Climate Change News for Kids

Climate Change News for Kids

Teachers know how important it is to keep students informed about the ways that climate change is impacting the world, but it can be hard to find sources on your own to meet that need. SubjectToClimate can help! Through our website, The Juice offers daily free student-friendly news articles focusing on climate change that is relevant to students.

Teachers will also be able to find the perfect resource for any subject to pair with an article. StC has collected news articles, interactive media tools, and lesson plans to get your students up-to-date on the latest climate change news for kids and how to integrate them into your classroom today!

Introduction to The Juice and SubjectToClimate's News Articles

SubjectToClimate has partnered with The Juice to provide teachers with climate change news for kids. News articles are available for free on the SubjectToClimate website and new articles are added weekly. These news articles are designed for kids in grades 5-12. Teachers can adjust the article’s reading level, allowing students at different levels to access the content. Keywords appear in bold throughout the articles, and students can click on keywords to reveal a vocabulary card with a pronunciation guide and definition. Under each article, teachers will find a link to related teaching resources, making it simple to extend the news article into an entire lesson.

It can be challenging to find news articles that will suit the needs of a range of learners, but SubjectToClimate makes it easy! The climate change news articles from The Juice feature common core-aligned comprehension questions so students can check their understanding and receive instant feedback. Teachers can easily assign the articles on Google Classroom as an independent “do now” activity, or as a meaningful task for early finishers. 

Birds of a Feather Are Suddenly Flocking Somewhere Else

Grade: 5-12

Topics: Bird Vagrancy, Habitat Loss, Climate Change, Migration Patterns

Resource Type: News Article

Birds are abandoning their typical migration routes and turning up in unusual places as a result of climate change.

This article could be incorporated into a science lesson on migration, animal instinct, habitat loss, adaptation, ecosystem dynamics, or human-induced ecosystem disruption. Students could read this article independently, then research a bird species mentioned in the article to find out more about how its migration patterns have changed. This article would also be an excellent way to start a discussion on how species adapt to changes in their environment.

UN Report: It’s Not Too Late to Stop Disastrous Climate Change

Grade: 5-12

Topics: IPCC Reports, International Climate Agreements, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Land Use, Deforestation, Agricultural Practices, Renewable Energy Sources, Extreme Weather, Drought, Extinction

Resource Type: News Article

A recent United Nations report shows that the global community can still meet its climate targets, but countries will have to drastically reduce their greenhouse gas emissions in the coming decades to avoid catastrophic climate impacts.

This article explains that several industries will need to curb emissions to avoid droughts, wildfires, extreme storms, and mass extinctions. Students may brainstorm ways that the government could use incentives, policies, and regulations to get companies to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. Social studies, civics, government, or science teachers could use this news article to start a broader discussion on the vital role of international climate agreements in stopping climate change.  

Why Reaching India’s Green Energy Goals Amounts to a “Gargantuan Task”

Grade: 5-12

Topics: Fossil Fuels, Renewable Energy, Land Rights, Environmental Protection

Resource Type: News Article

India is a major polluter when it comes to burning fossil fuels. The government has pledged to dramatically increase renewable energy production, but funding and land rights issues have gotten in the way of substantial progress.

Climate change news for kids living in the United States often focuses on topics of local interest; this article will broaden students’ understanding of climate change as a global issue. Civics, government, or geography teachers can use this article to help students understand the role that rapidly developing countries, such as India, play in producing greenhouse gas emissions. Teachers will want to pair this article with other resources that explain how wealthy countries hold far more responsibility for historical greenhouse gas emissions than countries like India. Students could discuss whether wealthier countries have a responsibility to help fund renewable energy projects in India and other countries that have suffered disproportionately from the effects of climate change.

Climate Change Extends Season of Misery for Allergy Sufferers

Grade: 5-12

Topics: Health, Growing Season, Pollen, Allergies, Global Warming, Warming Temperatures

Resource Type: News Article

Climate change is causing warmer temperatures and longer growing seasons for pollen-producing plants. If the current rate of greenhouse gas emissions continues, people with allergies will face more severe health risks.

Science classes could use this article in lessons on allergens, growing conditions for plants, climate-related health problems, or the impacts of warmer temperatures.  After reading this article, students could make a mind map with “increased pollen due to global warming” at the center of the map to show all of the ways that increased pollen impacts people and the environment. Students may work individually or in pairs to create their mind maps.

Southwest US “Mega-Drought” Sparks Massive Wildfires, Dries Up Reservoirs

Grade: 5-12

Topics: Drought, Wildfires, Increased Temperatures, Hydroelectric Power, Water Shortage, Water Restriction

Resource Type: News Article

A drought is causing fires and water shortages in parts of the Southwest. 

This article would work well in a geography lesson about regional climate. Students could discuss how climate change is causing the weather to become more extreme, making some regions hotter and drier. Students may make a list of the problems caused by droughts in the Southwest and brainstorm mitigation strategies that will help the region to prepare for worsening climate conditions.

School Buses are Going Electric for Kids’ Health and the Environment

Grade: 5-12

Topics: Electric Vehicles, Electric Bus, School Bus, Air Quality, Diesel Fuel

Resource Type: News Article

Diesel school buses cause air pollution and are inefficient. Electric buses are less expensive to operate and better for students’ health, but they are expensive to purchase. Even with the added up-front costs, school districts across the United States are finding ways to purchase electric buses. 

This article would be an excellent hook for a lesson on air pollution, electric vehicles, or civic engagement. Though the article is about electric school buses' health and environmental benefits, it also covers several topics that would be interesting to discuss in a civics or government class. Students could research more about how federal funding, state funding, local funding, and grants can help school districts switch to electric school buses. As an extension, students could write a proposal for their school district to consider swapping diesel school buses for electric ones.

Americans' Interest in Climate News 2020

Grade: 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th

Subjects: Social Studies, Civics

Resource Type: Interactive Media, Data

This interactive map shows Americans’ interest in global warming news at the national, state, congressional district, or county levels. Students can select a climate news topic from a dropdown list to view the data on Americans’ level of interest.

This resource focuses on people’s interest in climate news, an interesting topic that many students will not have considered. As concerns about biased media outlets and misinformation grow, this resource presents data that focuses on people’s desire to learn more about climate change. The map is a visually interesting way to display the data. Students will be able to see how counties, states, or regions compare to one another, while also noting their geographical position and proximity to one another.

This resource would be an excellent hook for a unit on media literacy because the data shows that Americans are overwhelmingly interested in news stories about climate change. Teachers could ask students to think about the data and how it may or may not correlate to people’s beliefs about climate change. Students could discuss the role that news media play in educating people about climate change and how we can learn to evaluate information to become better media consumers. Geography classes could use this resource in a discussion about how physical location can influence the culture or beliefs of a region. Students could compare data from coastal and non-coastal regions, northern and southern states, or counties with large urban areas versus rural counties.

Greta Meets Malala: How Different Media Forms Present the News

Grade: 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, AP® / College

Subjects: Social Studies, English Language Arts, Social-Emotional Learning

Resource Type: Activity, Lesson Plan

In this media literacy activity, students will analyze how a news article, opinion article, tweet, Instagram post, and Facebook post provide information about activists Greta Thunberg and Malala Yousafzai meeting one another for the first time. All five sources are provided as a PDF that can be printed or used digitally.

This highly engaging resource challenges students to evaluate the information from traditional media sources and social media sources. The activity plan provides social studies, English language arts, and media literacy discussion questions that will help students understand the messages and intentions behind each of these sources. This well-designed resource requires very little prep time for teachers to deliver a meaningful lesson.

Keeping up with the news can be daunting, but these resources provide teachers with the tools they need to keep students informed and engaged. From captivating news articles with built-in differentiation tools to media literacy activities, teachers can find easy ways to incorporate climate change news for kids into their lessons. To receive email updates on the most recent news articles on The Juice, teachers can click “Get News Updates” in the top right-hand corner of the screen.

About the Author

Emily has a bachelor’s degree in English and French and a master’s degree in library and information science. She spent seven years teaching information evaluation and research skills as a school librarian in K-8 public schools. As a lifelong resident of Southern Louisiana, Emily has a particular interest in how climate change affects coastal regions. She hopes to connect educators with resources that will help them to teach their students about the disproportionately adverse effects of climate change on historically marginalized communities.