Nature inspired designfor KS2/KS3 – artist Seyi Adelekun links sustainable design practice to Design Technology with a focus on biomimicry. The resource encourages students to turn to nature to find solutions to problems, while learning the creative habit of being collaborative – one of the five Creative Habits of Mind.
This is a positive, solution-focused method of teaching about the climate crisis; asking students to consider not only how to learn from nature but how we can use materials that are more ecologically sound. It could be taught within DT or Science topics.
By focusing on the creative habit of being inquisitive, this sequence supports a creative Geography curriculum, and could also be adapted for Art & Design, Drama or English subjects, with the final outcome of the resources being a ‘Letter to Power’.
3. Visit an exhibition or take part in a workshop
Climate Museum UK offer workshops, events, and participatory art projects to schools and communities. They can do short talks, bespoke workshops and pop-up museums, using a library of books, games, a museum of handling-objects, and a range of creative activities such as story cubes and designing climate-friendly houses with Lego. For further insights from Climate Museum UK, you can read their report written as part A New Direction’s Listening Projects: How culture and creative learning might respond to the Earth emergency.
Arctic culture and climate from the British Museum explores how communities who live in the Arctic have developed respectful relationships with the natural world, and how the melting ice will have huge impacts on their way of life. It is available online rather than an in-person visit, and the 360-degree virtual tour includes interactive features alongside a self-guided walk through of the space. You could look at this as part of the Design Technology, Literacy, Geography or History curriculum.
Studio Cultivate’s PlayGreen workshops exploring the story of tea, dinosaur fossils, and Shakespeare plays are a ‘hybrid of outdoor theatre and garden exploration’, using play to build meaningful relationships with the natural world. They deliver the workshops in outdoor spaces and each is designed to be a participatory experience unique to the location. They can even tailor the workshops to your own school campus.
For poetry units, you could use the theme of nature to spark discussions on the topic. Use this resource from the Poetry Society as a starting point, and consider using news articles when looking at factual and non-fiction formats.
Another of our Teaching for Creativity resources – Speeches that changed the worldby Butterfly Theatre – shows how you can weave the subject of the climate crisis into other subjects at KS3 such as English and History. Although it focuses on historical figures and dramatising their speeches, you could use the techniques and activities to expand on speeches from climate activist Greta Thunberg.
5. Encourage students to enjoy nature and look after it
Teach the Future, a group set up by secondary school pupils, has a network for educators interested in climate education. The network runs on Slack and provides a space to discuss and exchange resources and ideas.
Transform Our World has a searchable bank of resources themed around topics including the Sustainable Development Goals, Values and Wellbeing, and Food and Consumption. You can find more ideas in this list from Campaign Against Climate Change – including some blog posts with tips on how to introduce the topic to your students depending on their age.
7. Use creative activities in Science and Geography or STEAM weeks
For STEAM activities, check out the resource bank from Encounter Edu, who focus on addressing environmental and societal issues. Resources cover topics such as considering plastics, oceans and the Arctic. They also include activities which use Google Expeditions for an immersive experience.
8. Sign up to a scheme that commits to school-wide change
There are schemes available to support schools in becoming more sustainable and ecological friendly, such as Eco Schools and the Green Schools Project. Putting students at the centre of change enables them to learn about the climate crisis while also putting practical solutions into action. They are encouraged to advocate for this through planning and organising events and challenges.
Your school could also commit to going carbon zero by 2030. Sign up to Let’s Go Zero to find out more, including regular ideas and a tool to monitor progress.
You can also find more educational resources from the arts and culture sector by searching for ‘environment’, ‘nature’ or ‘climate change’ on our LookUp platform.