Have the Talk: Climate Conversations

In this learning activity students learn how to and practice having conversations about climate change with adults or peers. The activity is based on psychological and social science research.

Go To:

Our Climate Our Future

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Teaching Tips

Teaching Tips

This exercise would be best as a capstone activity. Both students and teachers need to be thoughtful in how they approach this experience.

The homework asks the child to have the conversation with a parent or family member. This could pit the child against the adult which could be an awkward situation for the child to be in, depending on the beliefs of the adult. To avoid this possible scenario, maybe have the student converse with a peer or someone in a lower grade. This would be a great way to conduct a "peer mentoring or collaboration" event.

Educators should keep in mind that having these conversations is difficult, even for professional scientists with communication training. Preparation will help to mitigate these challenges.

Educators may want to help students anticipate technical aspects of climate change that may come up in the conversation beforehand - see URLs below for help with this.

Educators may use this resource for distance-learning. The conversations would work well in a "break-out room" feature for virtual learning where students could be paired to participate in the activity.