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Database Provider


CLEAN, National Geographic


3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th


Science, Earth and Space Sciences

Resource Type

  • Videos, 2 minutes, 50 seconds, CC, Subtitles

Regional Focus

Global, North America, South and Central America


YouTube Video

El Niño 101

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  • This video introduces the El Niño weather phenomenon and includes information about its causes and effects.
  • The CLEAN database page summarizes the video, teaching tips, and background about the content and pedagogy.
Teaching Tips


  • This short and informative video is an excellent introduction to the basics of El Niño.
  • The simple language and visuals make this resource accessible for various learning levels and styles.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Teachers need to click the video link or the "Jump to this Video" button to view the video.
  • The video includes loss of life as an effect and shows images of extreme weather damage, which may upset some students. Teachers may want to pair this video with SEL resources like this digital poster.


  • Teachers can follow this video with a conversation about how communities can better prepare and what students can do to feel more empowered to take action.
  • Science classes can use this video as an introduction to a unit on weather conditions, natural disasters, or regional climates.
  • Civics classes can discuss how different communities can advocate for mitigation and adaptation strategies.
  • Students can discuss how climate change exacerbates some of El Niño's effects, such as marine life migrating to colder waters.
  • History classes can further research historical occurences of El Niño events.
  • Many students may benefit from slowing the video playback speed to comprehend the wealth of information.
Scientist Notes

This resource is from the CLEAN collection. “The CLEAN collection is hand-picked and rigorously reviewed for scientific accuracy and classroom effectiveness."

  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS2: Earth's Systems
      • MS-ESS2-5 Collect data to provide evidence for how the motions and complex interactions of air masses results in changes in weather conditions.
      • 3-ESS2-2 Obtain and combine information to describe climates in different regions of the world.
      • 5-ESS2-1 Develop a model using an example to describe ways the geosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and/or atmosphere interact.
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • 4-ESS3-2 Generate and compare multiple solutions to reduce the impacts of natural Earth processes on humans.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Speaking & Listening (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.6.2 Interpret information presented in diverse media and formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) and explain how it contributes to a topic, text, or issue under study.
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.5.3 Summarize the points a speaker makes and explain how each claim is supported by reasons and evidence.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Geography
      • D2.Geo.12.3-5 Explain how natural and human-made catastrophic events in one place affect people living in other places.
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