This post has a climate change for children K-3 free discussion PDF because such resources are few and far between. I hope it will help teachers who will find the free download at the next link. It is a PDF for use with small or large groups.
When we talk about the ozone layer in the sky, it is surely confusing to children who look way up and feel like the sky goes on and on forever. Especially to them, the distance must seem great and there is no obvious line in the sky.
I thought such a discussion might begin with talking about the water cycle. Probably the class has done an experiment to show condensation. For sure children have noticed rainy days cause puddles to form.
From this discussion, it could be pointed out that icebergs and glaciers are melting. Children might be aware if their parents watch the news or they have heard some other way. Hasn’t it seemed that climate change used to make the news every year or so, while this summer it is making a daily appearance? The actual explanation is more complicated as this article suggests. Land icebergs reflect sunlight, but when land icebergs melt the water is blue and doesn’t reflect, which means it absorbs heat from the sun. Children do not need to understand the finer details, though.
It helps to show an image of possible sources of too much carbon dioxide, as well. The children can probably tell about when they saw a factory with smoke coming out of smokestacks. They have probably noticed some other such things, as well.
It is important that the children do not feel they are at fault. Of course, they are not the people who did such things.
They might be reassured to know animals also did not cause pollution.
Of course, it is important to tell children how they might help the Earth. They have probably been told things like turn off lights when you leave a room, recycle, and so on. But now they might feel these things are especially important.
We have friends who have scuba dived all over the world. They stopped about ten years ago after 25 years of such travel. They mentioned how much ocean life had deteriorated over that time period due to pollution. We are all being made aware of plastic trash in the ocean and what a problem it is to animals. The chemicals from the plastics harm ocean plants as well, and will for decades to come.
Now storms are different each time. We have worse storms, rain bombs, land cyclones, and so on. It seems we often have a hundred-year storm happening somewhere. If you listen to the news or read the newspaper, the amount of news about climate change has become overwhelming.
This PowerPoint is basically about recycling, and it shows what some grown-ups are doing to help. It has 35 slides. Another really important lesson for children is about reducing what we use. Stay tuned for more educational resources about reducing and reusing. So often, lessons end at recycling, and there we are done. Not so! I hope this helps children understand why recycling is important and that teachers will find the download helpful.
Thank you for reading, Carolyn
I took the Climate Reality Leadership Corps Training in Minneapolis, MN, in August 2019