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New York DEP


6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th


Science, Earth and Space Sciences, English Language Arts, Engineering

Resource Types

  • Lesson Plan
  • Activity - Classroom
  • Project
  • Data
  • Worksheet

Regional Focus

Global, North America, United States, USA - Northeast, New York, New York City



Placing Climate Change in NYC

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  • This comprehensive lesson plan encourages students to consider shifts in weather and climate in and around New York City, journaling their recollections of experiences with extreme heat, increased rainfall, and increased flooding.
  • Students will have the opportunity to provide climate solutions in public service announcements and discuss their experience with the effects of climate change.
Teaching Tips


  • The lesson is thorough and includes objectives, a materials list, the methodology, a vocabulary list, discussion questions, extension activities, and printable worksheets.
  • The lesson encourages students to consider various climate change issues and how they relate to New York City through engaging journal prompts.
  • Designing a public service announcement encourages students to be creative and seek climate solutions.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students may need more vocabulary words defined than are provided in the vocabulary list.
  • Teachers may wish to show examples of public service announcements before assigning the lesson.
  • Some students may experience feelings of anxiety due to the information.
  • Two of the embedded links no longer work.


  • This lesson can become a cross-curricular assignment with English teachers first having students read the background information and complete the journal writing, math teachers working with the embedded graphs, and science or social studies teachers conducting whole-class resiliency projects, as noted in the Extension section.
  • Social studies teachers can have students research how young people in other countries would possibly respond to the journal prompts based on the weather data from those countries.
  • Students may benefit from having the background information as guided notes or a multimedia presentation rather than the large blocks of text. Alternatively, language arts students can practice summarizing by reading one section of the background in a small group and reporting a summary of the information to their classmates.
  • Teachers can give students time to channel overwhelming feelings into self-expression activities, such as making music, writing poetry, or creating visual art.
Scientist Notes
This resource from the New York City Department of Environmental Protection guides students in understanding how global climate change impacts NYC. Historical data and model projections show how a changing climate affects temperature, precipitation, sea level, and human health locally. The lesson cites all figures and provides numerous external links for further learning, though a few are broken. This resource is clear, engaging, and is recommended for teaching.

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

  • English Language Arts
    • Reading: Informational Text (K-12)
      • RI.6.5 Analyze how a particular sentence, paragraph, chapter, or section fits into the overall structure of a text and contributes to the development of the ideas.
      • RI.8.1 Cite the textual evidence and make relevant connections that most strongly support an analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
    • Writing (K-12)
      • W.8.10 Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, metacognition/self-correction, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.
    • Writing: History, Science & Technical Subjects (6-12)
      • WHST.6-8.9 Draw evidence from informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
  • Science
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • MS-ESS3-2. Analyze and interpret data on natural hazards to forecast future catastrophic events and inform the development of technologies to mitigate their effects.
      • HS-ESS3-1. Construct an explanation based on evidence for how the availability of natural resources, occurrence of natural hazards, and changes in climate have influenced human activity.
      • HS-ESS3-4. Evaluate or refine a technological solution that reduces impacts of human activities on natural systems.
  • Related Resources


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