Plants, people &

Climate change

A journey of climate change education through the world of plants for Grade 3-6 classrooms.

 

The Plants, People and Climate Change resource  provides teachers with easy-to-use activites, animated videos, and student worksheets that explore climate change science, personal reflection and storytelling through the tangible lens of plants, soil, gardens and natural habitats. 

Your first step exploring this resources is to view the Teacher’s Guide below, that will provide an overview of the Plants, People and Planet resource and how it can be used in your classroom. In the Teacher Guide, you can explore the over-all resource content, lesson structure, suggested timeline, Indigenous connections, suggested resources and a background on Climate Change and Climate Change education. You may download all lesson plans and student handouts as one package, or scroll this page to explore individual lesson resources for use in your classroom. *Please note – a French language version of this resource will be available in early 2022.

My Climate Story

(Supplementary Guide)

My Climate Story is an optional supplementary toolkit that uses storytelling to connect the dots between what we know about climate change in our heads, what we might feel about climate change in our hearts, and what we can do about climate change with our hands and feet. Using the “My Climate Story” tool, students reflect on the personal meaning of what is learned about people, plants, and our planet through this resource. The activities guide students to consider their own lives and what matters to them, their health and their community. We encourage you to use this guide with the Plants, People and Climate Change resource, or you may also use this guide as a stand-alone reflection piece.

 

The My Climate Story toolkit is a collaboration with Eco-Anxious, which follows the Plants, People & Climate Change resource with discussions, activities and resources to support teachers and parents to frame climate science in a mobilizing way. It may be used with the resource, or on its own. 

Learn More about Eco-Anxious Stories >

 

Lesson 1:

Plants, Planet, People

Students explore the interdependence of plants, animals, and the important roles plants have for life on earth. As humans, we rely on plants in many ways – for food, shelter, clothing and even the air we breathe – and the health of our planet relies on plants too.

My Climate Story: 

Lesson 1 My Climate Story connection sets the stage by asking students to consider the key characters and important settings in their lives.

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Lesson & Activity Outline
Student Handouts
My Climate Story
  • Did You Know?

    Without plants, life on earth would not be possible, for animals or for humans. People and animals need oxygen to live and plants produce 98% of all the oxygen we breathe.

  • Did You Know?

    There are many important relationships between plants, animals, humans and our planet. We all depend on each other. For many thousands of years, humans have lived in balance with plants and animals on our planet, keeping us all healthy.

Lesson 2:

Plant Needs

In this lesson, we’ll explore 5 important plant needs using the acronym LAWNS , which stands for (L)ight, (A)ir, (W)ater, (N)utrients, and (S)pace to grow, such as in the soil. Just like humans and animals, plants have needs that must be met for them to stay healthy and grow.  

My Climate Story: 

Lesson 2 My Climate Story explores what students need in their environment to be healthy. Just like plants, humans need a special habitat to thrive, and this tool helps kids map out the important things about our home environments.

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Lesson & Activity Outline
Student Hand-outs
My Climate Story
  • Did You Know?

    When we take plants out of their natural habitat, humans must help nature to meet te needs of plant. We see this in our gardens and on farms. Humans help these plants through watering, adding nutrients, picking a place with adequate sun, etc.

Lesson 3:

Plant Adaptations

Plants thrive in nearly every habitat in the world! Students explore how different plants are able to meet their needs (LAWNS) in very diverse environments. Plants have distinct features, called adaptations, that allow them to survive – such as long roots on desert plants that help them to find water far below the surface or big leaves on rainforest plants that help to gather sunlight in shady areas. 

My Climate Story: 

Lesson 3 My Climate Story guides students to reflect on the roles and relationships in our lives and how we have power to influence change in those relationships.

Movie Moment + Topic Info
Lesson & Activity Outline
Student Handouts
My Climate Story
  • Did You Know?

    Many of the plants see all around us were once brought here from other places in the world. Some had natural adaptations that helped them survive in our climate, while others were helped by selective breeding and artificial selection. These natural and human-driven processes helped plants develop the traits they need in order to live here.

Lesson 4:

Plants, Us and Climate Change

At lesson 4, we introduce the problem of climate change – its causes and impacts. Climate Change can be a complex topic. We use plants as an entry point into conversations about a changing climate. Support your students for deeper conversations by blending science exploration with personal feelings around climate change to create a supportive -and hopeful- classroom atmosphere.  

** Note: Activity 2 + Student hand-outs are used from My Climate Story for Lesson 4 of Plants, People & Climate Change.. You may access them through the Activity 2 + Student Hand-outs link below.

My Climate Story: 

There are two activities in this lesson: a handy worksheet to help kids remember five key points about climate science, and a talking circle guide to help foster discussion about the “My Climate Story” activities we’ve done so far.

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Lesson & Activity Outline
Activity 2 + Student Hand-outs
My Climate Story
  • Did You Know?

    The idea of thinking seven generations ahead is often used in environmental messaging. The much broader notion of thinking long-term for the future is said to be first coined by Iroquois teachings, and is now commonplace language when thinking about our current impact on the planet.

Lesson 5:

Plant Needs & Climate Change

Climate change is impacting everything around us, including plants. Learn more about signs of shifting plant needs and how climate change will continue to impact their ability to stay healthy. Finally, you’ll reflect on the connections between different plants and the power we hold when we decide what to plant for a healthy planet.

My Climate Story: 

These exercises help students dive a bit deeper into emotions that can accompany learning about climate change. Using the metaphor of scuba diving, this worksheet gives kids a chance to reflect on how they feel about what they’re learning, and how they can manage uncomfortable emotions.

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Lesson & Activity Outline
Student Handouts
My Climate Story

Lesson 6:

Soil: Solution to Climate Change

Climate change is impacting everything around us, including plants. Learn more about signs of shifting plant needs and how climate change will continue to impact their ability to stay healthy. Finally, you’ll reflect on the connections between different plants and the power we hold when we decide what to plant for a healthy planet.

** Note: There are 2 videos for Lesson 6. The first explores soil, what it is and what its role is on the planet. The second explores soils role as a climate change solution.

My Climate Story: 

We begin to learn about some plant and climate superheroes to inspire your students’ own climate story. This exercise will continue to build through My Climate Story lessons 6 through 8.

Movie Moment - Topic Info
Lesson & Activity Outline
Student Handouts
My Climate Story
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Lesson 7:

Food Waste

Food waste is a big deal in Canada, and an easy solution for many students to see and do. Connecting food waste as lost energy resources and new emissions helps us rediscover the important role food plays in our daily lives. Discover some ways to counter food waste by exploring how food is lost through production steps until it lands on your table. Then, create a class food waste pledge to prevent future waste on our end!

* Note – Lesson 7 includes a PowerPoint, rather than a video.

My Climate Story: 

We continue exploring more climate storytellers as inspiration for students to craft their own Climate Story in Lesson 8.

** We strongly encourage My Climate Story Lessons 6-8, even if none of the rest of the resource is used **

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Lesson & Activity Outline
Student Handouts
My Climate Story

Lesson 8:

Let’s Take Action

You can make a difference for the climate and the plants around you. Determine together an action you can take that will keep plants and the planet healthy. Climate change solutions do not have to be complex: plant a seed of climate action through protecting the living world around you.

**Note – No video for Lesson 8

My Climate Story: 

As part of planting seeds for climate stories, your students are developing their own story to help them walk through their role in climate change.

 

Movie Moment + Topic Info
Lesson & Activity Outline
Student Handouts
My Climate Story