English and Language Arts

Matt Harvey

Writing 

10 Research Paper Topics on Climate Change 

If you were president, what would you do about climate change?

Life in the future writing activity: Imagine the life of someone your age in your town or city 50 years from now. What will it look like? How will it have changed? (from CABE green day activity kit)

Writing about climate change

Part 1: Claims, Evidence, and Reasoning 

Part 2: Well Written Explanation 

Translating Qualitative & Quantitative Details: Climate Change

Climate Storytelling GuideHave your students write children's stories about climate change!

Articles (some with assignments!)

Miami is Flooding (The Siege of Miami by Elizabeth Kolbert) and Attached Assignment

Ocean-clogging Microplastics Also Pollute the Air by Liam Stack and Attached Assignment

Articles from Yale Climate Connections

More coming soon! Let us know if you have any great articles and assignments!

Climate Assignments for Classic Novels

The Great Gatsby Hot and Cold Assignment

Frankenstein by Mary Shelly - Have students relate humans and climate change with the destruction Dr. Frankenstein caused by messing with nature and by his toxic ambition.

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood - Have students draw parallels between events and details of Gilead (the colonies, decreased reproduction due to pollution) with climate change. Is this "speculative fiction" with regard to the climate crisis? See this Guardian article for more ideas. 

Lord of the Flies by William Golding - See this article for connections with climate change present in Lord of the Flies.

Let us know if you have more ideas! We're constantly updating our resources!

Climate Change Novels and Recommended Authors

The End of Nature by Bill McKibben

New York 2140 by Kim Robinson (dystopian, longer novel)

Mayah's Lot by Charlie La Greca and Rebecca Bratspies (graphic novel, free pdf)

Wendell Berry 

  • The World-Ending Fire (a collection of essays)

  • Has many other works: essays, books, and poems

Aldo Leopold

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood (the second book in the MaddAddam trilogy) (suggestion: Assign first book in trilogy for summer reading)

The Windup Girl by Paolo Bacigalupi

Short Stories

Everything Change: An Anthology of Climate Fiction from Arizona State University (free pdf download) A collection of climate change short stories. 

The Weight of Light: A Collection of Solar Futures essays and short stories free to download from Arizona State University.

The Tamarisk Hunter by Paolo Bacigalupi

Time Capsule Found on the Dead Planet by Margaret Atwood 

I'm With the Bears: Short Stories from a Damaged Planet with stories from famous authors like David Mitchell, including the above poems by Margaret Atwood and Paolo Bacigalupi. 

Spoken Word, Poetry, and Music

 

A collection of poems written by students on climate change from the Young Poets Network.

 

Lesson idea: during a unit on poetry, give students a few of these poems of different styles to read and discuss and then create a poem of their own 

UN Climate Summit Poem: "Dear Matafele Peinem" 

A Language of Change by David Sergeant 

Sonnets: Love Poems in the Time of Climate Change 

Example from our partners at High School in the Community: host a school-wide poetry competition where students submit poems on climate change. Select faculty judge the poems and award a gift card to the best poem.

 

Read their 2018 winner here

 

Prince Ea (spoken word artist)

A Poem to My Daughter by Kathy Jetnil-Kijiner (poem starts at minute 2:40).

 

High ice and hard truth: the poets taking on climate change by Bill McKibben

Songs About Climate Change by Kendra Pierre-Louis (NYT)

Music for Our Emergency by Grayson Haver Currin (NPR)

Speech and Debate 

Natural Gas: A Cleaner Energy Solution or Just another Fossil Fuel? A writing and debate activity from National Geographic

Decision Making: A Mock Town Meeting on a Proposed Tank Farm Students take on different roles in order to decide if a company is allowed to build a new plant in a fictional town

Cars of the future public speaking project

ESL

Teach climate related vocab and assign level appropriate writing assignment using the target words 

What is climate change? video and corresponding worksheet. From busyteacher.org

First to Fall: an ESL class on the first casualties of climate change. Goes through three stages of conducting an ESL class on climate change. From busyteacher.org

NASA Earth Minute. Short videos with illustrations and subtitles that help explain different aspects of climate change. 

In a class with students from many different countries: have students compare and contrast the U.S. with their home countries on attitudes towards the environment, contributions to climate change, and actions towards tackling the problem. 

Climate change lesson from BBC Teaching English

Breaking News English. New Articles in seven levels of difficulty. Articles on the environment here

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Email : climateeducationnh@gmail.com