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    Spirit Solar
    Installers of renewable technologies

  2. About
    Cool the World

    24th June 2010

  3. Lesson plans
    and ideas

    Primary schools

  4. Lesson plans
    and ideas

    Secondary schools

  5. What can I do?
    Ideas for pledges

    Children

  6. What can I do?
    Ideas for pledges

    Adults

  7. Background information on climate change

    Parents / teachers

Primary School Lesson Plans and Ideas (KS 1/2)

Our suggested morning has three periods: an information based 'academic' period, a 'practical' period involving poster design, scientific experiments, games etc, and an 'action' period when children can look at their own energy use and pledge to cut it. Obviously you may prefer to do something totally different. Whatever the format of the day, we hope you will find some useful lesson plans below.

Academic Period


  1. Introduction to climate change

    Age: this can be adapted for primary (7-11) and secondary classes (11-18)

    Time: 1 - 2 hours in total, divided into short sections

    Format - there is a powerpoint presentation and teacher notes to accompany the presentation. All charts / images can be downloaded individually. This is not a lesson plan. It is however a useful collection of background notes, pictures and charts which can be used as a basis for structuring a lesson plan. For more specific lesson plans with images and videos, see below.

    Click here for further information and Downloads

  2. Renewable energy - a collection of lesson plans

    Ages: Various lessons

    Keystage: 1/2/3/4

    There is an excellent website with lessons about Climate Change, Solar Power, Solar Hot Water and Wind Energy.
    Search by Key Stage, Topic and Subject (D&T, Geography, Science). Lots of lessons for KS1, KS2, not so many for KS3, KS4.

    Renewable energy - a collection of lesson plans

  3. Lessons from Generation Green:

    Keystage: 1/2

    Key Stage 1 What is electricity? Wind and water power. The power of the sun. Turn down, turn off.

    Key Stage 2 Turning fossil fuels into electricity. How much energy does our school use?

  4. Key Stage 2 Lesson Plans on Climate Change from Project Genie (supported by BT Betterworld)

    Keystage: 2

    Currently there are four blocks of lessons:
    1. Understanding Climate Change
    2. Reducing Energy Use
    3. Exploring Power and Energy
    4. Rethinking Britain

    Follow this link (click here).

  5. Organise a climate change talk

    For £65 for a half-day, £130 for a full-day, someone from Action Aid will come and do a climate change talk in your school.

    Click here for more information: http://www.actionaid.org.uk/101898/teach_climate_change.html

  6. PowerDown from Action Aid

    PowerDown is a set of primary and secondary resources that explore the causes and impacts of climate change. Use our lesson ideas, images and videos to get your pupils learning about climate change, investigating energy use and taking action to be part of the solution.

    Follow this link: www.actionaid.org.uk/powerdown

  7. Green Day: A FREE climate change activity pack for schools

    Keystage: 1/2/3

    Green Day is a one-day event for schools about climate change, sustainability and the built environment. It is a fun and flexible way to integrate these themes into lessons and whole-school activities.
    CABE (the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment) have run Green Day for three years. It is aimed at primary and secondary schools (particularly KS1-3). CABE publishes a free activity kit which contains over 100 different curriculum linked lesson ideas, and further web based resources for teachers to use to help planning. CABE also delivers training for schools in the form of face to face workshops.

    Follow this link for more information: http://www.cabe.org.uk/publications/green-day

Practical Period


  1. Design a climate change poster - Cutting your carbon footprint

    Time 1 hour to 1½ hours.

    View Online

    View PDF

  2. Demonstrating Solar Photovoltaic energy (from BP)

    Keystage: 2/3/4

    Inexpensive Solar PV demonstration kit from BP (£14 per kit, £16 including teachers notes, £40 for three kits). You can also download the informative teachers notes free of charge from the above site (as long as you register which takes two minutes). These include a discussion of solar energy and the photovoltaic effect. Activities for both primary and secondary level.

    Follow this link: http://www.bp.com/genericResource.do?categoryId=8043&contentId=7037460

  3. Stuck for creative ideas? There are lots of great ideas for practical and creative projects about climate change on Cool it Schools.

    There are projects in every creative area you can think of, from art and music to poetry, fashion design and gardening.

    http://www.coolitschools.com/what/suggested

  4. Endangered Species Mobiles

    Age: 3-7

    Time: 40 minutes

    View Online

    View PDF

  5. Endangered Species Mobiles

    Age: 7-11

    Time: 1 to 1 ½ hours.

    View Online

    View PDF

  6. The melting test – the heat from the sun

    Keystage: 1

    Time: 1 to 1 ½ hours.

    http://www.ourplanet.org.uk/climate-change-lesson-plan.asp?lessonID=48

  7. Lots and lots of lesson plans from the Prince of Wales's rainforest project

    From age 3 to age 16.

    http://www.plan-ed.org/learningcentre/mfl/climatechange/

  8. Making a solar powered boat

    Keystage: 2

    http://www.ourplanet.org.uk/climate-change-lesson-plan.asp?lessonID=37

  9. Key Stage 1 and 2 Carbon Calculator

    Keystage: 1/2

    A fun simple carbon calculator aimed specifically at children. They can calculate their carbon footprint and work out ways of cutting it.

    http://www.planet-positive.org/how_2_calculator.php7

Action Period


  1. What can children do to cut their energy use?

    Keystage: 1/2/3

    30 minutes part 1 Electricity use; 30 minutes part 2 Simple kids carbon calculator (requires internet access).

    What is their carbon footprint, how can they cut it? What would it be like if they lived in Africa? Optional - Kids Carbon Calculator.

    View Online

    View PDF

  2. Key Stage 1 and 2 Carbon Calculator

    A fun simple carbon calculator aimed specifically at children. They can calculate their carbon footprint and work out ways of cutting it.

    Follow this link: http://www.planet-positive.org/how_2_calculator.php

  3. Climate Cops from npower (KS1,2,3)

    All mapped to the Curriculum for England, Wales and Scotland, our fun and engaging resources provide you with the learning tools you need to help you deliver fun and engaging lessons on energy, energy efficiency and climate change for 4-7, 7-11 and 11-14 year olds.

    Click here to visit the site.

Suggested outline of the morning

Academic Period (1 or more). For example:

  • Introduction to climate change (cause/impact)
  • What is electricity?
  • Renewable energy
  • The Carbon Cycle
  • View lesson plans

Practical Period (1 or more). For example:

Action Period (1 or more):

  • Focus on individual child's energy use
  • Kids carbon calculator
  • Pledge to do something
  • View lesson plans

Suggested Morning - Key Stage 1

Academic Period

  • What is electricity? Lesson plan from Generation Green: click here.

Practical Period

Draw a picture / poster showing something positive that can be done to cut energy use:

  • riding a bike instead of going by car;
  • walking to school;
  • watching less TV;
  • taking a shower instead of a bath;
  • turning the TV off at the wall, turning the lights off

Action Period

Do this individually or as a class activity based on a 'typical' child. Make some changes in their behaviour and calculate the footprint again to see what difference the changes make.

  • Ask everyone to pledge to do something to cut their footprint and / or their family's footprint.

Suggested Morning - Key Stage 2

Academic Period

Discussion of climate change

Practical Period

Action Period

Calculate a simple carbon footprint using our kids carbon calculator (click here).

Do this individually or as a class activity based on a 'typical' child. Make some changes in their behaviour and calculate the footprint again to see what difference the changes make.

Ask everyone to pledge to do something to cut their footprint and / or their family's footprint.