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Spring Forward has created over 25 lessons for a variety of age ranges, each including an engaging presentation, unique activities, worksheets, and a detailed lesson guide.
There are many different ways to work with us; below are three proposals we have outlined, but our team would be happy to adapt based on your vision and needs. We want to do what is best for your learning environment.
Spring Forward Curricula Library
1st to 4th Grade
Climate Change 101
Students will come out of this lesson knowing the basics of climate change and how they can make a difference in stoping climate change. We will begin by going over basic climate change information with a true or false activity. Next, we will present situations and students will decide if the situation describes weather or climate. We will then transition into a madlibs activity where students will have fun learning about the causes of climate change. Students will learn the effects of climate change with a "shout-out" activity. The lesson will wrap up with making a plan to take action.
Intro to climate change activity
First the lesson will define climate change, next students will dive into greenhouse gases and the greenhouse effect with a drawing activity. We will move into what we want instead of greenhouse gases: renewable energy. Finally we will wrap up with actions the students can take.
The Science Behind Climate Change
Aims to educate students on climate science, with a focus on the greenhouse effect and a drastic change in temperatures all around the world. The lesson has a short map activity and includes conversations of the world around us.
How to Help Stop Climate Change
Start off with a picture book; the teacher can choose to read this before the lesson or at the beginning of the lesson. Reviews individual change vs. systemic change, and how the youth can take action from their own homes. This lesson also recognizes and educates students that taking action is a privilege that not everyone has.
Oceans Rising Activity
Starts with a short activity to demonstrate how water expands as it gets warmer, then leads to a discussion of the activity, a summary of what was learned, and how it translates to the real world. After, students learn about glaciers and how rising sea levels demonstrate many climate injustices. This lesson is primarily science-based.
There is a modified version of this lesson for 5th to 8th grade.
Begins with a picture book read-aloud; teachers can decide to read before or during the lesson. After, the lesson covers the carbon cycle and photosynthesis in simple terms and includes an erosion experiment and discussion at the end.
Introduces an introduction to the idea of climate justice and equity through a picture book, role-playing scenarios, and time to reflect on who is affected most by climate change and why afterwards.
First goes over traditional non-renewable energy sources including coal, oil, natural gas, and nuclear, and then explores specific renewable energy technologies like solar, wind, and hydropower. The lesson will also delve a bit into the relation between renewable energy and social justice, including its impacts on society and creating jobs. All of these topics will be discussed in a fun and interactive way which will make the content easy to understand.
Health + Climate
This lesson begins by quickly goes over the causes and effects of climate change leading into what climate justice is. This shifts into the lessons focus; health + climate. Students learn about climate change’s effects on health by pretending to be witnesses and reporters discussing the water crisis in Flint Michigan. Next, students play a scenario game which dives into why people with health conditions are affected more by climate change.
Climate Justice Monopoly
Beginning with a short introduction of climate justice, this lesson features a Monopoly-inspired virtual board game that gives students deeper insight on how climate justice affects historically marginalized communities. While we understand that our Spring Forward team is privileged and will never be able to fully understand what it’s like, we hope to give students a general understanding of the social injustices that the climate crisis horrifically exacerbates.
This lesson begins with a word search, to get a familiarity with some terms in the lesson. Then, students learn about the lifecycle of a t-shirt, specifically its carbon and water footprint. This shifts into learning how to make a quick mask by reusing an old shirt or piece of cloth. Finally, there are tips on how to keep one’s closet sustainable. This lesson provides insight into a part of the climate crisis that is often overlooked.
The deforestation lesson begins with a picture book read-aloud; teachers can decide to read before or during the lesson. After, the lesson covers the carbon cycle and photosynthesis in simple terms. Next the lesson moves into why pollution is harmful to some people more than others and how trees and other plants can help stop pollution. After learning why deforestation is bad, students will be guided through creating a theoretical plan to stop deforestation. If there is time, the class will play a quick true or false activity. Finally students will observe before and after pictures of deforestation and learn about ways they can help trees.
Earth Day Workshop
This workshop begins with a brief history of Earth Day, next discussion and information on what climate change is and the causes of climate change. This leads into a hands-on diagram activity where students will be leaded through drawing and labeling a simple greenhouse effect diagram. Next, students will participate in a fun "shout-out" effects of climate change game. We will wrap up with empowering students to take action on climate change this Earth Day.
5st to 8th Grade
Climate Change 101
A basic overview on climate change, climate science, climate justice, and how to help stop climate change, focusing on renewable energy.
Climate Justice (interactive simulation)
Introduces the topic of climate justice and equity through role-playing scenarios and a thorough discussion afterwards.
Climate Justice (Monopoly simulation)
Through Spring Forward’s unique version of the popular board game Monopoly, students gain an understanding of climate justice and how minority communities are more affected by the effects of the climate crisis.
Systemic Action vs Individual Action
Establishes a concrete understanding of the differences between systemic and individual change, and covers how inaccessible individual change can really be, while emphasizing how the students can create change.
Basic Climate Science
Opens with a short video of the causes and effects of climate change, then reviews changes in global temperatures and the Greenhouse Effect. This lesson also includes a climate science worksheet, to reinforce ideas after the lesson.
The lesson starts with a water expanding guessing activity and information. Next students learn about glaciers melting through an easy hands on experiment followed by more information on glaciers. Next students determine three crucial factors; location, health, and wealth, that go into how affected someone is by oceans rising. Students go into three breakout rooms, each to discuss one of the factors and come back to share with the whole group. Then we will quickly discuss the role race and gender plays in someone’s location, health or wealth. We will wrap up with going over general actions students can take to help stop oceans rising as well as one quick action to take right then.
Reviews common climate policies around the globe, how students can advocate for them, and includes Massachusetts-specific policies as well. Could include a “Four Corners” activity as well as a letter-writing activity that guides students to write a letter to their politicians and legislators, or a political real life simulation.
Climate Policy Activity
This lesson defines what climate policy is, why it is important, and reviews common climate policies around the globe. Next we will do a climate policy simulation where campers pretend to be legislators from across the US. Finally, we will wrap up with how we can advocate for climate policy as citizens who can't vote.
First goes over traditional non-renewable energy sources including coal, oil, natural gas, and nuclear, and then explores specific renewable energy technologies like solar, wind, and hydropower. The lesson will also delve a bit into the relation between renewable energy and social justice, including its impacts on society and creating jobs. All of these topics will be discussed in a fun and interactive way!
Climate Justice and Activism
The first half of this lesson will give students the knowledge on what climate inequity looks like with a Pictionary activity so they will understand why climate justice is needed and what climate justice is so they will know what we're striving for. With this knowledge students will recognize the importance of climate action which lead into the second half of the lesson on climate activism. First students will learn about individual, organizational, and systemic change with a sorting activity. Next, the Spring Forward teachers will talk about their experience in climate climate activism and give tips on how to get involved and make valuable change.
Climate & Health
This lesson begins by quickly going over the causes and effects of climate change leading into what climate justice is. This shifts into the lessons focus; health + climate. Students learn about climate change’s effects on health by pretending to be witnesses and reporters discussing the water crisis in Flint Michigan. Next students play a scenario game which dives into why people with health conditions are affected more by climate change.
Redlining and Climate (Game Of Life simulation)
This lesson starts off by giving a basic overview of what redlining was and how it negatively affected people. We watch a short video, play a game of life (unique redlined edition + climate change), do a quick map game, and do an interactive news activity to better understand how redlining relates to environmental, racial and socioeconomic issues. This lesson focuses on how the practice of redlining affects people today with the additional impact of climate change. The lesson finishes off with a debrief and action steps.
Climate Change in the Media
This lesson starts off by listening to the unique stories of two youth activists in MA on the frontlines of climate change. These stories will give students an understanding of how detrimental climate change is for millions of people around the world. Next we explore how climate change is presented in the media versus how students think climate change should be portrayed. We will discuss why climate media is important and finally think about how we can take action to change how the climate crisis is presented.
Why There So Much Resistance To Climate Action
The lesson begins by discussing how climate psychology can make people distance themselves from climate change and how we can frame climate change in a way where people are more susceptible to the topic. We finish up the climate psychology section with an activity thinking about what percent of people are climate deniers and how people are denying climate change less each year. Next, we go over how the initial cost of eliminating fossil fuels can stop us from going net zero but in reality, renewable energy is more profitable in the long run. Finally we reviewed how the politicization of climate change can contribute to climate action resistance.