KIDS' (STR)HIKE FOR CLIMATE - Learning Resources
Welcome here! We're organizing a way to raise funds for climate-action organisations and to send a message to those with the power to make changes. The basic idea is simple: families who wish to participate can collect pledges for a “Kids’ (Str)hike for Climate,” and/or engage kids in an age-appropriate way to learn about climate and climate change. See the attached letter from Tamara Schwartzentruber, a Kaslo Homelinks mama, who was inspired to make this event happen!
A group hike for Kaslo Homelinks is being planned for September 24th, at 10am, to coincide with a major Fridays for Future global event. The hike will be an appropriate challenge level for a mixed-age group (Kaslo river trail) and little ones can be carried some or all of the way. Families who wish to participate individually can do their own hike between September 15th-25th.
Families will gather pledges for a climate or ecological action group that they want to support. Attached here is the pledge form used for keeping track of donations. Follow the link to vote on an organization where Homelinks pledges can be sent collectively. If there’s an organization you’d like to support instead that works for climate, ecology, and justice, go for it! We’re all working together on the same big project.
350.org is a large, international climate action organisation that uses a wide variety of actions to pressure governments and corporations to take meaningful action on climate. They describe themselves as follows: “We're an international movement of ordinary people working to end the age of fossil fuels and build a world of community-led renewable energy for all.” Their three-pronged approach includes demanding a fast and just transition to 100% renewable energy for all, a ban on all future fossil fuel exploration and development, and cutting off public and private funding for fossil fuel companies.
Fridays for Future Canada is a branch of an international grassroots, youth-led organization—yes, that’s Greta Thunberg in the picture on their main page, and the whole movement is modeled on the weekly climate strikes that she started, solo, sitting outside the Swedish Parliament every Friday (instead of being in school) at the age of 15. They support networking among local grassroots youth organizers to demand immediate, drastic change in the policies that prolong the age of fossil fuels and prevent us from powering down and shifting to sustainable energy sources. Fridays for Future strikes are no longer weekly in most places, but are coordinated in less frequent, more powerful actions, including a major worldwide action on September 24th that we’re linking with by doing our climate (str)hike on that date.
For Our Kids is a network of parents and grandparents in Canada fighting for a green, equitable, and just world for our kids and grandkids. They support local actions by networking between community-based groups to share resources and ideas, encouraging parents and others who care for kids to organize their own actions that fit the places where they live. For Our Kids will be sharing our Hike for Climate idea nationally within their network and encouraging other communities to take Kaslo’s idea and run (or rather hike?) with it.
One of the gentlest ways I've found to touch on hard topics is through picture books and novels. Here are a few that you could explore on the topic of environmental activism. The last link is to a book of easy-to-read young activist accounts and illustrations on a range of issues, including oil pipelines, water pollution, cyber bullying and gun violence.
In this lesson, students are introduced to the concept of “climate” and explore the world’s five major climates. In the activity, Climate Decoder, students color one part of a world map to figure out the different climates of that region. Students then combine maps and search for global climate patterns.
This UK website has some great ideas for experiments and projects connected to climate learning, such as graphing average global temperatures from 50 million years ago to present time, building a shoebox biome, or replicating the greenhouse effect in a water bottle.
Check out resources from National Geographic and NASA Climate Kids, including articles, activities, videos, and educator guides.
Activism from an Indigenous Canadian perspective, told through a short film about three superheroes (the Three Sisters) who are protecting Turtle Island and discussing environmentalism.
Our planet’s diverse, thriving ecosystems may seem like permanent fixtures, but we know they’re actually vulnerable to collapse. Jungles can become deserts, and reefs can become lifeless rocks. What makes one ecosystem strong and another weak in the face of change? This TedEd video explains that the answer, to a large extent, is biodiversity.
You can also check out the Wildlife Preservation of Canada Kids' Resources link, which will take you to six information sheets (or coloring sheets) on species at risk in our country.
This is the story of The Forest Fire and the Hummingbird with cartoon animation, narrated by Wangari Maathai. As a fire sweeps through the forest, the animals are transfixed, and unable to do anything. Only the tiny hummingbird has the strength of heart to try to put the fire out, one drop at a time. When discouraged and questioned by the other animals, the hummingbird responds: "I am doing what I can."
When exploring the topic of climate change with our children, I think it's important to focus on what we can do and how we can make a difference, so that we aren't causing too much stress with our adult problems. It's our job to hold the scary pieces that could lead to anxiety, letting children know that as adults, we're working on it. That said, we can all do our part to model and involve our children in making choices that contribute to caring for our earth ... whether that be gardening, composting, buying local, reducing plastic purchases, fixing things instead of buying new, or getting involved in a (str)hike to send a message to those in power. We can be little hummingbirds in a big world.