Study material: Climate

Beyond the Fossil Era

A study material for secondary school about the climate transition towards a fossil-free society.

Welcome to the year 2053!

Let the pupils imagine a future where the climate targets have been achieved. Let them look back from the future by visiting a museum of the fossil era and create their own contributions to the exhibit.

Beyond the fossil era is a study material aimed at stimulating discussion and creativity around climate change and the transition towards a fossil free society. Everything you need is found on this page!

This study material is also available in Swedish.

Time required: Approximately three lessons, or one thematic day.

Subjects: Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Technology, History, Social Studies, Swedish, Art.

More about Beyond the Fossil Era

Required pre-knowledge

Step 1: Introduction

1. Video. This clip introduces the pupils to the museum and transports them to the future, to the year 2053, and the opening of the government’s latest museum FOSSIL.

After the video, instruct the pupils to close their eyes and reflect on:

  • The year is 2053 — how old are you now?

2. Museum objects. Pick an object that might intrigue the pupils, such as the fake grass. Show the image of the object and read the story out loud. Ensure that the pupils understand that the story is fictional. Let the pupils discuss the story based on this question:

  • Fake grass is now a thing of the past, how come? And which events played a key role in this change?

3. Slideshow. Change does not just occur, it is made. Show the slideshow “How do societies change?” This slideshow introduces key tools capable of accelerating societal change. Let the pupils discuss which of these are used in the story about fake grass.

  • What triggered the change?
  • Which tools were used, and how did they interact?
  • Was there any kind of resistance?
bortom, fossilsamhället, introfilm, elevfilm, 2053

1. Introduction to the museum

An introduction to the fossil exhibition.

2. Artificial grass (2024)

Fake grass made from oil.

bortom, fossilsamhället, kollage, bildspel, förändring

3. Slideshow: How do societies change?

Step 2-3: Immersion

Instruct the pupils to read the timeline (1849–2053) and the stories of different objects in the museum. Share the link below with the pupils so that they can access them directly from their devices:

Discuss the timeline and the objects, first in pairs and then as a group. Kick off the discussion with these questions:

  • What is different where you are, in 2053?
  • What does no longer exist, what is new?
  • What does a fossil free society entail?

Let the pupils look through the objects and their related stories in the museum by clicking on the images.

Give the pupils time to study a few objects in detail so that they can retell the story based on the images. Then let them present the story, either to a few classmates or to the entire class.

Divide the class into smaller groups (2–3 pupils) and ask them to consider other objects that should be included in the exhibition.

Hand out and brief the pupils on the assignment. Share the link with the pupils so that they can access it from their devices:

2053, Bortom, fossilsamhället, beyond, fossil, era, timeline

Historical overview

Look back at the fossil era and the way out of it - year 1849-2053 - with crucial historical events.

elev, dator, 2053, bortom, fossilsamhället, elevuppdrag

Pupil's assignment

Guidelines for pupils of how to contribute with an object or phenomenon to the exhibition.

About the pupil's assignment

Suggestions for presentations

Museum objects

Click on an object to read the story behind it!

Membership card (2012)

Loyalty programme for air travel.

Cookbook (2014)

Early example of lab-grown meat recipes.

Marsh gentian (2019)

Typical in restored wetlands.

Black coal (2020)

Fossil fuel from Värtaverket.

Lund cathedral

Roof-mounted solar cells.

Artificial grass (2024)

Fake grass made from oil.

Flag of the Maldives (2024)

A symbol of climate justice.

Here comes the sun (2024)

Weather phrase typical of its time.

Milk strike (2025)

Protest against agricultural policy in Brussels.

Clearcut (2026)

Iconic artwork.

Nylon stockings (2028)

Leg apparel made from fossil fuels.

Planter box (2028)

Car barrier that made the inner-city flourish.

The gas station (2029)

Establishment for selling fuel.

Concrete (2031)

Drill core replaced by grass.

Water bottle (2034)

Recycled fossil steel.

SUV (2036)

Large high-emitting vehicle.

Hamburger (2038)

Fast food dish from the fossil era.

The shopping spree

Mass consumption for pleasure.

The luxury single-family house

Inefficient massive building.

The weave of sorrow (2045)

Artwork of what has been lost.

Eudialyte (2046)

EV mineral from Norra Kärr.

Hermit beetle (2047)

Critically endangered forest-dwelling beetle.

Large blue (2050)

A near-extinct butterfly.

Cabbage white (2052)

Summer plague in agricultural landscapes.

Cow pat (2052)

Excrement from Swedish Red Poll.

Toy (2053)

Fossil Lego.

Great yellow bumblebee (2053)

Thriving pollinator.

Complementary materials

Links for further reading and suggestions of related study materials.

klimat, torka, bortom, fossilsamhället, 2053

Links to facts and research about climate and global warming.

IPCC: Glossary

Glossary with definitions of terms related to climate change. (IPCC, 2018: Annex I: Glossary)

fossilt, framtid, 2053, skolövning

From fossil to future

From fossil to future - a slideshow about fossil products and future solutions - currently only available in Swedish.

About Beyond the Fossil Era

This study material was created in a collaboration between the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation and Lund University, and it was funded by the research council Formas.

If you want to learn more about the facts that informed the study material or get in touch with the researcher, contact Roger Hildingsson, Lund University:

ESD, education, envision, helsinki, conference

Education for sustainable development

The Swedish Society for Nature Conservation promotes education for sustainable development (ESD) and supports schools in taking a holistic approach to sustainability issues. We produce educational materials, offer teacher training workshops and participate in partnership projects to develop methods for ESD.

28 jun, 2021 • 3 min att läsa