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Understanding the climate emergency and the youth-led Global Climate Strikes

Educator Resources for addressing climate change and the Global Climate Strikes

Elementary, Middle


This resource is an introductory guide to help support educators and students in exploring climate change, climate justice and the Global Strikes for Climate led by school-age youth. It was created to prepare teachers and students to understand how and why youth activists are organizing what could be the largest public mobilization in history demanding strong commitment and rapid action from world leaders to address the growing climate emergency. The resource aims to inspire resilience and action in students and school community, and to see the connections we have with peoples, beings and environments both within and beyond our borders.

As part of the resource package, there are two resources designed for teachers to read independently and two resources that teachers can share with students as class activities. Teachers can also download the four resources as one file or separate files. 

  • Big ideas that connect to climate change - provides examples of activities that can connect climate change to subject-specific curriculum beyond science.
  • Teacher reflection on climate change - a reflection activity for teachers to consider how they are personally affected by climate change and how their students may be affected by climate change, climate grief or ecological grief.
  • Carbon Footprint - the goal of the carbon footprint activity is to minimize the actions we undertake that have a negative impact. As such, the footprint is a useful tool to determine how much of an impact we have on the planet. Students can use the footprint as a tool to determine areas in which they impact the environment. From there, actions can take place that benefit all three pillars of sustainability: environment, society, and economy.
  • Hope is Contagious – an informative reading comprehension activity for students.

Although the resource was created for BC educators, it can be easily adapted by teachers in other provinces.

General Assessment

Recommendation of how and where to use it

 This resource can be used to connect discussion and climate action across different subject areas for students in grades four to eight.  The content can be adapted to fit the needs of students and the school community.   Teachers are encouraged to explore with their students the impacts European colonization has had on the natural environment and the emergence of the climate crisis, and to learn from Indigenous peoples in their community as part of the exploration.

Relevant Curriculum Units

The following tool will allow you to explore the relevant curriculum matches for this resource. To start, select a province listed below.

Themes Addressed

  • Air, Atmosphere & Climate (1)

    • Climate Change
  • Citizenship (2)

    • Community-Building and Participation
    • Ecological Footprint