Climate Lessons Update – June 2018

Letter to Climate Change Educators

The lockers are cleaned out. The grades are in. The campus is quiet. It’s time to relax and reflect on what was hopefully a great year with your students.

As summer kicks off, we’re here to remind you once more of our Summer Institute happening in late June! There’s still time to register. And, our education staff at Climate Generation can’t sign off without recommending our picks for “Best Climate Change and Energy Books to Read this Summer”—and we promise, climate fiction can be a great beach read! We hope you’re able to read a couple and work them into your climate change unit next year. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any questions, need more recommendations, or have a favorite book of your own you’d like us to know about.

Jenna Totz
Climate Change Education Manager
Climate Generation: A Will Steger Legacy

Climate Generation Happenings

Last Chance for Climate Change Education

It’s not too late to register! We want you to attend the 13th annual Summer Institute for Climate Change Education, June 26-28, 2018 at St. John’s University in Collegeville, MN. Tour a solar farm, walk through the arboretum, learn about green STEM careers for your students, and practice activities from Next Generation Climate (and take home a free copy) so you can implement the material in your classroom this fall!

Summer Reading Staff Picks

Best Cli-Fi Novel: Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver

Climate fiction is a new genre that exposes novel characters to climate change impacts around the world, in real time. Flight Behavior tells the story of Dellarobia and her Tennessee town that grapples with the consequences of a miracle that turns out to have environmental causes. It’s a great adult read to better understand climate grief, the role of phenology in tracking climate change, and how climate change can’t be solved without tackling social justice.

Best Cli-Fi Young Adult Book: Exodus by Julie Bertagna

It is 2099 — and the world is gradually drowning as mighty Arctic ice floes melt, the seas rise, and land disappears forever beneath storm-tossed waves. For 15-year-old Mara, her family, and community huddled on the fast-disappearing island, the new century brings flight. To save her people, Mara must search for a new land and a new home… And with so much Young Adult fiction these days, Exodus is the start of a thrilling trilogy. Happy reading!

Best Non-Fiction: TFG to Climate Change

The Teacher-Friendly Guide™ to Climate Change includes both the basics of climate change science and perspectives on teaching a subject that has become socially and politically polarized. High school Earth science and environmental science teachers are the focus audience, and it’s written with an eye toward the kind of information and graphics that a secondary school teacher might need in the classroom. It’s been four years since I have taught 8th grade Earth Science, and if I ever go back to the classroom I won’t go without this book.

Best Travel Book: Before They’re Gone by Michael Lanza

A family’s year-long quest to explore America’s most endangered national parks. Before They’re Gone follows the Lanza Family as they experience National Parks around the country — Glacier, Everglades, and Yosemite — before they are changed forever. This book will have you reserving campsites and cabins for your family all summer long.

Best Elementary-Age Book: Please Don’t Paint Our Planet Pink! by Gregg Kleiner

What might happen if we could SEE carbon dioxide in the atmosphere? What if CO2 were, say, pink? In this engaging, funny, and timely book, a young boy discovers the power of the human imagination and how he can tap that power to see a shade of pink he has never imagined —  a pink so astonishing it just might save the planet. Not only will children start looking at the world differently, but adults of all ages will learn a little something, too.

Best Book for the Whole Family: The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba & Bryan Mealer

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind tells the story of William, a boy in drought-stricken Malawi who builds a windmill for his family. It’s a remarkable story about human inventiveness and its power to overcome crippling adversity. The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind will inspire anyone who doubts the power of one individual’s ability to change their community and better the lives of those around them. It’s great for the whole family because it has versions for children, young readers, and adults.

Best Website for case to teach climate change

Yale Program on Climate Change Communications

Americans overwhelmingly support teaching our children about the causes, consequences, and potential solutions to global warming — in all 50 states and 3,000+ counties across the nation, including Republican and Democratic strongholds. Check out this site for Yale Climate Opinion Maps and more.

Stories from the Field

Need more to add to your reading list? Check out our #bookclub blog posts.

Moment of Inspiration

According to Judith Curry, professor and chair of Georgia Institute of Technology’s School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, when novelists tackle climate change in their writing, they reach people in a way that scientists can’t. “You know, scientists and other people are trying to get their message across about various aspects of the climate change issue,” says Curry. “And it seems like fiction is an untapped way of doing this — a way of smuggling some serious topics into the consciousness of readers who may not be following the science.”

Listen to: So Hot Right Now: Has Climate Change Created A New Literary Genre?


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