Teaching Climate change in KS2

Do you want to cover climate change in KS2 but don’t know where to start?

Climate change is not specifically mentioned in the National Curriculum, but we all know it’s an important topic that we need to teach. However, it is quite a complex subject and can be hard to explain to primary-age children.

We have dedicated a whole magazine to explaining this topic in a child-friendly way, without making it feel scary.

How to explain greenhouse gases to Year 3 and 4, to help them understand how our planet is getting warmer.

In our library of downloadable science teaching resources, you’ll find a new lesson pack that explains what climate change is, using simple terms so children can easily understand it. The lesson plan includes a simple experiment that uses chocolate, an upturned glass and a sunny spot to demonstrate the greenhouse effect.

Year 3 and 4 Climate change lesson pack

Climate change can be a scary subject, so we’ve tried to make the messaging as positive as possible so that children understand that if we act now, it’s not too late. Even though they might not be old enough to vote or make rules about the way we live, they are never too young to speak up and influence those in power. We have included a flow chart to help them identify ways in which they are able to make positive changes towards helping to stop global heating. We have also included a climate pledge for children to fill in. Maybe your whole class could make a climate pledge together to display in class so that you can keep checking in and making sure you are all sticking to it.

How can I create a climate change debate in my classroom?

Debates are a great way to get children inspired and motivated. In our Year 5 and 6 pack, we have written a fictitious letter from a made-up sustainable energy department, stating that it would like to offer a few schools in the area some renewable energy resources. Your pupils can debate where might be a good place to install wind turbines or solar panels on your school premises and how the scheme might impact school life. The discussion pack also includes two explanation texts, one on solar panels and the other on wind turbines.

Year 5 and 6 Save our planet lesson pack

Guided reading

To help consolidate pupils’ learning, why not introduce some climate-themed reading into your English sessions from our downloadable reading resources?

We have an inspirational information text for Year 5 readers, showcasing the achievements of ten amazing young climate activists.

Inspire your Year 4 class by reading about the life of sensational scientist David Attenborough.

There’s a fascinating explanation text on wind turbines for Year 3.

For Year 6, we have an interview with plant biologist Professor Joanne Chory, who realised that she could use her knowledge of biology to help solve the problem of climate change.

Great resources! Using as a whole class reading text – my year 4 class will love it! Lovely, visual text in the format of an interview and a good range of questions, (including ‘test style’) which all fit nicely into the VIPERS strands! Thank you!

Year 4 teacher

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FREE science activities for year 4 and P5!

Now that schools are closed, have you become a home educator overnight? Whizz Pop Bang is the world’s most awesomely amazing kids’ science magazine, bursting with hands-on experiments, facts and fun, and we want to help you and your children with the huge transition that many of us face.

Here are some FREE science activities and experiments to help you entertain, excite and educate your year 4 child! You’ll find a reading comprehension about toilets, discover how to make slime, meet an inspiring female scientist, discover how to make an erupting volcano and how to mummify a tomato!

Our experiments are designed for children from 6 to 12, but this list of experiments is particularly perfect for year 4, P5 (Scotland), 8-year-olds and 9-year-olds as they tie in with the relevant National Curriculum objectives and topics.

The reading comprehensions included here were designed to be read at A3 size, so text may appear too small when printed at A4. They work really well on a tablet or monitor, or you may need to print them on two pages of A4 if your printer allows.

If you have any comments or questions about our free year 4 science experiments and reading comprehensions, please leave a comment for us. Or do you have any science homeschool ideas or general home educating ideas for 8- and 9-year-olds? We’d love to hear from you!

Find loads more science activities, puzzles and games in our award-winning monthly kids science magazine, Whizz Pop Bang!

How toilets work reading comprehension

Toilets! We all use them but how many of us know how they work? Now you can find out what happens to your wee and poo when you flush the toilet. A diagram of a toilet is labelled with expanded captions, including key vocabulary such as dual flush, cistern, valve, float, s-bend and inlet valve. 

This downloadable reading pack includes: 
– A reading spread about toilets for you to print or for your child to read on a tablet.
–  Reading comprehension question sheet and answer sheet.

Topic links: Year 4 Animals including humans, P5 Body system and cells

Make gloopy slime

Your slime-obsessed year 4 and P5 child will love this gooey activity! They will make their own slime, then decide if it is a solid or a liquid. This oobleck is guaranteed to provoke a lot of scientific discussion about changing states, reversible and irreversible changes, non-Newtonian fluids and more. It’s not as straightforward as it seems! 

You will need:
Mixing bowl
Food colouring (optional)

Bonus activity: spot the difference puzzle

Topic links: Year 4 States of matter, P5 Properties and uses of substances.

Interview with an explosions expert reading comprehension

Meet chemistry professor, explosions expert and science communicator, Kate Biberdorf and find out why she blows up things to inspire her students!

This downloadable reading pack includes: 
– A reading spread about Kate Biberdorf for you to print or for your child to read on a tablet.
–  Reading comprehension question sheet and answer sheet.

Topic links: Year 4 States of matter, P5 properties and uses of substances.

Make your own volcano

Print a paper volcano, then use kitchen chemistry to make it erupt!

You will need:
A small container (e.g. a spice jar)
Bicarbonate of soda or baking powder
Red food colouring
Yellow food colouring
Washing-up liquid or soap
A tray or outside space

Bonus activity: fireworks on a plate

This activity is taken from Whizz Pop Bang’s Awesomely Amazing Science Club – download the entire pack here!

Lava experiment

Discover the difference between viscous and runny magma in this gloopy volcano activity!

You will need:
Golden syrup, honey or other viscous liquid
Two paper straws per child
Safety goggles (or sunglasses!)

Bonus activity: move water with fire

This activity is taken from Whizz Pop Bang’s Awesomely Amazing Science Club – download the entire pack here!

Mummify a tomato

Anything that was once alive can be mummified! Create the conditions used by Ancient Egyptians to mummify a tomato.

You will need:
Two tomatoes
Antiseptic liquid or handwash
Kitchen paper
Bicarbonate of soda
Two small jam jars or glasses, slightly bigger than your tomatoes
Toilet tissue (optional)

Are you home educating children in other year groups? Then you might find these posts helpful:
Free science activities for year 2 and P3
Free science activities for year 3 and P4
Free science activities for year 5 and P6
Free science activities for year 6 and P7

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