Bringing Climate Topics into your Classroom

One of CLEAN's goals is to help teachers be as effective as possible when teaching climate science. This series of web pages introduce climate science in a sequence that illustrates different aspects of the climate system. Natural and human influences on climate are presented here, as well as the effects of interactions between parts of Earth's systems. Special emphasis is placed on the methods that scientists use to study the climate and make predictions about future impacts, as this is a topic that is sometimes misunderstood. The overarching Guiding Principle states that humans can take action to reduce climate change and its impacts, which is a key part of teaching climate science. Taken together, these concepts describe climate literacy.

The Guide to Teaching About Climate

Each concept listed below links to a description of the topic, a discussion of what makes the topic important, ways to bring it into your classroom, suggestions for grade-level specific teaching strategies, and links to relevant teaching materials.

1. The Sun is the primary source of energy for Earth's climate system.

2. Climate is regulated by complex interactions among components of the Earth system.

What is Climate Literacy?

According to the Climate Literacy Framework from the US Global Change Research Council, Climate Science Literacy is an understanding of your influence on climate and climate's influence on you and society.

Climate Literacy  Broschure
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Provenance: USGCRP - online available
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Download the color booklet, Climate Literacy Framework by the US Global Change Research Program

3.Life on Earth depends on, is shaped by, and affects climate.

4. Climate varies over space and time through both natural and man-made processes.

5. Our understanding of the climate system is improved through observations, theoretical studies, and modeling.

6. Human activities are impacting the climate system.

7. Climate change will have consequences for the Earth system and human lives.

The Guiding Principle for Informed Climate Decisions

GP. Humans can take action to reduce climate change and its impacts.

Additional Resources:

Spanish language version
of these Principles »
Literacy Resources »
Climate Mental Health » Managing Controversy »

CLEAN Educator Toolbox »

Ready to test your knowledge?

Try the Climate Literacy Quiz »

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