Teach Climate

September 3, 2019
By: Education

Climate Lessons Update – September 2019

Letter to Climate Change Educators

SI RecapIt’s back to school time! And a new school year means new relationships and establishing a rapport for learning in the classroom. We want to empower students to see their ideas and viewpoints as valuable. As teachers, providing lessons that foster learning about students’ diverse experiences can do just that.

No matter what subject you teach, we invite you to start your school year by asking students “Why does climate change matter to you?” — get them to start thinking about their personal stake in the issue. At Climate Generation, we coach people on finding their personal connection to climate change through writing their own climate stories. And now, we have adapted this practice into a lesson for educators to use in the classroom! Tap into a deeper understanding of your students and engage them in the learning ahead with this lesson. It consists of a series of prompts that invite reflection, writing, and small group sharing to develop their own climate story.


Many of you, and many of your students, are probably aware of the global Youth Climate Strike scheduled for September 20 — and that youth are calling for adult allies to join them. Whether your students and/or you plan on participating, this moment is an amazing opportunity to bring discussions of climate change into your classroom. Use our Climate Strike toolkit to get you started on these discussions, and we will be updating it throughout the month.


We challenge you to integrate climate change into your classroom in the month of September, in whatever way works for you! It is the most relevant issue facing your students today, and they can be part of the solution.

Megan Van Loh, Education Coordinator
Climate Generation: A Will Steger Legacy

Climate Generation Happenings

#TeachClimate Network

#TeachClimateJoin the #TeachClimate Network! This network is comprised of educators from all over the country who are dedicated to teaching climate change, and we want to hear from you! What would you like to see this year? Take this short survey to help us shape this year’s program!

Thank you to our Climate Change Education Manager, Jenna Totz!

DrawdownWe thank Jenna Totz, our departing Climate Change Education Manager, for her years of leadership and dedication to Climate Generation. Jenna first served as an Education Intern, then as a curriculum writer, creating Next Generation Climate, followed by developing our Green STEM Careers documentary, lesson plans and associate programming, and ultimately leading our climate change education initiatives. In addition, Jenna brought technology skills and encouraged regular social hours — all of which will be missed, but we wish her well as she focuses on raising her son Atlas, a future climate activist!

Opportunities for Minnesotans

Educator Workshops: New Science Standards and Climate Change

Educator WorkshopsMinnesota has new state science standards, and we want to equip middle and high school teachers with the tools and resources to bring core ideas to life in the classroom. Choose from two workshop locations; St. Cloud or Bloomington. Workshops are free and offer 6 CEUs. Lunch provided. Register today!

Solar Video Contest

Solar Video ContestDoes your school have solar? The Clean Energy Resource Team is supporting a contest for students to submit a video and win prize money! Check out the details here. Videos due October 10th.

Youth Climate Kickoff

Help spread the word — high schoolers can start the year off with climate action! Join youth from across Minnesota at the Youth Climate Kickoff, Saturday, Oct. 12, 10:30am-3:00pm at Roosevelt High School in Minneapolis. Learn tools for engaging your school in climate action, share projects you’ve done in your community already, and connect with other groups that develop climate justice solutions. Free, with lunch provided!

Youth Climate Kickoff


Minnesota’s Changing Climate Curriculum

MCCWe have updated our Minnesota’s Changing Climate curriculum to include new graphs and relevant data. Plus, the title is deceiving — this curriculum can be adapted for any state. Make sure to download for free the new version to use in your teaching!

What We’re Reading

DrawdownAt this year’s Summer Institute, we heard from a senior fellow at Project Drawdown, Mamta Mehra, on her research regarding the top 100 solutions to reverse climate change. We recommend getting a classroom copy of Drawdown by Paul Hawken, and use it as a tool to inspire student action projects!

Moment of Inspiration

From art to social studies, literature to policy, science to language arts, climate change can fit into any subject area. Take a listen to Xiuhtezcatl Martinez. He’s an Indigenous climate activist, hip-hop artist, and powerful voice on the front lines of a global youth-led environmental movement. We’re excited to share that you can see him perform this fall at our November 16 event in St. Paul, Band Together!