• Audience
    Secondary school
  • Learning stage
    Stage 4, Stage 5, Stage 6
  • Learning area
    Climate change, Geography
  • Type
    Learning journey, Teaching resources

On this page...

Learning journeys offer a scaffolded approach to exploring a topic both in the classroom and at the Museum. Follow our learning journey to deepen your students’ knowledge and understanding of climate change and sustainability.

Climate change is the greatest threat to humanity and the diversity of life on Earth. We are already experiencing the effects of climate change in Australia including horrific bushfires, severe drought, extinction of species, altered biomes, impacts on mental and physical health, and economic losses. Scientists predict that without a concerted effort by the global community these impacts will continue to worsen.

Through this learning journey, students will:

  • identify the causes and effects of climate change in Australia
  • describe the effects of climate change on the Great Barrier Reef
  • explore local solutions to climate change

NSW syllabus outcomes: GE4-1, GE4-2, GE4-3, GE4-4, GE4-5, GE5-1, GE5-2, GE5-3, GE5-4, GE5-5.

Prepare your students

  • An Acknowledgement of Country is a statement that pays respect to the Traditional Custodians of the Country that you are learning or meeting on and recognises their ongoing relationship with Country. The Australian Museum respects and acknowledges the Gadigal people as the Custodians of the land on which the Museum stands.

    Which First Nations Country or Nation was your school built upon? If you are unsure contact a local First Nations organisation to find out. You might like to start with the NSW Aboriginal Land Council and the Aboriginal Education Consultative Group.

    Ask your students to write an Acknowledgement of Country for your school. To get them started, read more about why an Acknowledgement of Country is important and how to write one in this ABC article.

  • What has changed and why?
    Go to the Australian Museum’s Climate Change website. Read the sections ‘About climate change’ and ‘Climate change impacts’ to stimulate a class discussion about climate change.

    What is climate change? What has caused it? How has it already affected Australia? How have you, or how do you think you will be affected by climate change?

  • The Australian Museum's Lizard Island research station
    Watch the video and complete the questions in this classroom activity to learn more about research being conducted at the Australian Museum's Lizard Island Research Station.

  • Discuss and reiterate the causes and effects of climate change in Australia
    To conclude, play this Climate change Kahoot! and discuss the main ideas. Then as a group create a list of things your class hopes to learn about when they visit the Climate change exhibition.

    You are now ready to visit the Australian Museum!

At the Museum

  • Visit and explore our Changing Climate exhibition which showcases the causes and effects of, and innovative solutions to, climate change in Australia.

    Read our tips on how to use exhibitions.

    Climate change interactive

  • Use our Changing Climate exhibition insights while in the gallery. These activities are designed to encourage your students to connect, share and reflect on this topic through the specimens and items on display.

    We recommend that your students work in small groups however how you implement and manage the activities is up to you.

Back in the classroom

  • Climate change: causes, impacts and solutions
    People have different perspectives on climate change that can depend on their age, culture, job or where they live. Watch these short videos on how climate change can affect people from all walks of life.

  • A digital photo album: local solutions to climate change
    Raise your students’ awareness of solutions to climate change by creating a digital photo album using presentation software, or submitting their photos to the Australian Museum’s Capturing Climate Change exhibition.

  • Cultural burning
    In recent years there has been increased awareness of First Nations cultural burning practices and the important role they play in caring for Country. Watch this video to learn more about the work being done by the Bega Local Aboriginal Land Council and how cultural burning could help to reduce the severity of Australian bushfires.