K-2 Inquiry Guide

Chapter 1. What is Climate Change and Why Care

This chapter consists of three guided inquiries that start with a provocation and culminate with ideas to take action. 

Contributors: Janice Haines, Nathalie Lauriault 

 

Illustration by Joana Campinas for ArtistsForClimateorg
Illustration by Joana Campinas for ArtistsForClimate.org

In this initial inquiry, students will explore and learn about the differences between weather and climate and understand the basic scientific principles of climate change through books, videos and interpretations of an infographic. You may find there are more activities than a class can complete. We have included several suggestions so that every kind of learner will find ideas, questions and activities to explore based on their unique and diverse community characteristics and circumstances, inspiring learning that ultimately leads to action.

Climate change is a wicked problem that is increasingly affecting human health, species distribution, and the ability of the earth’s ecosystems to sustain our physical, economic, social, and environmental needs. The reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and other leading scientific organizations have become increasingly urgent. Alongside this urgency, media reporting consistently uses a doomsday framing, which can leave viewers with a sense of anxiety or paralysis. 

In this inquiry, we suggest that educators begin by talking with children about the weather and climate. This will help them understand the more difficult concept of climate change. We also suggest framing learning pathways broadly by connecting to actions that students identify as personally relevant and important to them. 

Click on the drop downs below to learn more and access or download the full section. 

Background information for educators on some climate change basics including: 

  • Climate vs. Weather
  • Greenhouse effect
  • Climate Change Impacts
  • Canadian’s climate change knowledge & understanding

Read more

Students will explore and learn about weather through storybooks,  sensory walks and charades. They will acquire an understanding of how weather is the condition of the atmosphere in one area at a particular time.

Resources:  

Explore Inquiry 1

Students will explore and learn about climate by exploring the outdoors and through sorting activity.They will acquire an understanding of how climate is the weather of a specific region over a long period of time.

Resources:

Explore Inquiry 2

Students will explore and learn about the difference between weather and climate and understand how climate change impacts our world. They will have opportunities to further learn by watching videos to obtain solid background information on the concept of climate change. 

Resources:

Explore Inquiry 3

Chapter 1 Curricular Connections

Curricular connections

Concepts

Science

Sustainability

Stewardship

Ecosystems

Interdependence

Changes

Cycles

Climate

Conservation

Action

Innovation 

Characteristics

Protection

Living things

Energy

Environment

Language

Media form

Retelling

Restating

Communication

Critical Literacy

Social Studies

Location

Physical features

Community

Interactions

Physical Education and Health

Participation

Outdoor education

Energy

Vitality

Relationships

Self-awareness

Appreciation

Motivation

The Arts ( Visual Arts, Drama, Dance)

Composition

Interpretation

Symbolism

Form

Line

Colour

Space

Mathematics 

Data literacy

Quantity

Number sense