Weather & Climate Toolkit

Girl completes educational activity on tabletThis education toolkit provides a sortable list of external resources on the general topics of weather, climate, and climate change. Many of the resources can be used as-is or adapted for virtual learning and at-home teaching environments.

To easily find what you need, the following filters have been provided:

  • Grade Level
  • Geographic Scale
  • Topic
  • Learning Mode
  • Time Required to Complete

Many of these resources require students to have an internet connection. However, portions of some activities may be completed offline, as indicated in the description of the resource. Several activities and many standardized lessons may require additional supplies to fully complete.

This toolkit was developed with support from the Center for Great Lakes Literacy and the Midwestern Regional Climate Center.

Resources

Primary Science of Energy

National Energy Education Development Project

This curriculum for Pre-k to 3rd grade covers nine topics related to renewable energy sources with several activities that take 20 minutes or more to complete. Portions of this resource can be completed offline.

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Energy 101

U.S. Department of Energy

This video playlist for middle school and high school students includes several videos that are four minutes or less in length and discuss renewable energy and energy efficiency.

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Global Warming Demonstration

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory CIT

This NGSS-aligned demonstration is adaptable grades K-12 and uses balloons, a lighter, water, and a bucket to teach about global warming.

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Global Climate Change: Vital Signs of the Planet

NASA

This comprehensive resource provides a summary of evidence of climate change and may be appropriate for high school level exploration of topics including global and ocean temperature, shrinking ice and snow cover, sea level rise, extreme weather, and ocean acidification. The topics link to datasets and simulations, activities and interactives, quizzes, and videos.

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Science 101: What Causes Severe Thunderstorms and Tornadoes?

National Science Teaching Association, Science and Children

These suggested activities, targeted to elementary and middles school grades, help to explain evaporation, condensation, density and the causes of storms and tornados.

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Precipitation Towers: Modeling Weather Data

NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory CIT

This NGSS-aligned standardized lesson, adaptable to K-5 uses stacking cubes as a way to graph precipitation data, and helps students make comparisons and identify patterns using data modeling.

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The Facts Do Not Speak for Themselves: Exposing Students to the Powerful Story of Climate Change

National Science Teaching Association, Science Scope

This resource connects educators to global and local narratives that tell the story of climate change. Also, lesson plans on topics of weather, climate, and climate change for grades K-12 are available with a free membership.

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Don’t Just Sit There – Do Something!

Communitopia

These 5-minute videos, geared toward high school and beyond, incorporate climate change science, news, humor and performing arts as a call to individual choices and actions in support of environmental stewardship.

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The Entire IPCC Report in 19 Illustrated Haiku

Sightline Institute

A scientist picks up a paintbrush and condenses a 2000-page intergovernmental climate report into 19 haiku and watercolor expressions! This refreshing and inspiring work of art is adaptable K-12.

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Getting the Picture: Our Changing Climate

Earth Vision Institute

This multimedia compilation of climate resources is appropriate for middle and high school students and is arranged in six NGSS-aligned chapters discussing changes in the cryosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, and planet, as well as future choices and actions students can take. It also contains downloadable lesson plans to compliment the film The Human Element.

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Teach Climate

Teach Climate

This climate literacy toolkit with resources for grades K-12 allows the user to search by setting (school or home) and time to complete an activity. Within this expansive toolkit, some resources can be completed offline.

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The Water Cycle of the Great Lakes

NOAA

This interactive tool and slideshow presentation on how to interpret the results is appropriate for middle school and high school where students can explore how different components of the water cycle interact within the Great Lakes.

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Activity Book: Discover Your Changing World with NOAA

NOAA

This activitiy book for grades 6-12 includes 10 activities that may be completed individually or all together. Portions of this resource can be completed offline.

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Cars on Trial: How do energy use decisions influence global climate change?

Center for Great Lakes Literacy

This curriculum for grades 6-12 includes one lesson that will take two or three 50-minute class periods to complete. Portions of this resource can be completed offline.

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Climate Modeling 101

National Academy of Sciences

This activity for grades 9-12 requires an hour or more to complete. This activity teaches students about how climate models are constructed, validated and used.

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Climate Community Connections: Gardens and Landscaping

Connect

This factsheet is designed for a high school audience and will require 15-20 minutes to read through. Impacts of climate change on gardens and landscaping in the Midwest and Great Lakes are discussed. Portions of this resource can be completed offline.

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Weather and Climate

Scholastic

This short video and follow-up quiz for grades 3-6 describes the basics of weather and climate.

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Climate Community Connections: Flooding and Stormwater

Connect

This factsheet is designed for a high school audience and will require 15-20 minutes to read through. Impacts of climate change on flooding and stormwater in the Midwest and Great Lakes are discussed. Portions of this resource can be completed offline.

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Climate and Community Jeopardy

Connect

This jeopardy-style game was created for high schoolers to learn about impacts of climate change within the Great Lakes region and is estimated to take about one hour to complete.

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Climate Community Connections: Agriculture and Food

Connect

This factsheet is designed for a high school audience and will require 15-20 minutes to read through. Impacts of climate change on food and agriculture in the Midwest are discussed. Portions of this resource can be completed offline.

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Climate Change in My Backyard

Chicago Botanic Garden

This curriculum, which is available for grades 5-6, 7-9 and 10-12, includes four units that each contain several activities requiring one or more 45-minute class periods to complete.

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Snowmaking: Great Lakes Style

Center for Great Lakes Literacy

This curriculum for grades 6-12 consists of one lesson that is estimated to take one class period to complete. Portions of this resource can be completed offline.

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Climate Change and Aquatic Invaders

Center for Great Lakes Literacy

This curriculum for grades 6-12 consists of one lesson that will take at least one 50-minute class period to complete. Portions of this resource can be completed offline.

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Trees on the Move: Can Maples and Buckeyes Migrate?

Center for Great Lakes Literacy

This curriculum for grades 6-12 includes four lessons that will require 50 minutes or more each to complete. Portions of this resource can be completed offline.

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Impacts on Water: Our Region’s Vital Resource

Center for Great Lakes Literacy

This two-page factsheet provides an overview on the impacts of a changing climate to Great Lakes water resources. Portions of this resource can be completed offline.

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Minnesota’s Changing Climate for Grades 3-12

Climate Generation

Two different curriculums, one for grades 3-8 and one for grades 9-12, is offered. Each curriculum consists of six lessons that will take 50-75 minutes to complete. Portions of this resource can be completed offline.

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Our Changing Climate for Grades 6-12

Climate Generation

This curriculum for grades 6-12 consists of six lessons that require 40 minutes each to complete. Portions of this resource can be completed offline.

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How do greenhouse gases affect heat absorption?

Center for Great Lakes Literacy

This curriculum is for grades 9-12 and up and includes two lessons that require 50 minutes of class time to better understand how greenhouse gases affect heat absorption. Portions of this resource can be completed offline.

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Global and Great Lakes Climate Change

Center for Great Lakes Literacy

This curriculum for grades 9-12 includes one lesson that is estimated to take one to two 50-minute class periods to complete. Portions of this resource can be completed offline.

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Visualizing Changes in the Great Lakes

Center for Great Lakes Literacy

This curriculum for grades 6-12 includes two activities that will require 50 minutes each to complete. Portions of this resource can be completed offline.

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How Will Climate Change Affect a Great Lakes State

Center for Great Lakes Literacy

This curriculum for grades 9-12 includes two lessons on specific climate change impacts within the Great Lakes region that will require 50 minutes each to complete. Portions of this resource can be completed offline.

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ESSEA Courses, Elementary (K-4) Modules

Earth Systems Science Education Alliance

These 20 modules for grades K-4, adaptable for 5-12, include resources, standardized lessons, and student investigations components that can range from <30 minutes to several class periods in length. Portions of this resource can be completed offline.

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NASA Global Climate Change, Vital Signs of the Plantet: EXPLORE

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory

These data and visualizations for grades k-12 can supplement lessons on climate change and are estimated to take as little as 5 minutes or up to full class periods to complete. Some portions of this resource can be completed offline.

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Great Lakes Climate Change Curriculum

NOAA - Ohio Sea Grant College Program, Ohio State University

This 9-lesson climate change curriculum is geared grades 9-12 and may be completed in 50-100 minutes. Portions of this resource can be completed offline.

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Space Place Explore Earth and Space

NASA

These games, videos, activities, crafts, and standardized lessons for grades 3-8 may be completed in 10 - 50 minutes.

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4 Animations that show what is really going on with our climate

TED

These climate modeling simulations may supplement lessons or activities grades 9+ and could be used in less than 30 minutes.

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Emergent Patterns of Climate Change

TED

This 12-minute TED talk discusses emegent patterns, and the value of models with accompanied simulations geared toward highschool and above. Talk notes include links to simulations that could supplement lessons.

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Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory – Education, Data and Products

NOAA - Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory

Factsheets, infographics, and news on Great Lakes water temperature, ice concentration, harmful algal blooms, lake levels and seasonal climate forecasts could be used to supplement lessons grades 9-12+.

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NOAA CoastWatch Great Lakes Statistics

NOAA

These longterm statistics for Great Lakes surface water temperatures and ice concentrations could supplement data graphing lessons 6 grade and beyond. Portions of this resource can be completed offline.

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Climate Kids

NASA

This 40+ climate-topics resource contains games, activities, and videos, and career exploration for grades 3- 5 which can be completed in as little as <10 minutes or in sevaral hours.

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What Causes the Seasons?

NASA

This factsheet and image, accompanied by videos and a free Nearpod lesson for grades 3-5, is estimated to take 30-50 minutes to complete. Portions of this resource can be completed offline.

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Extreme Weather Quiz

NASA

This 10-question, online quiz about Extreme Weather for 9-12th grade may be completed in 10-15 minutes.

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Climate Time Machine

NASA

These data visualizations and models for grades 6 and up can supplement <30-minute lessons on Sea Ice, Sea Level, Carbon Dioxide, and Global Temperature changes over time.

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The Sun and Its Energy

National Energy Education Development Project

Several activities for grades K-2 allow for students to learn about solar energy in 12 lessons taking 15-20 minutes each. Additional supplies may be required.

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Graphing Global Temperature Trends

NASA

This activity allows students to explore real-world data to compare short and long-term trends. Additional supplies may be required.

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Messy Data, Real Science: Exploring harmful algal blooms with real-world data

National Science Teaching Association, The Science Teacher

This article discusses how to educate using messy, real-world data, with Harmful Algal Blooms as an example.

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National Climate Assessment Education Resources for the Midwest Region

Climate.gov, NOAA

This resource geared toward middle and high school includes key messages on the impacts of climate change in the Midwest and Great Lakes region.

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Water Levels on the Great Lakes

Center for Great Lakes Literacy

This curriculum for grades 6-12 includes one student activity that is estimated to take up 75-100 minutes to complete. Additional materials are required.

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Our Changing Climate

Climate Generation

This curriculum for grades 3-6 includes five lessons that require 50 minutes each. Additional supplies may be required to complete.

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There are no items that could be found to match this criteria.