Impacts of climate change | BCHydro Power Smart for Schools

Impacts of climate change

Learn about the impacts of forest fires, warming oceans and extreme weather events.

Activity Image
1 hour
Group work


Working in groups, read and discuss case studies about impacts of climate change and create a poster to share in a gallery walk. Discuss the posters and how climate change affects our environment and communities.


What you'll need

  • Chart paper and markers
  • “Impacts of climate change” case studies
  • “Impacts of climate change” worksheet
  • Laptops or other devices (optional) 

  1. Divide the class into small groups and give each group one of the “Impacts of climate change” case studies (oceans, extreme weather and Arctic). Divide the case studies evenly among the groups.
    • Have each group read their case study and work together to identify key ideas. 
    • Groups create a poster using words and images to represent the key ideas from their case study. 
    • If there’s time, students can research their topic and add more detail to their poster.
  2. Groups put up their posters in the classroom. Give each student the “Impacts of climate change” worksheet.
    • Students circulate around the room and look at the other posters.
    • As they circulate, they complete page 1 of the worksheet, summarizing three key ideas from three posters.
  3. Gather in a circle to discuss the case studies, posters and impacts of climate change. Discussion questions may include:
    • What surprised them? 
    • What did they learn? 
    • How does climate change affect the environment? 
    • How can climate change affect communities? 
    • What are some of the other impacts of climate change? 
    • What questions do they have? 
  4. Students reflect on their group work while reading the case study and creating their poster, using page 2 of the worksheet. 

Modify or extend this activity

  • We often think of the environmental impacts of climate change. Have students research and create a mind map of the economic impacts of a changing climate. 
  • Have students research climate change plans for your community. 
    • How might your community be impacted by climate change? 
    • What plans does your community have for managing the impacts climate change?

Curriculum Fit

Grade 7 Science

Big idea 

  • Earth and its climate have changed over geological time. 


  • Evidence of climate change over geological time and the recent impact of humans

Curricular competencies

Questioning and predicting
  • Demonstrate a sustained intellectual curiosity about a scientific topic or problem of personal interest
  • Consider social, ethical and environmental implications of the findings from their own and others’ investigations
Applying and innovating
  • Co-operatively design projects
  • Communicate ideas, findings and solutions to problems
  • Express and reflect on a variety of experiences and perspectives of place

Teaching Notes

Climate change is having an impact on ecosystems, economies and communities. The impacts of climate change include:

  • Increasing average temperature
  • More extreme weather events such as hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, droughts and forest fires
  • Rising sea levels from warming oceans and melting glaciers and sea ice
  • Changing weather patterns causing warmer, drier weather in some places and wetter, cooler weather in others
  • Changes to animal migration and habitat

This activity focuses on the impacts to oceans, the Arctic and extreme weather events. The ripple effect of warming temperatures and changing weather patterns impacts health and social well-being, economies, infrastructure and the environment.


  • Assess students’ Communication core competency development during group work.
  • Assess students’ understanding of the impacts of climate change using the “Impacts of climate change” worksheets.


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