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The (Young) People's Climate Conference

Rowan Shafer, Zinn Education Project

This resource is based on the 2015 Climate Change Summit, and it shares both environmental and social concerns related to climate change. This is an activity for students to role-play people affected by climate change. It is a UN-style discussion of climate change from different cultures and perspectives around the world.

This learning activity takes two 60min class periods

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»

Notes From Our Reviewers The CLEAN collection is hand-picked and rigorously reviewed for scientific accuracy and classroom effectiveness. Read what our review team had to say about this resource below or learn more about how CLEAN reviews teaching materials
Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy | Technical Details

Teaching Tips

  • The activity can be strengthened with educational links to each country represented.
  • The activity is designed in a way that students can follow and it provides flexibility for the teacher to adapt it for their class as needed. The activity could be expanded upon or shortened depending on the teacher's interest.
  • The pre-simulation activities include a description of how the author taught students about climate change and Youtube videos used for that, but the educator will need to adapt the activities to their own location if it is not in Louisiana where the author taught.
  • The lesson includes a specific note about not having students dress up or use accents in order to be respectful of others' cultures that they may not know much about.
  • Teachers might bring awareness to the time frame of 2015 and how people can change based on current events.
  • There is also a high school curriculum in the Rethinking Schools texts called A People's Curriculum for the Earth: Climate Mixer

About the Science

  • This activity is focused on political/social studies and impacts, related with some science informing this lesson.
  • This resource shows how often marginalized groups are impacted by climate change and empowers students to play those roles.
  • Students will need to research background information for this lesson.
  • The data is presented as descriptions of each person's point of view at a climate change summit simulation that the students participate in.
  • Passed initial science review - expert science review pending.

About the Pedagogy

  • This is a high-engagement resource as it is a role-play activity
  • There are some role play cards available, and would fit a smaller class or doubling up of roles.
  • Understanding of basics of climate change is a recommended prerequisite.
  • The author wrote about their experience teaching the lesson in a multipage story.
  • This activity could be catered to all students and diverse learning, depending on the role they are assigned.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • The teacher can access this lesson after creating a free account.
  • The central simulation is complete in scope and ready for use.
  • The characters have props that were used in telling their stories.
  • If a teacher wants students to dive deeper into this topic the prep time will be high, if not, only about an hour of prep time will be needed.
Entered the Collection: March 2023 Last Reviewed: July 2022

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