In today’s world, it’s more important than ever to help students understand the pressing issue of climate change. As young minds prepare to inherit the environmental challenges of tomorrow, it’s up to teachers to equip them with the knowledge and motivation they’ll need to tackle this global challenge.
To help you get started, we’ve compiled a list of movies and educational resources you can build your lesson around. These resources will help your students grasp the science behind climate change in a fun and engaging way while inspiring them to be advocates for the future. Let’s empower our students with the information they need to make a positive impact on our planet!
Movies for Teaching About Climate Change
Happy Feet (2006): Ages 5+
This cute, child-focused film features animals as the major characters experiencing a changing climate.
Police Patrol (2013): Ages 5+
This computer-animated film includes a strong pro-environment message.
A Beautiful Planet (2016): Ages 6+
This documentary offers a stunning look at Earth—and man’s sobering impact on it.
This film is an animated sea adventure with kid heroes and music.
Arctic Tale (2007): Ages 6+
This kid-friendly film is all about the changing Arctic.
Ice Age: The Meltdown (2006): Ages 6+
This is a funny movie, but contains some crude humor and mild profanity.
To the Arctic (2012): Ages 6+
This kid-friendly documentary explores life in the frozen wild.
Adventure Planet (2014): Ages 8+
This animated tale includes an adventure story and information about responding to climate change.
Before the Flood (2016): Ages 10+
This documentary presents an in-depth look at climate change.
Time to Choose (2016): Ages 10+
This documentary explores the causes of climate change, including fossil fuels and deforestation.
Tomorrow (2015): Ages 10+
This optimistic documentary discusses innovative ways to counter climate change.
Cool It (2010): Ages 12+
This documentary presents an alternative perspective to An Inconvenient Truth and includes an examination of more effective ways to move forward.
An Inconvenient Truth (2006): Ages 13+
This documentary provides a high-level examination of scientific, political, and social issues related to climate change.
Chasing Ice (2013): Ages 13+
This award-winning documentary provides one side of the climate change debate through discussion of the impact of warming global temperatures on glacier retreat.
Merchants of Doubt (2015): Ages 13+
This documentary explores how deception and deflection is used in the media to create doubt about scientific issues.
The 11th Hour (2007): Ages 13+
This documentary features Leonardo DiCaprio and discusses complicated issues related to climate change.
ReGeneration (2010): Ages 14+
This documentary explores apathy and cynicism among today’s youth and explores the value of questioning the status quo and teaching kids that their one voice can make a difference and influence change.
This Changes Everything (2015): Ages 14+
This documentary promotes caring for Earth and nature and focuses on positive action.
Additional Resources for Learning About Climate Change
- American Association for the Advancement of Science
- American Geophysical Union
- American Meteorological Society
- American Physical Society
- The Geological Society of America
- U.S. Global Change Research Program
- Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change