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Climate Change, Movement & Play


K, 1st, 2nd


Science, Earth and Space Sciences, Health


50 minutes

Regional Focus

North America, United States, USA - Northeast, New Jersey


Google Docs, Google Slides


This lesson plan is licensed under Creative Commons.

Creative Commons License

Take It to the Forest

Created By Teacher:
Last Updated:
Apr 24, 2024
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This lesson introduces students to the relationship between health and climate change through play and movement. 

Step 1 - Inquire: Students complete an exercise warm-up and wonder about the question "Why am I breathing so hard?"

Step 2 - Investigate: Students play a game focusing on exercise, the carbon cycle, and climate change.

Step 3 - Inspire: Students discuss ways in which they can help address climate change, such as planting trees.

Accompanying Teaching Materials
Teaching Tips


  • This lesson can be adapted to all environments and spaces.
  • Students will understand the importance of trees.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Teachers should be familiar with the basics of climate change and the carbon cycle.
  • Teachers should become familiar with the Take It to the Forest Game and set up the game before students arrive to class.
  • Make sure to steer students away from possible misconceptions. Some students may think that:
    • Fewer trees is a good thing so there is more carbon dioxide for humans to breathe.
    • Breathing is bad because humans are creating more carbon dioxide.


  • The game is designed to have independent work happening within a group and whole class setting. As such, modifications for students with needs are inherently built into the game, as each student is performing what they need to be successful.
  • The game can be modified for classrooms and gyms that have limited space by adjusting the exercise activities and reducing the size of the circle pattern the students travel through.
  • Safety issues about spatial awareness and proper exercising techniques should be reviewed before starting the game.
  • Reminders for students to "honor the game" might be necessary.
  • Students with mobility limitations can go at their own pace and work with a partner if needed. Depending on the situation, the partner can assist or take directions from the student.
Scientist Notes

This lesson allows students to learn about the importance of trees in addressing climate change and improving air quality. Students get to play an interactive game to understand why we should conserve and restore the forests. The lesson has no scientific misconceptions, and all materials are well-sourced. This is recommended for teaching.


This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

Primary Standards

  • Comprehensive Health & Physical Education
    • Personal and Mental Health
      • 2.1.2.CHSS.4: Describe how climate change affects the health of individuals, plants and animals.
    • Physical Wellness
      • 2.2.2.MSC.1: Perform a combination of sequences of locomotor movements and rhythmic activities (e.g., walking, balancing, hopping, skipping, running).
    • Safety
      • 2.3.2.HCDM.1: Explain the consequences on a person’s health if he or she does not have adequate food and a clean environment.
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