Translate page with Google

Pulitzer Center Update June 4, 2024

Workshop for Educators: Climate Migration With Journalist Abrahm Lustgarten

ALTA VERAPAZ. Jorge A.’s wife, Eva María H., at home with two of their children. Image by Meridith Kohut. Guatemala, 2020.

Propublica and the New York Times magazine use a groundbreaking data model to explore the daunting...

author #1 image author #2 image
Multiple Authors



Researchers predict that by 2070, 19% of the Earth could become a barely liveable hot zone—up from just 1% today. That land is home to billions of people. What are the underlying causes and implications of this global shift? How will it impact people, and how are we already seeing the impacts of climate migration on our world today?

On April 25, 2024, journalist Abrahm Lustgarten engaged educators in a discussion of these questions by sharing his reporting on the ProPublica and New York Times Magazine story "The Great Climate Migration" and his new book On the Move: The Overheating Earth and the Uprooting of America.

"[I can] use the personal stories the author shared to move past the statistics of climate migration and help our students connect with the individuals and their personal stories."

Amy Perkins, teacher in Michigan

In addition to hearing from Lustgarten directly, educators explored resources created by the Pulitzer Center and its Teacher Fellows to support engaging students with "The Great Climate Migration" and related issues. One lesson plan for high school and college students by the Pulitzer Center's Education team uses Lustgarten's reporting to offer an introduction to the topic of climate migration, with extension activities that dig deeper into the data analysis behind the story. Another unit plan for middle and high school students by Minnesota geography teacher April Wallace extends this lesson plan with activities where students create one-page illustrated summaries of climate change scenarios in different countries, and ultimately write letters to decisionmakers advocating for policies to proactively address climate migration.

83% of participants shared that they explored a resource and/or skill they could use with their students. "I will use [these resources] in a unit about the environment that I teach every semester," wrote Rita Tejeda, a college professor in Iowa. "The book and bibliography will help me with more real examples of what is going on and how is affecting real people."

"This webinar was very insightful, opening my mind to ideas I had not previously considered...I can use this information with my 1st grade class by introducing the concept of climate change in a simple, engaging way."

Emily Laughlin, teacher in Illinois

This professional development webinar, which centered stories of climate migration from Central America, was held in partnership with the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at UW-Milwaukee and the Center for Latin American, Caribbean, and Latinx Studies at Vanderbilt University.


teal halftone illustration of a family carrying luggage and walking


Migration and Refugees

Migration and Refugees