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Top tips for teaching about climate change

Teaching the realities of climate change to youngsters, especially Key Stage 1 pupils, can seem overwhelming. It’s a complex problem, which could potentially scare the children, and there are areas where there simply are no definitive answers.

This shouldn’t stop you, however, as stories about climate change are everywhere on social media and in the press, and the children may need help identifying credible sources, and understanding the issues.

‘Little and often’ approach

We’d recommend incorporating the theme across the curriculum on a ‘little and often’ basis rather than having a one-off focus on it, which could alarm pupils.


Weave the message into several subject lesson areas, firstly ensuring the children know how the world should work in theory, and then incorporating the causes and effects of climate change.


For Key Stage 1 pupils, it may well be better to look at issues as they relate to bees or butterflies instead of heading straight into how it is affecting human life.

Pull from pupils’ own experiences


When looking at climate change itself, you can pull on pupils’ own experiences, and what they’ve seen on the news.


This could be localised freak hailstorms in the summer, personality-based stories like Greta Thunberg and her fight for change, or factual reports about rising sea levels or temperatures over time.

Lots of climate resources available

When you come to looking at the bigger picture, you’ll find there are lots of resources to help you. Busy Things offers climate games and activities to explore the planet’s balance, different energy sources, deforestation and sea levels.


The Met Office is very good for giving background statistics. There are also lots of books and films that have climate change as an underlying theme, and there is a list of these on the Great Big Green Week website.


Play TREE WORLD! - it's a fun climate change game that brings the carbon cycle to life! Don't miss out on access to our whole climate activity range by taking a free trial of Busy Things.

Encourage independent research

Because the topic of climate change has so many elements, the children could focus on a particular area that interests them. They could investigate renewable energy sources, the impact of transportation or meat-heavy diets, food miles, car technology, or even the ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ campaign.


For shorter-term projects, pupils could develop a very rough carbon footprint comparison tool or calculate the food miles their family’s weekly grocery shop stacks up!


Check out our fun climate change activity ideas!

Empower positive action

When teaching climate change, it’s important to remember that what we do today can influence our tomorrow, so empower your pupils to embrace positive changes.


The change in question may be making personal lifestyle adjustments like eating more locally sourced food or influencing their parents to choose a greener car next time. Alternatively, it could be an activity which involves a larger group, such as participation in a tree planting event to increase CO2 absorption.

Educating yourself or others could equally represent a change. As a school, for example, you could raise awareness of the issues by running a climate-focused poster competition or organising a contest where the winning letter is sent to your local MP. The opportunities are endless!

Take advantage of Free Climate Resources for your classroom!

Our range of climate change resources has been curated with lesson plans in mind. For instance; use one of the interactive jigsaws to introduce a topic - taking turns at the front of class - we've included lots of facts and figures with each jigsaw for class discussion. Students could then go on to create fact files etc.


Schools can take a FREE 28 day trial to have unlimited access to ALL the new Busy Things climate resources!




Learn more about the teaching resources available.


Schools get FREE access 18th-26th Sept! 

Use these log in details:

Username: GBGWSchools

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Play Tree World! Can you rebalance the climate?

Learning about the carbon cycle has just got a whole lot more interactive! It’s a simulator-style game, that really brings the environmental issues to life as you try create a balance of the needs of the people, animal and plant life so that they can happily co-exist on the planet.


Perfect to play as a class to prompt discussions around the carbon cycle. Also ideal for children to play individually to learn about the effect of actions on the planet - who can get the best stats?



What is Busy Things for schools?

A comprehensive collection of interactive games, activities and learning resources to help teachers bring the curriculum to life - even tricky and dull subjects! Along with the tools you need to monitor and feed back on pupils' activities, progress and projects.


* Multi-award-winning collection of 1200+ FUN educational games and activities!
* ALL curriculum subjects! Incl. English, maths, geography, science, art, coding & many more!
* Early Years, Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 content (Wales, Scotland & Australia curriculum also available)

* Lots of teacher features to make planning, teaching and assessment as easy as ABC!

* Free Zoom training 


"Busy Things is a FABULOUS and TIME SAVING tool! It is brilliant for having groups on computers and also using during teaching input, supporting our lessons. It supports our pupils' learning brilliantly as it is adaptable to children's needs. The National Curriculum and that of Foundation stage are well supported and covered."

Victoria Alliston, River Primary Schools


Busy Things is trusted by 1000s of schools, nurseries and libraries in the UK and worldwide! Please do click on the links below to learn more or take a free trial to explore our resources.

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