News about climate change is everywhere—in magazines, online, radio,TV and even at the movies. It’s often debated and hard for grown-ups to sort facts from opinions and to determine what we should do about it. For kids, it can seem even more complicated and scary. That’s why age appropriateness is a vitally important ingredient of climate change education. The most age-appropriate measure you can take as a teacher or parent is to help your younger students and children explore nature in their own neighborhoods and communities. This fosters a strong, positive connection with the natural world and builds a foundation for caring about global environmental problems later in life. But how do you answer the questions they will inevitably raise about climate change? And how do you begin to examine the topic in a manner that doesn’t frighten or overwhelm them? The best strategy is to provide children with brief, accurate information at a level you know they can understand and relate to—and in hopeful ways. The educator’s guides and activities provided here are tools you can use to do just that. The photo galleries presented here are for educators and students of all ages who love wildlife and want to learn more about these amazing animals, to better understand the effects of climate change on their habitat and to take actions to reduce carbon pollution.
About Howard Ruby, the photographer
Wildlife images featured on Climateclassroomkids.org and throughout this guide were taken by Howard Ruby. Mr. Ruby is a nature photographer, Chairman of Oakwood Worldwide, and a supporter of the National Wildlife Federation. He has spent years traveling around the world to photograph the many amazing wild animals and wild places seen on this site. He is passionate about using his photos in creative ways to teach children and adults about the effects of climate change and he has been the driving force behind the creative development of this website and education program.
You can also visit his website to see a preview of other photos that will soon be featured on our site.
About the National Wildlife Federation
National Wildlife Federation is the Eco-Schools host for K-12 schools in the United States. National Wildlife Federation (NWF) inspires Americans to protect wildlife for our children’s future. For more than 75 years, NWF has been connecting people of all ages with nature through award-winning education programs and resources, including Ranger Rick® magazine.
NWF’s Eco-Schools USA is an internationally acclaimed program that provides a framework to help educators integrate sustainable principles throughout their schools and curriculum. The Eco-Schools program was started in 1994 by the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE) with support by the European Commission. It was identified by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) as a model initiative for Education for Sustainable Development in 2003. The Eco-Schools USA program strives to model environmentally sound practices, provide support for greening the curriculum and enhance science and academic achievement. Additionally, it works to foster a greater sense of environmental stewardship among youth.
This honor — and charge — fits seamlessly with NWF’s work to promote environmental education, connect people with nature and raise awareness about the threat to people and wildlife from global warming.
Through school-based action teams of students, administrators, educators and community volunteers, NWF’s Eco-Schools USA combines effective “green” management of the school grounds, the facilities and the curriculum.