environment.
  • Connections can be made with mathematics classes by challenging students to collect and graph data in a bar or pie graph (e.g., # of students who mostly eat meat, # of students who eat some meat, # of students who don't eat meat very often or at all).
Scientist Notes
This resource aims to show students how the way we live impacts climate change by showing which of our everyday activities contribute the most to greenhouse gas emissions. It will also educate students about ways to reduce their carbon footprint. The carbon footprint visualization activity found in the EnergyStar source is also an effective way for students to understand their carbon footprints. This resource is recommended for students aged 9-11.

This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • 4-ESS3-1 Obtain and combine information to describe that energy and fuels are derived from natural resources and that their uses affect the environment.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 4: Taking Informed Action
      • D4.7.3-5 Explain different strategies and approaches students and others could take in working alone and together to address local, regional, and global problems, and predict possible results of their actions.
  • Related Resources


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    • This activity was shared with 6th grade students in my enrichment classes. They were eager to learn about this topic and reveal their individual carbon footprint. Students were surprised to learn how their actions affect our planet and participated in thoughtful discussions about what choices are in their hands that can make a difference! Great resource!
      4 months ago