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Kaiako climate change curriculum resources

This page has many resources for you as kaiako to use in your early learning service or to learn more about climate change.

Find what you need under the following headings:

A child collecting up rubbish in the bush with a rubbish bag

Image caption: What activities are you already doing that could be extended around educating for a climate-changing future?

Activities and printables

Curriculum links

Pages on this site with useful information



Further early childhood resources

Te Papa's publication: It's a bug's life

Te Papa Tongarewa, in conjunction with three early childhood centres, has developed a comprehensive guide on scientific literacy, providing examples of practice, teaching strategies, and resources that align to the Ministry of Education’s five science capabilities. It explains: “Scientific literacy is essential in today’s society. By enabling young children to investigate the living world, you’ll help them to build confidence, broaden their interests, develop scientific thinking skills, and build knowledge”.

Te Whatu Pōkeka

This is a useful foundation for considering and discussing a te ao Māori worldview in relation to science in early learning services. It also contains examples of practice, some of which link well to promoting scientific thinking and learning.

Kei Tua o Te Pae – Book 13 Exploration

This is a useful foundation for considering and discussing a te ao Māori worldview in relation to science in early learning services. It also contains examples of practice, some of which link well to promoting scientific thinking and learning.

More curriculum link resources

The Science Learning Hub | Pokapū Akoranga Pūtaiao

Explore New Zealand science education resources

Pūtātara | A call to action

The Pūtātara Toolkit provides information and links on a range of resources that kaiako will find helpful in teaching and learning about sustainability and global citizenship in Aotearoa New Zealand.

  • Tūrangawaewae | Understanding where I stand
  • Kaitiakitanga | Caring for people and place
  • Whakapuāwai | Flourishing ever forward

Education for Sustainability

This link has school resources providing learning related to current global, national, and local policies, protocols, and agreements.

Kete Aronui – taking climate action

These activities can be facilitated with tamariki within both the early learning sector and schools by kaiako. Each activity provides instructions, links to the curriculum (Te Whāriki and The New Zealand Curriculum) and links to Enviroschools theme areas and activities.

(Source: Northland Enviroschools Team, Northland Regional Council)

Stories of practice

New stories are regularly uploaded to Enviroschools website.

These stories highlight the mahi of many mokopuna and kaiako throughout the motu as they establish meaningful relationships, explore purposeful connections, and engage in mana-enhancing communication and actions, through learning in, about and for the environment.

Each story gives insights to practical and purposeful steps taken to as mokopuna develop and deepen their understandings of how to ‘tiaki’ (to care, protect, conserve, or save) the environment, through positive climate action, one purposeful step at a time.

These current stories of practice are from early learning services who are involved in the Enviroschools network.


You can download the following list of books as a PDF document.

Climate change resource books for kaiako (516KB PDF) 

Book cover of Aroha 

Title: Aroha

Author: Dr Hinemoa Elder

A book full of timeless wisdom of Māori proverbs – 52 traditional Māori sayings explained by respected Māori psychiatrist Dr Hinemoa Elder, showing us how we can live better lives, in harmony with the planet.

 Book cover of Caring for the environment

Title: Caring for the environment

Author: Des Hunt

This book explores how everyone can be good global citizens through case studies and practical suggestions. The I'm a global citizen series explores the concept of global citizenship: recognising that the world we live in is unfair and unequal, but promoting individual and collective action to challenge and change this.

 Book cover of Climate Aotearoa

Title: Climate Aotearoa

Editor: Helen Clark

Contributions from a range of climate scientists and commentators Rob Bell, Jason Boberg, Adelia Hallett, Sophie Handford, Rhys Jones, Haylee Koroi, Matt McGlone, Jamie Morton, Rod Oram, Jim Salinger, Kera Sherwood-O'Regan, Simon Thrush, and Andrew Jeffs. This book outlines the climate situation as it is now, and as it will be in the years to come.

 Book cover of Climate change

Title: Climate change

Author: John Woodward

Get the facts about how our planet’s climate is changing and what the consequences will be. This guide explores earth’s climate, past and present, giving you the facts and figures behind one of today’s most urgent issues, and investigates what we can all do to make a difference.

Book cover of How to talk to your kids about climate change   

Title: How to talk to your kids about climate change

Author: Harriet Shugarman

With catastrophic global warming already baked into the climate system, today's children face a future entirely unlike that of their parents. Yet how can we maintain hope and make a difference in the face of overwhelming evidence of the climate crisis? This book provides both hope and practical ways to engage children in pursuit of a better world that is still possible.

 Book cover of Climate change: Inside bubble earth  

Title: Climate change (Inside bubble earth)

Author: Des Hunt

Favourite Kiwi eco-fiction writer, Des Hunt, presents the facts about the changes in the world’s climate and the effects of human actions in this non-fiction resource. What causes climate? What changes climate? Des Hunt takes us on an in-depth look at the science of climate and what we can all do to help the earth thrive.

 Book cover of Last child in the woods

Title: Last child in the woods: Saving our children from nature deficit disorder

Author: Richard Louv

This is the first book to bring together a new and growing body of research indicating that direct exposure to nature is essential for healthy childhood development and for the physical and emotional health of children and adults. More than just raising an alarm, Louv offers practical solutions and simple ways to heal the broken bond – and many are right in our own backyard.

 Book cover for Listen to the earth

Title: Listen to the earth

Author: Carme Lemniscates

Here is a new and original framing of climate change and how to respond to it. Listen to the earth describes and illustrates in child-friendly terms the global societal changes and actions. We know what to do; all that is needed is the will to do it. In this call to action, the path ahead is illuminated by an optimistic faith in kids.

Book cover of Our world out of balance

Title: Our world out of balance: Understanding climate change and what we can do

Author: Andrea Minoglio

This is an introduction to climate change and other global environmental challenges for children. It does not traffic in fear. Instead, it presents the facts and shows what young people can do to help build a cleaner, safer, and more equitable future for the planet.

Book cover of Te taiao: Māori and the natural world

Title: Te taiao: Māori and the natural world

Author: Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand

In this richly illustrated book, Māori scholars and writers share the traditional knowledge passed down the generations by word of mouth. It provides a unique window on the relationship of the people of this land with their environment, as well as the profound knowledge and necessary skills they needed to survive here.

 Book cover of Teaching kids about climate change

Title: Teaching kids about climate change

Author: Tim Grant

This book is an essential toolkit for any educator looking for innovative programme ideas, games, and activities to engage children ages 6 to 14 in the topic of climate change. Its detailed, practical activities are designed to enhance climate literacy and to increase understanding and the many ways that individuals and communities can reduce their carbon footprint.

 Book cover of Indigenous Pacific approaches to climate change: Aotearoa / New Zealand  

Title: Indigenous Pacific approaches to climate change: Aotearoa / New Zealand

Author: Lyn Carter

Situating Māori Ecological Knowledge (MEK) within traditional environmental knowledge (TEK) frameworks, this book recognises that indigenous ecological knowledge contributes to our understanding of how we live in our world (our world views), and in turn, the ways in which humans adapt to climate change.

Book cover of 10 ideas to save the planet

Title: 10 ideas to save the planet

Author: Giuseppe D'Anna

One small action a day can make a difference. This book focuses on tips and everyday activities. It brings environmental conservation into your home, your classroom, and the real world.