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9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, AP® / College


Science, Social Studies, Civics, English Language Arts, Art

Resource Types

  • Lesson Plan, 2 x 55-minute classes
  • Video, 4 minutes, 19 seconds, CC, Subtitles
  • Presentation Slides
  • Video, 2 minutes, 41 seconds, CC, Subtitles
  • Video, 32 seconds, CC, Subtitles
  • Activity - Classroom

Regional Focus



Google Docs, Google Slides, PDF

Sound the Alarm — Declaring a Climate Emergency

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  • In this lesson, students will consider how climate emergencies are created, how they can be a governmental policy tool, and how individuals can take positive action.
  • Students will participate in a poster-making activity to teach their peers and community about climate change, and they will learn how to urge their leaders to declare a climate emergency in order to facilitate swift climate action.
Teaching Tips


  • This resource is dense, thorough, and engaging on multiple levels. 
  • The included materials are filled with notes, images, videos, and tasks that will make implementing this resource easy. 

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should have prior knowledge of climate change, eco-anxiety, and how governments can make changes around climate change. 
  • Additional tips are provided to address eco-anxiety.


  • Connections can be made in language arts classes focusing on persuasive writing, in art classes working on messaging through art, or in health classes discussing the effects of stress and anxiety on health. 
  • This lesson is meant to take two fifty five sessions, but consider modifying this into three or four sessions for students to take more time to process, discuss, plan, and work.
  • Have students spread the word of their work on social media or in their communities, encouraging others to pressure leaders to declare a climate emergency. 
Scientist Notes
This resource provides a lesson plan that encourages students to take action on the current climate emergency. Students are asked to create posters to get people engaged with climate change. A teacher lesson plan provides a presentation and suggested teaching method. A student template for posters is also provided. This resource would be a great addition to a classroom that has already covered the topic of climate change and needs a final project to encompass all that the students have learned. Above all, this resource is recommended for teaching.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Civics
      • D2.Civ.1.9-12 Distinguish the powers and responsibilities of local, state, tribal, national, and international civic and political institutions.
    • Dimension 4: Taking Informed Action
      • D4.7.9-12 Assess options for individual and collective action to address local, regional, and global problems by engaging in self-reflection, strategy identification, and complex causal reasoning.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Reading: History/Social Studies (6-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.9-10.7 Integrate quantitative or technical analysis (e.g., charts, research data) with qualitative analysis in print or digital text.
    • Reading: Informational Text (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.11-12.1 Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain.
    • Writing (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.11-12.1 Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.
  • National Core Arts Standards
    • Visual Arts: Standard 10 - Synthesize and relate knowledge and personal experiences to make art.
      • VA:Cn10.1.IIIa Synthesize knowledge of social, cultural, historical, and personal life with art-making approaches to create meaningful works of art or design.
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