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9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Social Studies, Civics

Resource Types

  • Activity - Classroom, 60 minutes
  • Lesson Plan

Regional Focus




Discussing Climate Solutions

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  • In this activity, each student will choose a climate-related discussion topic from a list of topics, learn more about the topic, and then discuss the topic with another student. 
  • Discussion topics include international aid, climate education, clean energy, food and farming, carbon capture, capitalism, and the role of government. 

Teaching Tips


  • This activity features topics that some students may never have considered before, including the banning of synthetic fertilizer or the abolishment of capitalism.
  • The activity encourages students to show empathy.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Before the discussion, students will have to complete a ClimateScience course. The courses vary in length, but some take up to an hour to complete.
  • This activity is designed for pairs, but it would also work for small groups.


  • Teachers could also include climate policy topics that might be more relevant for the students, such as the school cafeteria should serve meat-free meals three days a week.
  • In a government class, students could represent different countries while discussing these issues.
  • Other resources on this topic include this article on evidence-based tips for climate communication and this TED video on how to talk about climate change.
Scientist Notes
This activity pairs up students and has them select opposite positions on a range of climate actions and climate policies. The students prepare for the debate/discussion either in class or as homework and then have a respectful debate. There are options for presenting what was learned from the debate to the class. Teachers may want to assign positions rather than have students select their own. This lesson is recommended for teaching.
  • Science and Engineering
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • HS-ESS3-1 Construct an explanation based on evidence for how the availability of natural resources, occurrence of natural hazards, and changes in climate have influenced human activity.
      • HS-ESS3-2 Evaluate competing design solutions for developing, managing, and utilizing energy and mineral resources based on cost-benefit ratios.
      • HS-ESS3-3 Create a computational simulation to illustrate the relationships among management of natural resources, the sustainability of human populations, and biodiversity.
      • HS-ESS3-4 Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.
      • HS-ESS3-6 Use a computational representation to illustrate the relationships among Earth systems and how those relationships are being modified due to human activity.
  • English Language Arts
    • Speaking and Listening (K-12)
      • SL.9-12.1 Prepare for and participate in conversations across a range of topics, types, and forums, building on others' ideas and expressing their own.
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