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Tamariki climate change curriculum resources

Reliable resources

These resources support you to effectively integrate environmental education for sustainability across the curriculum, and strengthen the focus on hauora and wellbeing within the framework of Te Whāriki, upon which we stand. In doing so we will naturally be educating for a climate changing future.

Website links with activities for tamariki

Kids Greening Taupo

Kids Greening Taupō have created the Online Nature Classroom to connect tamariki to nature and help them to understand the importance of biodiversity.

This website includes a range of resources for tamariki and educators based on climate change education.

The Circular Economy, a new way to design, make, and use things

This link is to an animation video on the website The kid should see this created by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation.

Two tamariki reading together on synthetic grass.

Image caption: What is the environment tamariki experience teaching them about a sustainable future?

Pukapuka | Books

You can download this list of books as a PDF.

Climate change books to use with tamariki (1MB PDF)

book cover of A climate in chaos

Title: A climate in chaos

Author: Neal Layton

Neal Layton explains what climate change is, what's causing it, and why it's dangerous for animals and humans alike. The book has a lot of ideas for how we can help.

Book cover of Aroha knows

Title: Aroha knows

Author: Rebekah Lipp and Craig Phillips

Aroha knows that nature is there for you and for me. Throughout Aroha knows, Aroha and her friends experience our amazing world, and this picture book explores how nature can benefit our wellbeing.

 Book cover of Change starts with us

Title: Change starts with us

Author: Sophie Beer

This board book celebrates small acts of green living that can have a big impact on the environment. 

 Book cover of Climate change: The choice is ours

Title: Climate change, the choice is ours: The facts, our future, and why there’s hope!

Author: David Miles

A lively encyclopedia. This reference book explains topics related to climate change, such as deforestation, the greenhouse effect, sea levels, and agriculture. The language is more advanced, but key terms are defined throughout.

 Book cover of Compost stew

Title: Compost stew

Author: Mary Elizabeth McKenna Siddals

A lyrical guide to turning the bits and pieces from our homes and gardens that we no longer need into rich, nutritious compost stew – a treat for the earth. 

 Book cover of Dear earth

Title: Dear earth

Author: Isabel Otter

This picture book celebrates the wonders of our world and reminds us that if we all work together to spread the message that earth is special and worth saving, we can keep our planet beautiful. 

 Book cover of Does earth feel?

Title: Does earth feel?

Author: Marc Majewski

This picture book asks fourteen critical questions to encourage active thinking and discussion about our planet. This narrative follows the planet’s relationship with humans and engages with themes around empathy and environmentalism. A book to spark conversations and inspire a new generation of young leaders.

 Book cover of E is for environment

Title: E is for environment

Author: Lucy Curran

This concept book uses the alphabet to connect to the natural world around us and how to protect it. 

 Book cover of Five little men in a flying saucer

Title: Five little men in a flying saucer

Author: Child’s Play International Ltd

When five little men come to visit earth from outer space, they don't like what they see. By the end of this much-loved counting song, the world becomes a better place to visit. 

Book cover of How we can reduce pollution  Title: How we can reduce pollution

Author: Emmaline Marvig

The story and illustrations in this big book will inspire us all to work together on ways to reduce pollution and make our planet cleaner and healthier.

Book cover of If polar bears disappeared

Title: If polar bears disappeared

Author: Lily Williams

An illustrated, narrative, non-fiction picture book that imagines the consequences of a world without polar bears. The Arctic is home to many different kinds of animals. But now their habitat is melting at an alarming rate.

 Book cover for Looking after our planet

Title: Looking after our planet

Author: Katie Daynes

This book explains simply and effectively what's going wrong with our planet and what we can all do to help – from reducing greenhouse gas emissions and farming responsibly to protecting our forests, oceans, and endangered animals. 

 Book cover for Moth: An evolution story

Title: Moth: An evolution story

Author: Isabel Thomas

Using a moth species in 19th century England as a true example, this picture book showcases why living things need the environment to survive, and what happens when that environment changes. 

 Book cover for My forest is green Title: My forest is green

Author: Darren Lebeuf

A boy explores his urban forest, then interprets it through his art. The boy is a keen observer who uses poetic, rhythmic language to describe the diversity he finds through all four seasons.

 Book cover of My friend earth Title: My friend earth

Author: Patricia MacLaclan

My friend earth is an introduction to earth’s seasonality as well as her countless creatures, as the personification of earth wakes in spring to wonder at and watch over the animals in her care.

 Book cover of New Zealand Nature Heroes Title: New Zealand nature heroes

Author: Gillian Candler

Although written for a slightly older audience than the 0-6 age, this locally-grown book includes a wealth of imagery and facts about native animals, plants, habitats, and activities to support children’s interest and involvement in conserving their local environment.

 Book cover of Nā wai ēnei? Title: Nā wai ēnei? (Who do these belong to?)

Author: Sharon Holt

This book prompts tamariki to think about why are Tangaroa and his tamariki feeling angry and upset? The ocean is filling up with rubbish – who can help? It incorporates te reo Māori and English and comes with a sing along CD and downloadable audio.

 Book cover of Ngā Atua Māori Title: Ngā Atua Māori

Author: Sharon Holt

This book connects the Māori Gods with children as guardians of the environment, using beautiful illustrations and a captivating song. It incorporates te reo Māori and English and comes with a sing along CD and downloadable audio.

 Book cover of Old enough to save the planet Title: Old enough to save the planet

Author: Loll Kirby

This book looks at young, climate change activists who are changing the world.

 Book cover of One world

Title: One world

Author: Michael Foreman

A picture book about the threat of pollution to the environment, particularly the seashore. It focuses on siblings who create their own tiny marine world in a bucket. 

 Book cover of Our environment

Title: Our environment

Author: Jacques Pasquet

The environment is an essential but sometimes tough and weighty concept to grasp. This non-fiction book takes readers back to the basics, offering an accessible overview of what makes-up our environment, how those parts work, and why they matter.

 Book cover of Our planet: The one place we all call home

Title: Our planet: The one place we all call home

Author: Matt Whyman

This book explores ways that we can work together to protect the natural wonders of our world through photography, artworks, and information that complements David Attenborough’s award-winning documentary series, Our planet.

 Book cover of Our planet: There's no place like earth

Title: Our planet! There's no place like earth

Author: Stacy McAnulty

What is in store for earth now and in the near future? In answer to the call for ways to talk with kids about climate change, this is not a book about fear, but about hope, cooperation, and human resourcefulness.

 Book cover of Our wriggly worm farm

Title: Our wriggly worm farm

Author: Emmaline Marvig

An educational and fun big book all about worm farms and how they support our environment. 

 Book cover of Papatūānuku has a tummy ache!

Title: Papatūānuku has a tummy ache!

Author: AJ Copping

This book introduces tamariki to the issue of filling our landfills with rubbish and how, if we listen to Papatūānuku (Earth Mother), we can help make a difference to benefit the environment.

 Book cover of Please help planet earth

Title: Please help planet earth!

Author: Ladybird

For young children, this book is an introduction to help them understand and engage with the issue of climate change. It contains simple, easy tips for children to follow and is an eco-friendly product itself – made from recycled board, with plant-based inks and glues with minimal plastic content.

 Book cover of Polar bear, why is your world melting?

Title: Polar bear, why is your world melting?

Author: Robert E. Wells

The book introduces the greenhouse effect with illustrations showing how the sun’s light gets trapped, before progressing into different types of fossil fuels and why we rely so heavily on them for electricity and transportation. 

Book cover of Protecting the planet  Title: Protecting the planet

Author: Louise Spilsbury

A picture book about the effects of littering, pollution, and global warming, and how we can care for the earth.

 Book cover of Saving water

Title: Saving water

Author: Emmaline Marvig

An educational and fun big book all about learning that saving water is a vital and rewarding part of living sustainably. 

 Book cover of Stand up! Speak up!

Title: Stand up! Speak up!

Author: Andrew Joyner

This is a story of hope, and how children can change the world by making greener life choices for themselves and their families.

Book cover of Taihoa, e hoa!  Title: Taihoa, e hoa!

Author: Sharon Holt

This book encourages us to think differently about rubbish, by looking at new ways to reuse, repurpose, and recycle. It incorporates te reo Māori and English and comes with a sing along CD and downloadable audio.

 Book cover of Te Taiao

Title: Te taiao

Author: Sharon Holt

This book encourages us to sit, listen, and look at the natural world all around us. It incorporates te reo Māori and English and comes with a sing along CD and downloadable audio.

 Book cover of Thank you, earth: A love letter to our planet

Title: Thank you, earth: A love letter to our planet

Author: April Pulley Sayre

This photography book captures plants, animals, landscapes, and weather in vivid colours and textures. From up close images of tiny insects and flower buds, to panoramic vistas of towering forests and mountain ranges, the pages introduce children to the diversity of the planet in a simple but effective way. 

 Book cover of Tale of a toothbrush

Title: Tale of a toothbrush

Author: M.G. Leonard

This is the story of Sammy the toothbrush going from a useful household item to just another piece of plastic rubbish polluting our earth and the ocean. The book gives ideas for how to reuse items such as toothbrushes.

 Book cover of The giant and the sea

Title: The giant and the sea

Author: Trent Jamieson

This story centres around climate strike action and the dangers of industrialisation. It is a lyrical and moving story about climate change, standing up for what you believe in, and the power of hope.

 Book cover of The Lorax

Title: The Lorax

Author: Dr Seuss

This classic story warns of the dangers of exploiting the planet’s natural resources. Thanks to its rhyme and whimsical illustrations, the cautionary tale is appropriate for younger audiences who are learning about the scarcity and fragility of natural resources. 

 Book cover of The magic school bus and the climate challenge Title: The magic school bus and the climate challenge

Author: Joanna Cole and Bruce Degen

Part of the Magic school bus series, this book follows Ms. Frizzle’s class on one of her eccentric field trips – this time to survey all the places on earth that are changing due to global warming.

 Book cover of The mess that we made Title: The mess that we made

Author: Michelle Lord

This book explores the environmental impact of trash and plastic on the ocean and marine life, and it inspires children to do their part to combat pollution.

 Book cover of The story of climate change

Title: The story of climate change

Author: Catherine Barr and Steve Williams

Children will learn about the causes of climate change and the effects that climate change has on humans and animals across the world. It also explores practical ways we can work together to solve it. 

 Book cover of The tantrum that saved the world

Title: The tantrum that saved the world

Author: Megan Herbert and Michael E. Mann

This part environmental story, part ode to community action, and part blueprint for building a better world – together, for all of us. 

 Book cover of The waterhole

Title: The waterhole

Author: Graeme Base

As seasons bring forth drought and flood, they gather there as one. This a fusion of counting book, puzzle book, storybook, and art book. Through a journey of discovery, from the plains of Africa, the jungles of the Amazon, to the woodlands of North America and the deserts of outback Australia. 

 Book cover of To change a planet

Title: To change a planet

Author: Christina Soontornvat

The text and pictures invite readers on a journey that gently illuminates the causes of climate change as well as how our individual and collective actions can make the world better.

 Book cover of Uno's garden

Title: Uno’s garden

Author: Graeme Base

This book is about how we all unknowingly affect the environment around us, just by being there, and how we can always learn from our mistakes and find ways of doing things better. It is a blend of storybook, puzzle book, and maths book.

 Book cover of We are water protectors Title: We are water protectors

Author: Carole Lindstrom

This book weaves a narrative poem through illustrated pages, paying homage to the indigenous tribal nations that are working to protect earth’s natural resources.

 Book cover of We planted a tree Title: We planted a tree

Author: Diane Muldrow

This poetic picture book with environmental themes, follows two young families in two very different parts of the world who each plant a tree. As the trees flourish and help clean the air, enrich the soil, and give fruit and shade, so do the families.

 Book cover of What does it mean to be green?

Title: What does it mean to be green?

Author: Rana DiOrio

In this empowering book, a young boy and girl discover amazing facts and explore all the different ways they can help protect the earth's most precious resources to save the planet and live "green" lifestyles.

 Book cover of What is climate change?

Title: What is climate change?

Author: Gail Herman

Learn more about what climate change means and how it's affecting our planet. The earth is definitely getting warmer. There's no argument about that, but who or what is the cause? 

 Book cover of Willodeen Title: Willodeen

Author: Katherine Applegate

This chapter book explores how ecosystems are interconnected. The story follows a young girl who loves all creatures. Though written for older children, this book is appropriate for younger children as a read-aloud.

 Book cover of You can change the world Title: You can save the world

Author: Lucy Bell

This practical guide is designed to empower children to make changes in their lives to help make a difference in the world. Filled with information, ideas, activities, and interspersed with features on children from around the world.