In the spring of 2022, Regional Science Coordinators met to reflect on Climate Literacy work completed in 2021-22. A few patterns began to emerge. The first pattern was that elementary teachers were excited to bring climate science to their classrooms, but unsure of the best approach, especially with the youngest learners of 5-8 years old. Climate Change can be “scary” and teachers are concerned about balancing our climate reality without creating fear in students. The second pattern was that teachers feel a need to deepen their understanding of climate science, so that they can in turn present the topic in the classroom in a responsible and just manner.
As the Regional Science Coordinators ( RSCs) considered these trends, an innovative idea rose to the top, Children’s’ Literature! One of the best memories students often talk about is “story time” in the classroom. Even middle school students comment on missing read-aloud in their day. RSCs started researching current children’s’ literature that was available to meet this need. Hours were spent reading and reviewing books with potential to be used in a professional development opportunity. As books were reviewed, ideas of how these books could be used to balance education of climate and end in hope gave life to a new course for teachers.
The first session for, Our Climate is Changing, Why Aren’t We? Getting Started Using Children’s Literature starts on Oct.26th! Over 80 teachers from Eastern Washington are already registered to get started!