2nd Edition

Teaching Climate Change for Grades 6–12 Activating Science Teachers to Take on the Climate Crisis Through NGSS

By Kelley T. Lê Copyright 2025
    248 Pages 40 B/W Illustrations
    by Eye On Education

    248 Pages 40 B/W Illustrations
    by Eye On Education

    Looking to tackle climate change and climate science in your classroom? This timely and insightful book supports secondary science teachers in developing effective curricula around the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) by grounding their instruction on the climate crisis. This new edition focuses on meeting teachers where they are in their teaching and learning while tending to various contexts, communities, and cultures to activate educators in understanding and responding to the climate crisis in this moment. Chapters offer design and implementation support for 21st century learning experiences centered around the climate emergency for meaningful engagement. Dr. Lê provides an overview of the teaching shifts needed for the NGSS using climate change as the vehicle of instruction. She also supports climate literacy for students and teachers via urgent topics in climate science and environmental justice. Teachers will also learn how to engage with the complexities of climate change by exploring social, racial, and environmental injustices stemming from the climate crisis that directly impact their students. Examples of successful applications of these learning experiences are new to the second edition, as well as added activities and overall updates to research and data. By anchoring instruction on the climate emergency through an intersectional lens starting with teachers’ core beliefs and values, Dr. Lê offers guidance on how educators can activate students as agents of change for their own communities.

    Introduction  Part 1: Looking Back to Move Forward  1. Reimagining Science Teaching  2. Leveraging the NGSS for Climate Education  Part 2: Developing Scientific Literacy Using Climate Science  3. Climate Change is Complex, Where Do I Start?  4. Climate Change as the Anchor  Part 3: Practices That Build Capacity for Student Agency  5. Planning and Teaching for Transformation  6. Education as the Catalyst for Climate Action 


    Kelley T. Lê is the Executive Director of the University of California (UC) and California State University (CSU) Environmental and Climate Change Literacy Projects (ECCLPs), USA.

    "We cannot successfully teach climate education without addressing the social inequities embedded within climate change itself. Kelley does a great job of breaking down the layers of climate justice for teachers. Teachers will appreciate the transformative approach to make climate change education more digestible for themselves and for their students while inspiring all to develop resiliency, agency, and stewardship."

    Emily Walker, Education Coordinator, EARTHDAY.ORG, USA.

    "We know that most Americans are concerned about climate change and want to do something about it in their communities. Young people are demanding a relevant and humane education that helps them navigate these increasingly turbulent times, yet many of their teachers report feeling unprepared to teach climate change, partially due to the overwhelming magnitude of the issue. Luckily, Kelley Lê has written a book for educators who are interested in bringing climate change science into their classrooms in productive and helpful ways that honor student agency. This is a book grounded in both research-based practices and the practical wisdom of someone with years of climate change education experience behind them. Lê uses climate change science and its implications to rethink the purposes and practices of science education within the purview of the Next Generation Science Standards. Educators who pick up this book will learn how to move from scientific fact and concern toward tangible action in their communities, thus helping to raise a generation of hopeful and resourceful planetary stewards."

    Joseph A. Henderson, Associate Professor, Paul Smith’s College, USA.

    "Dr. Kelley Lê's book provides secondary science teachers with the essential tools to holistically and justly teach about climate change in their classrooms. While this book has practical examples and resources for educators to craft their lessons to meet NGSS standards, it also allows educators to re-imagine science education in a way that considers equity, justice, and values.  I wholeheartedly recommend this book as it provides the invaluable opportunity to pause and reflect on the profound role we play as educators in shaping the future."

    Margaret Wang, Co-Founder and Chief Operating Officer, SubjectToClimate, USA.

    "Climate education is the solution to the climate crisis, and Dr. Lê's book is a key resource for showing the way. This detailed guide is built on her extensive collaborations with educators who engage students in justice-centered climate learning and action. It is filled with what educators and educational leaders need: transformative ideas and approaches integrated into detailed lesson plans for interdisciplinary instruction coupled with the expert guidance of those who have taken up this work."

    Philip Bell, The Shauna C. Larson Chair in Learning Sciences, University of Washington, USA.

    "Climate change is just two small words that encompasses so much. We’ve been bombarded with decades of information telling us it’s too complicated to understand, and if you do understand it, then it’s too late to do anything, and if you want to do something then look elsewhere. For an educator it is both the most important and the most emotionally challenging current event to teach about. Teaching for Climate Change for Grades 6-12 by Dr. Kelley Lê is an incredible resource that not only shares professional development for educators to grow their confidence, but is also a compassionate guide through the challenges of teaching about an ongoing crisis."

    Ashley Herrmann, Former Director of Education, Our Climate Our Future, USA.

    "If you are a secondary teacher integrating climate science into your curriculum, the only book you need to read is Dr. Kelley Lê's Teaching Climate Change for Grades 6-12. Not only does she provide a practical, hands-on roadmap to teaching climate change that is aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), she also equips teachers with the knowledge and tools to navigate the complexities of climate change and its intersections with social, racial, and environmental injustices. No other book comes close to practical ways to teach climate science!"

    Jennifer Cao, Special Projects Coordinator, ECCLPs, USA.

    "The societal challenges that teachers must consider in preparing young people for the 21st Century are massive. While a science classroom may not be the appropriate venue to tackle fraught topics like sexism and gender equality, racism and the history of colonialism that understandably concern many young people, the topic of climate change and related human impacts on diversity are not only appropriate but imperative to focus on.  Kelley Lê’s Teaching Climate Change for Grades 6-12 describes with practical detail how to use climate change as an integrating and interdisciplinary theme, buttressed by the Next Generation Science Standards, as an anchor to convey critical thinking and informed decisions that can be applied to these overlapping issues."

    Mark McCaffrey, Co-Founder, CLEAN (Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness Network), USA.

    "Teaching climate change in the right way holds immense value for today's students, equipping them with the knowledge necessary to confront their anxieties. It is the unknown that often amplifies their fears. In her exceptional book Teaching Climate Change for Grades 6-12, Kelley Lê presents her creative ideas for how you can engage all students with this crucial subject."

    Richard Vevers, Founder and CEO, The Ocean Agency, USA.