This article examines the highlights of a report from the Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health (MSCCH) which examines eight different ways that climate changes are affecting human health.

Getting Started

Appropriate Subject Area(s):

Environmental studies, world issues

Key Questions to Explore:

  • What climate changes are occurring?
  • How are these changes affecting human health?

New Terminology:


Materials Needed:

Copies of the article for the students

Study and Discussion Activity

Introduction to lesson and task:

We continue to hear about climate change and its impact on our environment. We hear of the threat it is posing to the world’s species – everything from polar bears to bees – and to our climate and food supplies. More attention, however, needs to be paid to the effect it is having on human health and the report from the MSCCH, the Canadian Public Health Association and the Canadian Medical Association help to do this. This lesson will use this article to focus the attention of the students on these threats to our health to help them appreciate the urgent need to address climate change.

Action (lesson plan and task):

  • Start the lesson by asking the students to outline some of the effects that climate change is having.
  • Once they have established their list, indicate to them that this lesson will focus on the effects climate change is having on human health.
  • Divide the class into groups of five or six and ask them to list the effects they think climate change is having on human health.

Consolidation of Learning:

  • Allow them time to complete the task and then have each group report their ideas and compile an inclusive list
Success and Additional Learning

Success Criteria:

The students will:

  • Be able to outline some of the effects that climate change is having on our world.
  • Be able to explain specifically some of the threats that climate change is presenting to human health.

Confirming Activity:

  • Once the groups have presented and discussed their reports give the students a copy of the article to read.
  • Once they have read the article, hold a plenary session during which the students can offer their reactions to what they have just read and discuss any ideas that they may have as a result.