How to Teach Kids About Global Warming in Spanish
Did you know that while some parents are still arguing about if climate change is real, others are already teaching their kids about global warming in Spanish?
Which kind of parent do you want to be?
Today, I’ll discuss what global warming is and how it differs from climate change, basing my arguments in recognized scientific institutions such as NASA and National Geographic. Then, I’ll explain why you should be teaching your kids about global warming in Spanish and how to do it. Finally, you’ll get useful Spanish vocabulary about this topic, and a few games and strategies to make it fun for your children.
What Is Global Warming?
According to NASA, global warming is “the long-term heating of Earth’s climate system observed since the pre-industrial period (1850-1900) due to human activities, primarily fossil fuel burning.”
Basically, the planet has increased its overall temperature by 1 degree Celsius since the pre-industrial period, and it’s still increasing at a pace of 0.2 degrees Celsius per decade!
Obviously, this increase in temperature in the shared planet we call “home” is worrying for many reasons, as it produces a series of drastic changes in the Earth’s climate.
How Does it Differ From Climate Change?
Although, it’s common to hear people talk about global warming and climate change as if they were the same thing, scientists actually use them with different meanings.
While global warming refers simply to the Earth’s increase in temperature, climate change refers to “the complex shifts now affecting our planet’s weather and climate systems—in part because some areas actually get cooler in the short term.”
We’ve all heard the stories about glaciers melting, and sea levels rising, or about extreme weather events (think about those recent big hurricanes and snowstorms) and the struggles that wild animals are going through as their ecosystems suffer drastic changes. All these events are what encompasses the term “climate change.”
Teaching Your Kids About Global Warming in Spanish
If you’re teaching Spanish to your kids, a wise and modern way to do it is by choosing different themes and learning through them. This makes the Spanish learning process fun and entertaining, instead of just focused on grammar and memorizing.
For instance, you could start talking about the weather, and then move on to global warming in Spanish. This way, your children don’t only learn Spanish, but also important scientific topics.
Reasons to Do It
First, you can use climate change and global warming in Spanish as themes through which you keep progressing on your kids’ language skills.
Secondly, the topic is so important these days, that approaching it in a comprehensive way at home is a good idea that reinforces their learning at the school.
Finally, learning such a crucial subject in Spanish just gives your kids more tools to deal with it in the future.
How to Do It
There are many ways to approach global warming in Spanish. Just remember to make it fun for them! You sure don’t want to scare them (because if you think about it, the idea can be scary). Yes, our planet is in trouble, but we can do specific things to save it!
Because it’s a scientific subject, this time you should start with the vocabulary part, so your kids know what you’re talking about when you say calentamiento global. Then, use that vocabulary to engage with your kids in different games and fun activities.
Vocabulary: Global Warming in Spanish
The following is a list with some of the most common terms related with climate change and global warming in Spanish:
El calentamiento global – global warming
El cambio climático – climate change
La temperatura – temperature
El tiempo – weather
El clima – climate
La Tierra – Earth
El planeta – planet
La contaminación – pollution
Los gases invernadero – greenhouse gases
El efecto invernadero – greenhouse effect
Los combustibles fósiles – fossil fuels
La deforestación – deforestation
El dióxido de carbono – carbon dioxide
El vapor de agua – water vapor
El metano – methane
El ozono – ozone
El óxido nitroso – nitrous oxide
Los clorofluorocarbonos – chlorofluorocarbons
La capa de ozono – ozone layer
Reducir – reduce
Reusar – reuse
Reciclar – recycle
La atmósfera – atmosphere
Los glaciares – glaciers
El medio ambiente – environment
Las emisiones de carbono – carbon emissions
La energía solar – solar energy
La energía eólica – wind energy
Games and Activities
Now, with that new vocabulary about global warming in Spanish, you can organize for your children different games and activities, to avoid the boring memorization practice and have some fun while learning Spanish and Science!
Superhero Greenhouse Gases
NASA has a cool little site with different activities related to climate change for kids. On this page, you can find six colorful cards about the greenhouse gases. Each gas is portrayed as a superhero, showing that global warming is not their fault, but the overuse of their powers.
You can print these cards in English, then place a white piece of paper on top of them and copy the superhero’s drawing. Let your kid color and decorate the new card in Spanish. For the little paragraph with information about the gas, you can use Google translator to get your own NASA greenhouse gases cards in Spanish!
Global Warming Bingo
This page allows you to create and personalize your own global warming Bingo. It has its own list of climate change terms in English, but you’re able to customize it using their Bingo card printer.
Simply add the vocabulary terms about global warming in Spanish, generate your own Bingo cards, and play Bingo with your kids!
During my years of experience as a Spanish teacher, I’ve discovered that there’s no easier way to learn new vocabulary than by playing a nice and simple memory game.
You can create your own cards with your kids, and make it a DIY-type of activity, or you can use one of the several memory game generators online. Try using the two words in Spanish, one in English and one in Spanish, or one image and one word in Spanish. Anyway you do it, they’ll love the challenge and will learn without even noticing it.
Global Warming Crossword
Finally, you can also create your own global warming crossword in Spanish. This way, you’ll make sure that your kids don’t only learn the vocabulary, but that they also understand the meaning of the words.
For crosswords, I highly recommend you to use an online crossword maker. There are several online, but I like to use this one to create crosswords for my students. It’s simple and easy to use.
Save the Planet in Spanish!
By teaching your kids about climate change and global warming in Spanish, you’re collaborating to save the planet in a new language! Just don’t forget that kids need to have fun while learning, and that this topic has to be approached in a sensible way.
Sign your child up for a free trial class with us at Homeschool Spanish Academy to get them talking about climate change in Spanish with one of our kid-friendly, certified Spanish teachers today!
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