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6th, 7th, 8th


Science, Earth and Space Sciences

Resource Types

  • Ebooks
  • Videos, 10 minutes, 1 second, CC, Subtitles
  • Interactive Media

Regional Focus


Climate Change in Earth History

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  • In this interactive textbook lesson, students will discover factors that can naturally alter the climate such as volcanoes, plate tectonics, and asteroids.
  • Students will learn about historic periods of climate change such as the Permian Mass Extinction.
  • The resource includes discussion questions and interactive quiz questions.
Teaching Tips


  • Students can work at their own pace through this self-guided textbook lesson.
  • Figures and graphics are included to illustrate the text.
  • Students can check their understanding by taking an interactive quiz at the end of the lesson.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Students should be familiar with the timescale of Earth's history and how geologic processes can shape the conditions for life. 
  • Students must sign in to access some interactive features.
  • The video describing the Permian Mass Extinction is dense with information and students may need to pause and re-watch sections to answer the questions that follow.


  • After watching the video on the Permian Mass Extinction, students could discuss what the current rise in global temperatures could mean for Earth and its habitants.
  • Students could make a timeline to show the major climate change events that have occurred throughout Earth's history.
Scientist Notes

This resource spotlights climatic history during the Pleistocene Era up to 14,000 years ago and the natural factors that influenced it. However, scientists attribute rapid changes in climate to human activities which started after the Industrial Revolution. This resource is recommended for teaching.

  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS2: Earth's Systems
      • MS-ESS2-2 Construct an explanation based on evidence for how geoscience processes have changed Earth's surface at varying time and spatial scales.
    • LS2: Ecosystems: Interactions, Energy, and Dynamics
      • MS-LS2-4 Construct an argument supported by empirical evidence that changes to physical or biological components of an ecosystem affect populations.
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