Let’s Get Started With Climate Change Learning Through Children’s Literature

March 5, 2024

Mar 5, 2024 | ESD 105, ESD 123, NCESD 171

Often we end a story with the statement, “The End,” but in the case of our latest Our Climate Is Changing, Why Aren’t We? Let’s Get Started Using Children’s Literature workshop series which wrapped up February 29th, participating teachers are just getting started bringing climate change learning for themselves and their students.

Over the course of four after-school virtual sessions, about 60 teachers from across central and eastern Washington engaged in learning about climate change, how to integrate climate change topics into their elementary classrooms, and the importance of sharing messages of hope and advocacy with students through the use of a selection of children’s books provided to them through funding from the ClimeTime Proviso. See the list of texts here.

Highlights from the series include connecting science investigations to children’s literature, building both literacy and science practices; integrating ELA and science through the use of text evidence to support explaining cause and effect relationships; learning about indigenous perspectives through reading The Whale Child with a visit from sibling authors, Keith and Chenoa Egawa; sharing ideas with each other through a Share-a-Thon of how the books were used by teachers with their students.

Regional Science Coordinators from ESDs 105, 123, and 171 plan to continue to offer this book study and are considering additional book studies for secondary educators in the future.

We will leave you with a few quotes from participating teachers:
“I had a basic understanding of climate science but this experience deepened my understanding of climate topics. It was especially important to me to find a lens of how to leave this topic on a hopeful note for students.”

“I learned a lot about climate that I didn’t know previously. I have more awareness, and a more driven feeling of needing to DO something, and TEACH something to the younger generation.”

“This children’s literature book study has helped me understand climate science better. I have a better understanding of the interconnectivity of animal and plant life and the need to begin making changes now. We only have one planet and we all need it to continue to live and thrive. I have wonderful resources to use in my classroom to help bring awareness to my students.”

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