Climate Lessons Update – June 2019

Letter to Climate Change Educators

Summer InstituteWe hope you had a great school year and are looking forward to your summer break! As summer kicks off, we are here to remind you once more of the Summer Institute for Climate Change Education, August 5-7 in Washington, D.C. If you are looking for CEU’s and new ways to teach climate change through a social science lens, we invite you to register today!

Summertime is great for finding a shady tree, pulling out a blanket, and diving into books! Our staff would like to share with you our top climate change books to read this summer. Check out the list below—and we promise, climate fiction can be a great beach read!

Thank you for all the long hours, lesson planning, extra meetings, grading, and energy you put into teaching this year. We are grateful for your passion and dedication to educating the next generation of leaders who will be well equipped to make this world a better place!

Megan Van Loh
Climate Change Education Program
Climate Generation: A Will Steger Legacy

Climate Generation Happenings

Summer Institute for Climate Change Education

Summer InstituteThere are still scholarships available to attend the Summer Institute! Priority is given to social studies and ELA teachers. We will be focusing on the historical, economic, and social aspects of climate change, and using literature as a bridge to understanding the complexities. Participants will take part in the World Climate Simulation, learn from a senior fellow at Drawdown about climate solutions, and go on a full day field trip around Washington, D.C. Register today!

Minnesota Educator Workshops

Educator WorkshopsMinnesota has new science standards, and we want to equip middle school and high school teachers with the tools and resources to bring climate change concepts into the classroom! This fall we are offering two workshops open to Minnesota teachers, thanks to funding from the Xcel Energy Foundation. More details.

Summer Reading List

Check out our picks of climate fiction and non-fiction books to add to your summer reading list! You can find supporting articles and discussion questions for these books in Climate Generation’s new Reading Guide. Pick your genre and check out the top picks from our staff!

The End We Start FromStaff Cli-Fi Favorite: The End We Start From by Megan Hunter
This portrayal of a young mother fleeing London as it submerges below flood waters is written in prose and is beautiful, hopeful, and heartbreaking all in one. It offers themes of motherhood, climate migration, and the resilience of children and hope they can offer us as they continue to survive and thrive in a warming world.

A Long Walk to Water book coverBest Cli-Fi Young Adult Book: A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park
A Long Walk to Water tells the stories of two young people in Southern Sudan, Nya and Salva. Nya is a young girl that walks hours each day in 2008 to fetch water for her family. Salva gets separated from his family in 1985 during the war. He becomes a “lost boy” and wonders Africa on foot before finding a refugee camp. The story follows both characters through their lives that revolve around water, or the lack thereof. As time goes by, Salva and Nya’s stories converge in the best way. Check out our new humanities module that offers lessons, worksheets, and activities that support this novel.

DrawdownBest Climate Coffee Table Book: Drawdown by Paul Hawken
A visually pleasing and deeply researched overview of the 100 most substantive solutions to reduce climate change, including social and scientific dimensions. Each solutions describes its history, the carbon impact it provides, the relative cost and savings, the path to adoption, and how it works. Perfect to pick up and browse through in your living room or take a deep dive into a particular solution!

Grapes of WrathBest Classic Cli-Fi Book: Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
This classic taking place in the Great Depression could arguably be one of the first pieces of climate fiction. Despite its publication date, contemporary themes of power, injustice, and resilience in hard times are amplified for the current climate.

RisingBest Climate Non-Fiction: Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore by Elizabeth Rush
This book of literary non-fiction provides first-hand accounts and profiles of individuals and places in the United States most vulnerable and impacted by the transformation of our coastlines be rising seas. This book gives voice to those individuals whose voices are often not heard, from climate refugees of the Isle de Jean Charles to the Tupelo trees of the Rhode Island coast.

The Boy Who Harnessed the WindBest Climate Film for the Whole Family: The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
(Check it out on Netflix!)
This film was released in 2019 based the the book of the same name, and 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. It will inspire anyone who doubts the power of one individual’s ability to change their community and better the lives of those around them.

Calling All Educators!

Polar Education Needs Assessment

The Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES) Education and Outreach program at the University of Colorado Boulder is asking for your input! Do you teach about the Arctic, Antarctica, sea ice, ocean, glaciers, polar bears or penguins? If you are teaching or would like to teach about polar topics, you can take their anonymous, 12-min online survey. As an appreciation, you can enter a drawing for a $50 Amazon gift card. To enter the drawing complete the survey by June 15 and provide your email address. Your email address will not be connected with your survey responses. Take the survey!

American Science Teachers Survey

Casey Williams is a Ph.D. Candidate in educational psychology at Texas Tech University. Casey is also a former high school science teacher (biology, chemistry and environmental science). For Casey’s dissertation, he developed a survey to help explain the barriers science teachers face when tackling tough political issues in the classroom like climate change. The survey is completely anonymous and has been approved by the IRB at Texas Tech University. Take the survey!

Moment of Inspiration

Nice work, Connecticut!

A bill that would require instruction on climate change at Connecticut schools has cleared the House of Representatives.


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