Lesson Plans


Here are lesson plans related to Vanishing Ice for you to explore in your classroom. Lessons are organized by grade level and are annotated for you.

Scroll Down to see Primary and Secondary Lessons related to climate change impacts on

  •   Salmon
  •   Ocean
  •   Energy
  •   Water
  •   General Climate Change



Developed in New Zealand’s Antarctic Research Center, this lesson teaches how ice cores are used to interpret past changes in climate. Students learn the stages of snow transformation to ice and create art depicting this change. This activity may be done in your classroom or as the workshop portion of your classes’ visit to Vanishing Ice. The activity was originally designed for the 2012 PolarTrec project. For more information  go to www.polartrec.com.

Ice Core Art Lesson Plan

Ice Core Art workshop PowerPoint

Snow to ice image





Impact of Climate Change to Chinook Salmon

  •  Grade  5-8
  •  This activity links northwest salmon populations to climate change by understanding sea surface temperature change and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation.


Students For Salmon – NSEA

  •  Grade  4
  •  An NSEA (Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association) hands-on environmental science program for fourth grade students in Whatcom County.  The Students for Salmon program teaches the basics of salmon and stream ecology while reinforcing values of stream stewardship, including both teacher and NSEA-led lessons and field experiences. 



Taking Care of Our Oceans – SCIENCE AND ART

  •  Grades K-2
  •  A National Geographic Education Lesson Plan that asks students to evaluate dense coastal populations impact on marine life and beach life. It encourages and offers opportunities to integrate art and design into this lesson. 

 Do Ocean Surface Currents Influence Climate?

  •   Grades 5-8
  •   Students construct climographs for 3 coastal cities and describe how ocean surface currents affect climate on land.


BRIDGE: An Ocean of Free Teacher-Approved Marine Biology lesson plans

Link leads to kindergarten but use tab on left for other age groups

  •   Grade K-12
  •   Links to K through 12 Curricula regarding free marine science educational materials available from an array of institutions including the Oregon Institute of Marine Science and Lawrence Hall of Science’s MARE (Marine Activities, Resources and Education). Many of the activities touch on human impact on the ocean. 



Using plants to save energy

  •  Grade 3-5
  •  A Discovery Channel Education and OPEI (Outdoor Power Equipment Institute) lesson plan that allows students the chance to explore the concept of how green space helps control temperatures.



Water in my World

  •   Grades K-2
  •   A K-2 activity that teaches students how little of our water is actually usable and the importance of conserving water. They will consider how they use water every day and where their supply of water comes from and investigate how layers of soil work as a filter.



Bottle Habitat

  •  Grades 5-8
  •  This activity uses a water bottle to demonstrate the effects of global warming by investigating the focus question: What is needed for a healthy aquatic ecosystem, and what will happen when the balance is disrupted due to climate change?


Which Location is Best for Me?

  •  Grades 5-8
  •  Students will learn the difference between weather and climate, gather climatic data for different locations around the world, and use their data to complete a climate challenge scenario


PBS lesson plan on global warming

  • A lesson plan that introduces and elaborates on global warming and its causes and consequences. A good introductory environmental science activity that integrates PBS published articles and includes a final project in the lesson plan.