Climate Change and the Environment

For the Teacher

Key Learning Areas:

Year Level: Upper Primary

Lesson Duration: 6 lessons

Curriculum Links:


  • Research
  • Data collection
  • Analysis
  • Reporting
  • Presentation
  • Teamwork


  • Integrity
  • Respect
  • Responsibility


Research by the world's scientists, including the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, suggests that:

  • On average, the Earth's temperature has already risen by around 0.7°C over the past hundred years, and is projected to increase from 1.0°C–6.4°C by the end of the 21st century.
  • Sea levels are rising as oceans expand and glaciers and ice sheets melt. By 2100 sea levels may rise by 18–59cm.
  • Changes in climate patterns mean we will see some weather events and extremes such as heat waves, floods and storms, droughts and bushfires become more frequent, more widespread or more intense.
  • We will see adverse impacts on plants, animals and human health as climate patterns shift.

Source: Australian Government, Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts

Before starting this unit with your class, it is suggested that you familiarise yourself with the issues around climate change and the environment by visiting the Australian Government's Department of Climate Change website.

The website has education resources including Global Warming: Cool it that may be used as extension material beyond the life of this unit.

The video files suggested for this unit may take some time to load depending on the Internet speed at your school. You may wish to use a website such as to convert online files into a video format and download the files to your school's server. It is suggested that you consult your school's Information Technology technician before doing this as your school may have specific protocols related to such practices.

Graphic organisers are suggested in this unit to focus student thinking.

Links can be made to Values Education as student learning focuses on the following values from the Nine Values for Australian Schooling:

  • Integrity – Act in accordance with principles of moral and ethical conduct, ensure consistency between words and deeds
  • Respect – Treat others with consideration and regard, respect another person's point of view
  • Responsibility – Be accountable for one's own actions, resolve differences in constructive, non-violent and peaceful ways, contribute to society and to civic life, take care of the environment.

For the teacher | Introduction | Overall Aims | Investigation: Tuning in | Investigation: Research | Investigation: Analysing | Investigation: Taking Action | Evaluation and assessment | Resources