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Crash Course


5th, 6th, 7th, 8th


Science, Social Studies, Earth and Space Sciences, Geography

Regional Focus


How Do We Classify Climates?

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  • This video uses potato cultivation to describe different climates around the world. 
  • The video features sections on weather vs. climate, vertical climate zones, geo-literacy, ecological niches, and the Köppen climate classification system. 
Teaching Tips


  • The video ends with an Indigenous land acknowledgement, focusing on the original inhabitants of South America.
  • Excellent animations and graphics make this video easy to understand.

Additional Prerequisites

  • This is a great video to show students before discussing climate change.


  • Social studies and history students could watch this video when studying the Age of Exploration or the Columbian Exchange.
  • Science teachers could show this video before starting a group project where students researched different climates around the world.
  • Students could also explore this BiomeViewer or create a biome map.
Scientist Notes
This resource from Crash Course uses the history of potato cultivation to showcase the classification of the different climate zones across the globe. The information provided is accurate and verifiable. This resource is recommended for teaching.

This resource addresses the listed standards. To fully meet standards, search for more related resources.

  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS2: Earth's Systems
      • MS-ESS2-6 Develop and use a model to describe how unequal heating and rotation of the Earth cause patterns of atmospheric and oceanic circulation that determine regional climates.
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Geography
      • D2.Geo.10.6-8 Analyze the ways in which cultural and environmental characteristics vary among various regions of the world.
      • D2.Geo.10.3-5 Explain why environmental characteristics vary among different world regions.
      • D2.Geo.7.3-5 Explain how cultural and environmental characteristics affect the distribution and movement of people, goods, and ideas.
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