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Database Provider


We The Children


4th, 5th, 6th, 7th


Science, Earth and Space Sciences, Engineering

Resource Type

  • Podcast, 22 minutes, 10 seconds

Regional Focus


Lungs of the Earth

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  • This podcast, hosted by a child, discusses the importance of healthy forests, the definition and effects of mass deforestation, the filtration system of trees, and the importance of tree canopies.
  • The podcast includes an interview with the founder of an organization working to clone old-growth trees, a tree trivia game, and a comical weather report.
Teaching Tips


  • The narration from a child is an engaging element for students. 
  • The adult guest mentions that his best hope for the future is young people.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Audio ads play before the podcast begins and after it ends.
  • Vocabulary is somewhat rigorous, so a printed definition list will be helpful.
  • The adult guest mentions the impossibility of an older woman having a baby, so teachers of younger students might need to prepare for questions.
  • The information is available for download.


  • The adult guest presents a call to action that every human plants and cares for two trees, so science teachers may wish to enhance the lesson with each student planting a tree seed or pod. 
  • The narrator mentions bamboo as a sustainable alternative to wood, so teachers may wish to have a few bamboo products on hand for reference.
  • English classes can utilize the podcast when practicing listening and note-taking skills.
  • Teachers may wish to show students, especially ELL students, a model of the oxygen and carbon dioxide cycle.
  • Students with auditory processing difficulties may benefit from using speech-to-text technology to create a transcript for the podcast.
  • Language arts students can write poetry to illustrate the metaphor comparing trees to lungs.
Scientist Notes
This ~20-minute podcast from We the Children discusses current climate change issues. Children who have concerns about the future of our planet host the podcast. Each podcast presents an interview with a climate expert and a discussion about organizations that are helping in the fight against climate change. This podcast is well-researched and includes expert analysis. This resource would be a great addition to a classroom discussion about climate change issues.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS3: Earth and Human Activity
      • MS-ESS3-3 Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.
      • MS-ESS3-4 Construct an argument supported by evidence for how increases in human population and per-capita consumption of natural resources impact Earth's systems.
      • MS-ESS3-5 Ask questions to clarify evidence of the factors that have caused the rise in global temperatures over the past century.
  • 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.
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