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Stories of Climate Change

Middle, Secondary


This resource focuses on climate justice, climate resilience and climate adaptation. Through activities and case studies, students reflect on how climate change has affected the lives of some of the world’s poorest people.  Lessons include:

Where Do You Stand?  To encourage students to consider and express their thoughts about climate change, they are asked to agree or disagree with a number of statements including who is being impacted, who is responsible and who should take action.

Climate Change Stories - Each student is given one of four stories to be read, pair share and later discuss with the rest of the class.  Each story describes how climate change has impacted a different person living in Malawi. Pair sharing activities include conducting an interview and role play.

Climate Change Vulnerability Game - To illustrate that climate change does not impact everyone equally, students take on the roles of different Malawi residents as described in game cards (provided).  They must then cope with a number of everyday challenges as read aloud by the teacher. Students will evaluate their vulnerability to each statement based on their social and economic circumstances. 

Make Your Own Climate Wristband - Students watch a video and discuss examples from the climate stories of individuals who are raising awareness of the urgent need to act on climate change.  As a culminating activity, students are encouraged to make wristbands to help draw attention to the climate crisis. Links to online instructions are provided.

General Assessment

What skills does this resource explicitly teach?

This resource does not focus on skills.


  • The resource looks at climate justice - an aspect of climate change that often does not get the attention it deserves.
  • The resource is complete, up to date and easy to implement.
  • The activities are varied and engaging.
  • Lessons are supported by detailed instructions for teachers.
  • There are links to related activities and information provided by the publisher.

Recommendation of how and where to use it

The resource is more suited for use in social studies and geography than science.

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.

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  • British Columbia
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    • Grade 6
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      • Social Studies
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        • Global Issues and Governance: Complex global problems require international cooperation to make difficult choices for the future.
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    • Grade 7
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      • Social Studies
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        • People & Places in the World: Global Quality of Life
    • Grade 9
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      • Social Studies
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        • Canada in the Global Context
        • Canada in the Contemporary World
  • New Brunswick
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        • World Cultures: World Issues
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        • Citizenship 9: Engaged Citizenship
  • Ontario
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        • People and Environments: Canada's Interactions With The Global Communty
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      • Geography
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        • Global Inequalities: Economic Development and Quality of Life
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        • World Issues
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        • Interdependence: Atlantic Canada in the Global Community: Environment in the Global Community
  • Quebec
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    • Grade 9
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        • The Contemporary World: Environment
  • Yukon Territory
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    • Grade 6
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      • Social Studies
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        • Global Issues and Governance: Complex global problems require international cooperation to make difficult choices for the future.

Themes Addressed

  • Air, Atmosphere & Climate (1)

    • Climate Change
  • Human Rights (1)

    • Social Justice

Sustainability Education Principles

Principle Rating Explanation
Consideration of Alternative Perspectives Good

The activities are designed in large part to encourage students to form their own conclusions regarding the social and economic impacts of climate change.

Consideration of Alternative Perspectives:
  • Satisfactory: absence of bias towards any one point of view
  • Good: students consider different points of view regarding issues, problems discussed
  • Very good: based on the consideration of different views, students form opinions and  take an informed position
Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions Satisfactory

The Climate Change Vulnerability Game provides an excellent opportunity to examine the interplay of these dimensions.

Multiple Dimensions of Problems & Solutions:

Effectively addresses the environmental, economic and social dimensions of the issue(s) being explored.

  • Satisfactory: resource supports the examination of  these dimensions
  • Good:  resource explicitly examines the interplay of these dimensions
  • Very Good:  a systems-thinking approach is encouraged to examine these three dimensions
Respects Complexity Good

The resource's focus on climate justice helps students appreciate the entirety and complexity of the issue of climate change.

Respects Complexity:

The complexity of the problems/issues being discussed is respected.

Acting on Learning Satisfactory

The wristband project does allow students to do something personal in response to what they have learned.

Acting on Learning:

Learning moves from understanding  issues  to working towards positive change — in personal lifestyle, in school, in the community,  or for the planet

  • Satisfactory: action opportunities are included as extensions 
  • Good: action opportunities are core components of the resource
  • Very Good: action opportunities for students are well supported and intended to result in observable, positive change
Values Education Very Good

Students are given numerous opportunities to reflect on what they have learned and to express their own feelings about climate change and climate justice.

Values Education:

Students are explicitly provided with opportunities to identify, clarify and express their own beliefs/values.

Empathy & Respect for Humans Very Good

The goal of the resource is to inform students about impacts of climate change on the well being of those people living in the poorest nations of the world.

Empathy & Respect for Humans: Empathy and respect are fostered for diverse groups of humans (including different genders, ethnic groups, sexual preferences, etc.).
Personal Affinity with Earth Poor/Not considered

Not considered.

Personal Affinity with Earth:

Encourages a personal affinity with -the natural world.  

  • Satisfactory: connection is made to the natural world
  • Good: fosters appreciation/concern for the natural world
  • Very Good: fosters stewardship though practical and respectful experiences out-of-doors 
Locally-Focused Learning Satisfactory

The role playing in the Climate Vulnerability Game helps make the learning relevant.

Locally-Focused Learning:

Includes learning experiences that take advantage of issues/elements within the local community. 

  • Satisfactory: learning is made relevant to the lives of the learners
  • Good: learning is made relevant and has a local focus
  • Very Good: learning is made relevant, local and takes place ‘outside’ , in the community 
Past, Present & Future Poor/Not considered

Not considered.

Past, Present & Future: Promotes an understanding of the past, a sense of the present, and a positive vision for the future.

Pedagogical Approaches

Principle Rating Explanation
Open-Ended Instruction Good

There is no attempt to direct students towards any one answer.  On the contrary, students are encouraged to analyze, reflect and express their own points of view.

Open-Ended Instruction :

Lessons are structured so that multiple/complex answers are possible; students are not steered toward one 'right' answer.

Integrated Learning Satisfactory

Lessons address concepts and themes from geography, social studies and environmental studies.

Integrated Learning:

Learning brings together content and skills  from more than one  subject area

  • Satisfactory: content from a number of different  subject areas is readily identifiable
  • Good:  resource is appropriate for use in more than one subject area
  • Very Good:  the lines between subjects are blurred 
Inquiry Learning Poor/Not considered

The resource activities do not incorporate inquiry learning.

Inquiry Learning:

Learning is directed by questions, problems, or challenges that students work to address.   

  • Satisfactory: Students are provided with questions/problems to solve and some direction on how to arrive at solutions.
  • Good: students, assisted by the teacher clarify the question(s) to ask and the process to follow to arrive at solutions.  Sometimes referred to as Guided Inquiry
  • Very Good:  students generate the questions and assume much of the responsibility for how to solve them.  . Sometimes referred to as self-directed learning.


Differentiated Instruction Satisfactory

Students are involved in different learning approaches including reading and responding, viewing and responding, small and large group discussion, case study analysis, role play and hands-on learning

Differentiated Instruction:

Activities address a range of student learning styles, abilities and readiness.

  • Satisfactory:  includes a variety of instructional approaches
  • Good: addresses  the needs of visual, auditory &  kinesthetic learners
  • Very Good: also includes strategies for learners with difficulties
Experiential Learning Satisfactory

The role-play and wristband activities include some elements of experiential learning.

Experiential Learning:

Authentic learning experiences are provided

  • Satisfactory: learning takes place through ‘hands-on’ experience or simulation
  • Good: learning involves direct experience in a ‘real world context’
  • Very good: learning involves ‘real world experiences’ taking place’ beyond the school walls.
Cooperative Learning Satisfactory

Some group work is included.

Cooperative Learning:

Group and cooperative learning strategies are a priority.

  • Satisfactory:  students work in groups
  • Good: cooperative learning skills are explicitly taught and practiced
  • Very Good: cooperative learning skills are explicitly taught, practiced and assessed
Assessment & Evaluation Poor/Not considered

Assessment tools and direction are not included.

Assessment & Evaluation: Tools are provided that help students and teachers to capture formative and summative information about students' learning and performance. These tools may include reflection questions, checklists, rubrics, etc.
Peer Teaching Poor/Not considered

Peer teaching opportunities are suggested as an extension to the culminating activity.

Peer Teaching:

Provides opportunities for students to actively present their knowledge and skills to peers and/or act as teachers and mentors.

  • Satisfactory: incidental teaching that arises from cooperative learning, presentations, etc.
  • Good or Very Good: an opportunity is intentionally created to empower students to teach other students/community members. The audience is somehow reliant on the students' teaching (students are not simply ‘presenting')
Case Studies Good

Much of the information provided in the resource is delivered through  case studies. (stories of real life events)

Case Studies:

Relevant case studies are included.  Case studies are thorough descriptions of real events from real situations that students use to explore  concepts in an authentic context.

Locus of Control Satisfactory

Students are not provided with opportunities to choose program content.  Supplementary activities for further/related learning are included as extensions.

Locus of Control: Meaningful opportunities are provided for students to choose elements of program content, the medium in which they wish to work, and/or to go deeper into a chosen issue.