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
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
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.
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.
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.
- Visual Processing Cards (Chiji or Climer Cards)
- Climate Change for Kids | A fun engaging introduction to climate change for kids
- Climate Change Science Experiments For Kids
Chapter 1 Curricular Connections
Physical Education and Health
The Arts ( Visual Arts, Drama, Dance)