Lesson Series
My Carbon Footprint

My Carbon Footprint

Unit Overview

Through readings, activities and discussions, students follow the story of a wildfire that has caused Aunt Kitty to evacuate her home. This extreme weather event frames the inquiry into carbon footprint. Coco and her friends learn how lifestyle choices influence global warming and climate change. They also learn ways individuals and their families can decrease their carbon footprints. 


  • Kindergarten
  • Grade 1
  • Grade 2

Lesson Type

In-class or online lesson

Environmental Topics

Climate Change, Disasters and Conflicts, Environmental Justice, Green Guardianship, Sustainable Human Development

Environmental Literacy Core Principles

For a summary of the environmental literacy principles and concepts embedded in this lesson series, please visit Green Guardians Environmental Literacy Core Principles.


ELA: RL.K.1, RL.K.2, SL.K.1, SL.K.2, SL.K.3, SL.K.5, SL.K.6, W.K.2, W.K.7, RL.1.1, RL.1.2, SL.1.1, SL.1.2, SL.1.3, SL.1.5, SL.1.6, L.1.4, L.1.5, W.1.2, W.1.8, RL.2.1, RL.2.3, RL.2.7, W.2.2, W.2.8, SL.2.1, SL.2.2, SL.2.3, SL.2.5, SL.2.6
Math: 1.OA.A.1, 2.OA.A.1
Science: K-PS3-1, K-ESS2-1, K-ESS3-3


Teacher Guide

This project may easily be extended into optional family discussions and activities around a family’s carbon footprint and ways to reduce it. To facilitate this engagement, a family guide has been created which teachers may choose to forward to interested parents and guardians. 

Family Guide (English)


Three lessons of 30-40 minutes each and an optional project.

Lesson 1: Disaster Strikes

Through a story and related activities, students discuss the impact of global warming on climate change and talk about wildfires as one example of an extreme weather event. They define global warming. They observe the human and environmental effects of wildfires and learn that the Earth’s climate is changing due to human activity.

Lesson 2: How Big Is My Carbon Footprint?

Through a story and related activities, students learn what a carbon footprint is and how human activity affects it. They discuss whether individuals can reduce their carbon footprint enough to make a difference in slowing global warming. They also answer questions to find out the size of their own carbon footprint and reflect on ways to make it smaller.

Lesson Materials

Lesson 3: Make a Smaller Carbon Footprint!

Through a story and related activities, students think of how they can reduce their carbon footprints, focusing on the way they use food, waste, electricity, and water at home. They find out how they can reduce their carbon footprint at home and take up Green Guardian challenges to make their carbon footprint smaller.

Lesson Materials

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