Climate change anxiety

Extensive coverage in the media of events linked to climate change in Australia and overseas has resulted in many students feeling intense climate anxiety. They may feel worried, angry or frustrated, and may wonder what they can do to help. This lesson supports students to create practical strategies to reduce their climate anxiety.

Year Level

7-12

Duration

5 minutes

Type

  • In class activity

SEL Competencies

  • Self-management
  • Self-awareness

Learning Intention

  • Students investigate actions they can take to cope with climate anxiety.

Key Outcomes

By the end of the lesson, students will be able to:

  • identify practical strategies for coping with climate anxiety.
Activity 01

Instructions 5 min

Increasing natural disasters, and media coverage linking these events to climate change in Australia and overseas, may make students feel worried, angry and frustrated. Terms such as ‘ecoanxiety’ and ‘ecological grief’ are increasingly being used by researchers to describe the feelings students are experiencing.

  1. Provide students with access to ReachOut.com’s article ‘How to cope with anxiety about climate change’.
  2. Invite students to read the article and explore the suggestions provided.
  3. Mind map with students (either on a shared digital space such as Google Docs or in hard-copy form – e.g. butcher’s paper, window, whiteboard) the key ideas of the article.
  4. Ask students to write or draw how they will contribute to slowing climate change. Ideas include not using single-use plastics, implementing recycling at home, promoting a low-carbon footprint in their community, or joining advocacy organisations such as AYCC (Australian Youth Climate Coalition).