A Place Based Climate Change Exploration for Middle School

Author: Rachel Odoroff


Lea School

Year: 2019

Seminar: Environmental Humanities from the Tidal Schuylkill River

Grade Level: 8

Keywords: climate activists, climate change, climate literacy, Philadelphia

School Subject(s): Math, Science

Climate change is the undeniable fact impacting future generations of humans. While political leaders debate how to respond to the consequences of this looming crisis, younger generations will bear the brunt of climate impacts. It is paramount that students master the language of climate literacy in order to participate in the conversation. This curricular unit is designed for use in middle school classrooms and seeks to teach students about climate change by looking at consequences and solutions at a local level in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It begins by connecting students in the urban environment to the natural world and questioning whether those two worlds are really, in fact, separate. Students will then visit local sites to gain a greater sense of the geography of the city, assessing places which may already be impacted by climate change. Students will receive a “basics” lesson on the science of climate change to familiarize them with the language of climate change and will explore some of the work of contemporary teen climate activists. This unit ends by developing a sense of agency in students and fostering hope that activism and changes at the local level can create a new narrative for a changing planet.

Download Unit: Odoroff-R.-19.02.04-1.pdf

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