Climate Teach-In Models
A climate teach-in is a bottom up educational event, focused on just solutions to the climate crisis in local communities and globally. This event creates real dialogue. Teach-ins can be anywhere people come together; at colleges, universities, primary, middle and secondary schools, museums, or in faith or civil society communities.
The resources here make it easy to attract audiences beyond those already talking about climate. And our professional development sessions every Wednesday will help you expand your own skills on talking about climate change from multiple subject matter perspectives.
For schools, Teach-Ins can be all-campus events outside of class in the afternoon or evening. Or they can ask and support teachers to discuss climate in their classes (or both). How to do this? Our in-class model for all climate-concerned faculty is called #MakeClimateAClass. This reaches the most students, engages the most teachers, and can be self-sustaining. Our basic all-campus event is the #ThreeHourTeach-In.
#MakeClimateAClass (University / Grades 8-12)
In Class Teach-Ins: #MakeClimateAClass
This model is for climate-concerned teachers, not climate specialists, to talk about climate in their classes from their own disciplinary perspective. This approach engages students with the idea of pursuing work and careers in solving climate. It can be done by a single climate-concerned teacher, or a group. And if teachers do it once, they are likely to keep doing it year after year.
(1) Devote 15 minutes to talking about how their discipline– artists, or biologists, or engineers, or psychologists or sociologists– are helping develop climate solutions.
(2) The have an alumus working in the field (or a local expert, or specialist colleague) working in climate join and discuss their work.
For grades 8-12, teachers can find detailed lesson plans from many disciplines at SubjectToClimate.org , and the resources at the National Wildlife Federation’s #Teach10HoursForClimate.
This is a 30-minute carve out. Given lead-time, all climate- concerned faculty will be able to find a spot in the semester for this. And students can lead in getting this Teach-In to happen by asking their all their teachers to #MakeClimateAClass in this way.
To scale this up, four faculty can do it together, reaching over a hundred students with multiple perspectives on climate careers, a model we call #Co-TeachForClimate.
#ThreeHourTeach-In (University / Grades 8-12)
Campus-Wide Events: #ThreeHourTeach-In
In 2022, over 350 organizations around the world held Teach-In events, organized by students, sustainability staff, faculty and administrators. We have a database with many different approaches and examples. Join our weekly on-line sessions as well to learn about more variations.
The core model we recommend to maximize student engagement is the #ThreeHourTeach-In. This is an all-school event held in the evening, that is grounded in participation by climate-concerned faculty from multiple disciplines. It is an easy way to create interdisciplinary dialogue about climate solutions across your campus. and engage hundreds of students.
Add Climate Theater and Climate Comedy to Your Teach-In
This year, we are sponsoring a global competition calling for short climate plays, 5-7 minutes, that can spark discussion about climate solutions and climate justice. We will be featuring the top entries, and you can reach out to campus theater groups to produce these plays during your teach-in! The call for contributions is here.
In addition, we are working with Inside the Greenhouse at the University of Colorado, to create a 15-minute best of climate comedy video that can anchor a session. More to come on this option.
K-8 Interactive Teach-In
K-8 Interactive Teach-In:
K-8 Schools are encouraged to participate in the Teach-In! To best engage K-6 students in climate education we recommend interactive teaching. Our goal is to avoid frightening students with gloom and doom, and instead to spark their curiosity.
We have found lots of great climate education resources for the classroom in English. Please send links to similar resources in other languages to email@example.com!
We will post them here: Spanish / French / Arabic / Portuguese / Russian / Japanese / Chinese / Korean / Hindi.
The National Wildife Federation has terrific resources as part of their campaign to #Teach10Hours4Climate
Also see SubjectToClimate.org for great curricular ideas for K-12 teachers.
Faith Congregation Teach-In
Faith Teach-Ins help their members explore personal connections with nature and justice in the context of the climate emergency. Such events can be especially powerful if they take place partially outdoors. Make the Teach-In very interactive, limit one-way information delivery to 5-10 minutes. Community members should leave excited and energized to learn and do more. Our model is an easy-to-organize and engaging three-hour event.
To learn more about how world religions are addressing climate change, visit The Yale Forum on Religion and Ecology https://fore.yale.edu/World-Religions which links to resources such as the following:
Judaism and Climate Change
Add: Climate Comedy & Climate Theater
Add Climate Theater and Climate Comedy to Your Teach-In
This year, we are sponsoring a global competition calling for short climate plays, 5-7 minutes, that can spark discussion about climate solutions and climate justice. We will be featuring the top entries, and you can reach out to campus theater groups to produce these plays during your Teach-In!
In addition, we are working with Inside the Greenhouse at the University of Colorado, to create a 15-minute best of climate comedy video that can anchor a session focused on climate comedy. More to come on this option.